Tag Archives: The Wall

My favourite Live Albums

This post is a follow up to my last one. I was introduced to Live Albums when I moved to Nagpur. People in our college used to share 3-in-1 live concert DVDs with each other. I have already written about my favourite concerts, so this post is only about live albums. Below is the list of my favourite live albums of all time.

Hell Freezes Over (1994) – Eagles

Hell Freezes Over : Eagles

My favourite live album of all time and my introduction to Eagles, as a band. In fact I didn’t even hear the original version of Hotel California till years later and was then surprised to find out it was so different. Overall, this album is just magical. Everyone performed perfectly. I remember the first time I heard it, at a friend’s house, his father had found the DVD. It was also Eagles’ reunion concert and as Don Henley says, “we never broke up, we just took a 14 year vacation”.

This concert was part of the MTV unplugged series.

My only gripe with the album is that they replaced many songs’ live versions with studio versions which are inherently inferior. One example of this is “Learn to be still”.

Pulse (1995) – Pink Floyd

Pulse : Pink Floyd

One of my favourite live albums of all time, Pulse is Pink Floyd at its epic live psychedelic best. I have listened to this album countless times and can never get tired of it. The album starts with the epic “Shine on you crazy diamond” and ends with an epic rendition of “Comfortably Numb” with extended solos.

Honourable mention to Delicate Sound of Thunder, which is almost as good as Pulse, but not quite.

This concert also reminds me of a disaster that occurred back in 2006.

MTV Unplugged in New York (1994) – Nirvana

MTV Unplugged in New York : Nirvana

This live album reminds me of Whoreko, I don’t know why. I am not a huge fan of Nirvana‘s heavier work, but this concert showed their “acoustic side” and boy, was it awesome. This concert also introduced the Meat Puppets & Pat Smear to the world.

Another concert from MTV unplugged series.

Live at Pompeii (1972) – Pink Floyd

Live at Pompeii : Pink Floyd

Ok, Ok, so technically this is not a live album, but it is shot as such, simulating a concert in Pompeii (without audience). The tracks are all psychedelic and the version of echoes in this album is a masterpiece, especially the bass.

One Night Only (1998) – Bee Gees

One Night Only : Bee Gees

Not a huge fan of Bee Gees, but this live album is just awesome. Such beautiful, soulful music. Reminds me of my days in Chandigarh.

Supernatural Live (2003) – Santana

Supernatural Live : Santana

I got this as part of a 3-concert pirated DVD. The music is awesome and features guest appearances by Dave Matthews, Erik Schrody, Rob Thomas, among others. Entertaining much.

The Corrs Unplugged (1999) – The Corrs

The Corrs Unplugged : The Corrs

Another part of the 3-concert pirated DVD. I am not a Corrs fan. In fact I have never heard of them outside this concert. But the music in this album is soothing and beautiful.

This is also the album where I heard Dreams for the first time, much before the original version.

Another concert from MTV unplugged series.

A special mention to Roger WatersThe Wall – Live in Berlin for being one of the shittiest live albums I have ever had the misfortune of listening to and making me dislike him forever after.

The Wall – Live in Berlin

I had heard of the Pink Floyd Wall Live concert in Berlin for a long time but never got around to watching it. After hearing and reading about it a lot, I decided to watch it. After all it had great names associated with it like Roger Waters, The Scorpions, Bryan Adams and Van Morrison. The Wall Live concert in Berlin is a live rendition of their album “The Wall“. The playlist is almost the same but the similarity ends here. While the album had a very raw, cruel hard rock feeling to it, the concert is more of a Musical Show with the whole orchestra sitting there. It completely lacks the raw hard rock feeling the album had. The album was psychedelic, depressing while in the show, most of the songs have 6-7 singers singing and a 100 piece orchestra playing in the background. It gives the show a soft gentle feel which is completely out of tune with the feeling the album gave. Can you imagine a flute playing anywhere in the Wall movie?

So with great expectations, I start watching the concert. A white limo surrounded by harleys move onto the stage and The Scorpions get off to give a high voltage performance of In the Flesh?. All is going good when the song ends. The next few songs are by different artists and keep getting softer with a Sax Solo in Another Brick in the Wall Part 1. Another Brick in the Wall Part II is by Cyndi Lauper who is in a School Uniform and keeps jumping around as in the Circus and making faces. In the solos, she is behind the guitarists and seems to be trying to smell their asses. I say solos, because there are 3, each almost the same but by 2 guitarist and 1 Synth by Thomas Dolby. The first Solo is something like I would be playing after my first week’s practice of the song on the guitar. At this point, the stage crew start building a huge wall on the stage which gets completed in the songs to come. The song I was looking forward to was Young Lust by Bryan Adams. The song seems really great and Bryan seems to be playing the guitar himself in his trademark kneel back style. Somewhere into the 2nd paragraph of the song, Bryan gets too much into the song and swings his guitar away and lo! The guitar seems to be still playing. After a while we notice the real guitarist standing somewhere behind the edge of the wall in the darkness, with th spotlight on Bryan. I did not understand why Bryan needed to mime the guitaring. He could have just sung the song and be done with it instead of moving his fingers in complicated motions and seeming to concentrate really hard on the guitar. Anyways, I tried forgetting about it and thinking that the song sounded good anyways. Jerry Hall has a brief role as a slut groupie who comes on stage to admire Pink’s imaginary room.Hey You is performed by Paul Carrack and sounds good, though nothing like the original song and no feeling. Comfortably Numb performed by Van Morrison and again, sounds good but nothing like the original. It’s almost kind of soft and it seems you are listening to an opera. The solo is kind of a duet between the two guitarists and in trying to make it different from the original solo, they screw it up completely. The song In the Flesh is again performed by the Scorpions, though this time, it’s very very obvious they’re faking it because the guitars start playing even before they get off their posh limo and throughout most of this song and also Run like hell, they’re just running around and giving each other high 5s while the real guitarists keep on playing in the darkness behind the wall. The Trial is really good performed by mainstream hollywood actors at the end of which, they break down the complete wall ad finish off with The Tide is turning which is not very much unlike We are the world performed by Michael Jackson and various other singers, blind and otherwise.

Overall, the concert is quite entertaining, but fails to capture the original essence of the wall. In fact, it doesn’t even sound anything like Pink Floyd and it would be quite disappointing to the fans of the band and the original album. Roger waters plays nothing in the whole concert and his total singing time is also somewhere around 20 minutes. It would be better if watched from a neutral mindset and no comparisons made to the album. Personally I think that David did a much better job with Pulse tour.