Top 10 Best Live Rock Albums

There's something truly special about live performances, where artists unleash their full potential on stage. But what if you could bring that experience into your living room? Live rock albums that capture the essence of the original studio recordings with the added power of a live show, and which have stood the test of time, offer you exactly that. These albums not only deliver extraordinary renditions but also let you relive those unforgettable concert moments whenever you want.
The Top Ten
1 Absolutely Live - Rod Stewart

At this concert, Rod brought Tina Turner back into the limelight.

2 Made In Japan - Deep Purple

This is a 100% live album, recorded by the band at the height of their fame, not a studio-remastered release.

The best live album of the '70s from the best live band of the '70s.

As a live album, this one's in a class by itself.

3 Live at Leeds - The Who

If you want the full experience, you should listen to the Super Deluxe edition! It's a must-listen, regardless of whether you're a fan of classic rock or not.

No contest, one of the best live albums ever recorded, never mind rock albums.

Only 22? This is by far the best live rock album ever made!

4 Live After Death - Iron Maiden
5 Alive! - Kiss

Actually offers the definitive versions of the best of KISS's first three studio albums, including "Rock and Roll All Night." Many of today's rock guitar gods cut their teeth on this album, trying to copy every lick and every Ace Frehley lead. You could hand this album to Martians and explain that "this IS rock and roll."

6 Double Live Gonzo - Ted Nugent

Captures the Motor City Madman at his finest. His guitar playing is amazing! He can go from loud and fast to bluesy to very melodic. I have never heard sounds come from a guitar like those on Hibernation. Great White Buffalo will give you goosebumps. Classics like Motor City Madhouse, Stranglehold, Cat Scratch Fever, etc.

The most fun you'll have without actually going to a rock concert. If this album doesn't get your blood boiling, you're probably dead.

A truly amazing live album that captures the craze of '70s rock music.

7 Unleashed In the East - Judas Priest

Simply the greatest live album by the greatest band. No competition.

8 Live Bootleg - Aerosmith

Back when Aerosmith could plug in, turn it up to 11, and rock out. Hits like Dream On, Sweet Emotion, Walk This Way, Back in the Saddle, etc.

This album captures the sounds of an actual live concert, mistakes and all, and every song kicks ass!

9 Celebration Day - Led Zeppelin

A 2007 reunion concert that shows three of the four original members (Jason Bonham taking the place of his late father) in tighter form than on their '70s heyday live recordings.

All living members of Led Zeppelin united for one epic show with Jason Bonham (John Bonham's son) on drums. It really was a celebration day.

I got this up to 1st place! Yay!

10 S&M - Metallica

Why is this so low on the list? This has got to be one of the best live albums ever, not just in rock but period! The way the sound just fills the stadium is awesome. This is such a great way that Metallica changed up their sound and gave us something unique. It is, in my mind, unparalleled.

The Contenders
11 One More From the Road - Lynyrd Skynyrd

Try to listen to Freebird on this album without playing air guitar. It can't be done.

A 13-minute version of Free Bird, hello!

12 Captured - Journey

Yes, Journey. They were an amazing live band. Awesome musicians playing hits like Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' and Anyway You Want It, and allowed a little more freedom here to jam on songs like Walks Like a Lady and Dixie Highway. Steve Perry's voice is just as amazing here as on the studio albums too. Listen to his voice leading up to the Do You Recall guitar solo, and in the background of the Wheel in the Sky guitar solo. Otherworldly!

Oh yes, Steve Perry is one of the several singers who often sounded even better live.

13 Pulse - Pink Floyd

My goodness! This is too horribly low! This has to be higher! It's perhaps the embodiment of all Pink Floyd, from Piper all the way to Division Bell!

14 Live / Dead - Grateful Dead
15 Live - Barclay James Harvest

Fantastic band, great set. So underrated. All are excellent musicians and songwriters with three great vocalists.

Summer Soldier/Medicine Man is my favorite "side" of vinyl!

16 The Song Remains the Same - Led Zeppelin
17 World Wide Live - Scorpions

One of the best live rock albums ever. The version of Big City Nights on this album is better than the recorded version. The rest of the double vinyl album is just as incredible.

18 MTV Unplugged - Eric Clapton

This album is one of the main reasons I believe he's one of the greatest guitarists to ever live. So, I'll say what I said before: I honestly can't believe this isn't number one on the list. This album, and really all of Clapton's music, is so personal to me and to so many millions of people in this world who have been inspired to pick up a guitar because of him.

I remember never particularly liking the guitar as an instrument, whether it was to play or to listen to. But this album, and his "A Benefit for the Crossroads Centre in Antigua 1999 Live at Madison Square Garden Concert," changed everything for me. From "Layla" to "Old Love," "Tears in Heaven" to "Before You Accuse Me," even though he wrote them such a long time ago, you can hear the emotion and sadness going through every word and every note he plays on his guitar.

Although he did sing "Tears in Heaven" for the album just a year after his son passed, it was the most raw and emotional song you'll ever hear. Honestly, that's the only song that has made me cry. You can just understand the lyrics and connect with them even without knowing what he sang them for. That's what music is. You don't need context. You should be able to understand it just by listening to it. Music is supposed to be an outlet for everything - your sadness, your anger, loss - everything you go through in your life should be able to be expressed through music.

That's not what mainstream music captures at all. His music takes you on a journey, and it's self-explanatory. You don't need to know the story behind it to know that it's an extremely powerful and personal one. And that's honestly why this album should be above all the others, because that's exactly what they lack - emotion. You need that, especially for live concerts. It's so important to bring emotion into your play, but people don't seem to know that anymore, and it's really sad.

I know some may not agree, but Eric is the reason most guitarists are... more

19 How the West Was Won - Led Zeppelin

An incredible live album that shows the greatest rock band ever at the height of their live powers. All four members were at the top of their game and in perfect sync. Should be much higher.

20 Ozzy Osbourne - Randy Rhoads Tribute
21 At Fillmore East - The Allman Brothers Band

If this is not in your top three, you don't know music.

22 Peter Frampton - Frampton Comes Alive

Definitive versions of many of his earlier songs, many of which became massive hits like Show Me the Way, Baby I Love Your Way, and Do You Feel Like We Do (stoke up those Zippos!). Great guitar too.

8? This list is an insult.

23 Imaginations Through the Looking Glass - Blind Guardian
24 Get Yer Ya Yas Out - Rolling Stones

Captures their then-lead guitarist Mick Taylor in all his melodic, six-string glory. Let's be honest, most consider the Mick Taylor period to be the Stones' best.

25 On Stage - Rainbow

This album is amazing. Every song is outstanding, capturing two of the greatest musicians ever at their finest. The songs absolutely come to life and top the studio recordings.

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