The New Stuff

Is the Live Album Dead?


By Andrew Dansby, Houston Chonicle

“Kicking Television” — the title of a live album by the band Wilco — doesn’t have the pop cultural resonance of, say, “At Budokan” or “Frampton Comes Alive.” But by any contemporary measure, it’s a success. Creatively, it’s a vibrant recording that touches on different eras in a notable band’s career. Commercially, it sold 135,000 copies, a strong number these days. And a pricey vinyl version released recently was snapped up by fans.

But compare that to the gold standard by Peter Frampton, who brings his live show to the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach on Tuesday, opening for Yes. “Frampton Comes Alive” has sold more than 6 million copies since 1976; Cheap Trick’s “At Budokan” has sold more than 3 million since in 1978.

The live album, once an obligatory component of a band’s discography and in some cases, a defining work, doesn’t seem as culturally prevalent as it did 35 years ago.

Those who follow pop and rock music ( jazz, classical and Broadway musicians continue to record live) with fervor still value live albums, which offer a different listening experience than their studio counterparts. Live albums are often built more on bombast than on nuance. They need to be familiar but only to an extent: To simply replicate pre-existing music with audience noise interspersed between songs nullifies their impact.

It’s not that concert recordings have disappeared. A live Grateful Dead set from 1989 recently debuted in the Top 50, and the Zac Brown Band‘s new live CD/DVD made a strong showing last month. But the Dead has dozens of live titles in its catalog, and Brown’s album seems designed to bridge the gap between his 2009 hit debut and what comes next.

But live albums that sell millions of copies are likely extinct. The same could be said for most albums, but the live album was on the wane even before the bottom dropped out of the music recording business during the past decade.

Warren Haynes, whose Gov’t Mule has released several live recordings, says “a lot of the more popular music being made these days doesn’t really merit a live version. The concert doesn’t offer anything emotionally different or superior to the studio versions.”

___________________________________________________________________

Unified Manufacturing is a custom CD/DVD and Vinyl Manufacturing facility based on both sides of the US. Our clients range from indie artists to major label artists such as Stevie Wonder, Sheryl Crow, and Ringo Starr. If you need an Instant Quote on a project AND you want FREE SHIPPING ( free shipping on all quotes from the blog) – Then CLICK HERE.

Share

Recently Published

»

Gremlins Soundtrack Vinyl

Everyone knows the rules: Don’t get ’em wet. Don’t ...

»

4 Ways to Add Awesomeness to Clear CD Cases

CD Jewel cases are considered as passé —a thing of the ...

»

2016 Album Packaging We Can’t Stop Thinking About

Album artwork is a very crucial part in a music release because not ...

»

Vinyl: INSIDE OUT 7-Inch Single Series

We’ve features a collection of the grooviest movie soundtracks ...

»

8 Tubular T-Shirt Packaging Designs That Are Worth Collecting

Tubes are awesome ways to package tees because not only is it easier ...

»

SwivelCard: Business Card with USB and Analytics

A swivelCard is a premium paper business card that includes a USB ...

»

5 Life Changing (But Easy) Resolutions For Any Type of Artist

It’s almost 2017! Can you believe it? We still can’t. ...

»

15 Splattered Vinyl Records That Are So Hypnotic You’ll Have No Choice But to Buy Them

Vinyl is back and it’s back with a bang, splash, clunk, ...

»

9 Album Artworks That Know How to Rock Portraits

Most CD album artworks feature the artists’ portraits and some ...

Read previous post:
Indie Musician Tips: Advantages of Self-Publishing Your Album

Are you are a new musician trying to make a name in the music industry? Then you probably know that...

Close