Why Live Albums Rule is a satisfactory attempt at showcasing all that is good about live albums. The journalist, Steve Chick, subtly suggests that this is the way music is meant to be listened to. Whilst I find some minor points to be valid, I disagree with the article as a whole.

Some live albums do undoubtedly ‘rule’, however to make it the headline does somehow make you feel as though this encompasses all or at least most live albums, which is definitely not the case.                              Before all the reasons emerge as to why I feel this way, I do feel that if one uses anecdotal evidence as a tool to prove their point it will generally lead to their being a hint of subjectivity or more than they could have been otherwise.

To me live albums in itself an oxymoron. In which ‘live’ usually implies that you are there watching it where as ‘album’ usually refers to a certain set of songs which you own. Each has its own set of appealing aspects which makes them great on their own, not so much together.

 So if live, go to the actual concert, don’t settle for a recording. While I agree that recordings do offer those iconic moments which you simply can’t get on an album e.g. “George Clinton’s confession that he is higher than a mother****r” being one. There are many more drawbacks to justify it not being as good as Chick claims. I’ve listened to many a live album which simply infuriated me, whether it’s the quality of sound being not as good as the studio album, the roar of the crowd which ironically comes on during the part which you want to hear the most. As well as when sometimes certain parts of the song are cut in a live album, parts which could be your favourite. This could be tolerated, if you are at the actual concert.

Chick also refers to case in which there is a dispute between whether a tape of John Cales final gig is real or not. If a live album was so great and captured the essence of an artist, surely you would be able to tell whether it’s real. He also mentions that live albums show the evolution of rock and gives a unique insight into how history is made; if that is your goal you should rather just go to the concert.

In summation, I do feel that Chick makes a valiant attempt at trying to show the good side of live albums, I do not think however that he provides sufficient evidence to say that live albums ‘rule’ or  that it’s nearly as good as he and the article tries to make it.

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