Thursday, July 8, 2010

Live Albums & Reunions

I believe it was Cheap Trick's three night stands in various cities back in 1998 when they devoted each night to performing a full album in its entirety that started the trend. (Though it could be said, The Who playing "Tommy" in 1969 may have been the first.) It has become more commonplace and less of a novelty these days, with everyone from Judas Priest to Echo & The Bunnymen to Arthur Lee & Love and Lucinda Williams devoting full concerts to one classic album.

Todd Rundgren has taken the trend a bit further by asking fans what they'd like to hear, with 1973's "A Wizard/A True Star" getting the fan vote for full live treatment last year, and two records, 1974's "Todd" and 1980's "Healing" sharing the bill in an upcoming, short series of doubleheaders in September.

There is also news of The Who re-re-visiting "Quadrophenia" sometime in 2011. (The Who already showcased the full album in concert back in 1998, with some special guests.)

When Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band announced toward the end of the their last tour that certain nights would be devoted to certain albums, my initial thought was, "Why announce it?" If you were a fan with a ducat and the ESB opened with "The Ties That Bind," then suddenly played "Sherry Darling" into "Jackson Cage," "Two Hearts" and so on, wouldn't you have lost your head? The only benefit I see in knowing ahead of time that the band was playing "The River" side to side, was knowing just when you could visit the facilities for some relief. (I chose "I'm A Rocker.")

Which brings me to my list of the albums I'd like to see performed live, side to side, with advanced notice or not.

In no particular order:

Todd Rundgren- Something/Anything?

This seems like the obvious choice, which leads me to believe that Todd will never do it.

Roxy Music- Siren

This record was the transition from the band's experimental glam years into their suave and smooth years, and remains my favorite album by Bryan Ferry, et al.

Elvis Costello & The Attractions- Get Happy

Not my favorite EC record, but certainly in my Top 5. Elvis may not have the energy these days to bust out twenty 2 minute rockers in less than an hour, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't try.

Tom Waits- Rain Dogs

When I saw Waits perform on the "Rain Dogs" tour in 1985, he might have played the record in its entirety, but not side to side. This still remains his finest work, blending both his early Tin Pan Alley style with his later, often abrasive carnival barker persona.

Rolling Stones- Now

Yeah, right! But man...

Faces- Ooh La La

The band is reuniting for a tour with Simply Red's Mick Hucknall taking on lead vocal duties for the once brilliant, but now painfully embarrassing Rod Stewart. And I know "Ooh La La" isn't considered the Faces best, but it is my favorite.

Jeff Beck & Rod Stewart- Beck-Ola

I'd forgive Rod The Clod for blowing off Ian McLagan if he somehow pulled this one off.

Rockpile- Seconds Of Pleasure

The Nick Lowe/Dave Edmunds feud (?) seems to be deeper than most realize, and a Rockpile reunion, with Billy Bremner and Terry Williams seems the least likely of all. But, one can dream.


soundsource said...

I'd like to hear the stones do satanic majesties or aftermath and I think I'd pay to see that. By the way great topic, how about triple bills with classic albums tours, the mind reels.

Anonymous said...

I agree with many of your choices - especially Something/Anything. By the way, hope you keep up the Todd Mondays. Have you ever posted or do you have the Somewhere/Anywhere comp? Keep up the great work.

Sal Nunziato said...

I didn't post the actual CD, but I have posted the two live shows from which some tracks came from, as well as some of the rarities.

Todd Mondays will continue, just not every Monday. No worries.

David Handelman said...

Yes to Get Happy! and Rain Dogs. In the past year I actually saw two of my favorites -- Exile in Guyville and the Wild & Innocent....

I agree with you about the surprise element, but obviously more people who've seen the artists several times will want to buy tickets if they know it's in the offing. (I chose which Springsteen concert to buy based on the album).

There's an aspect to it where, because you're so used to the songs in that order, the lack of surprise as each song starts somewhat counteracts the joy of the complete set.

How do you separate this list from a list of favorite albums by a particular artist?

Blonde on Blonde? If Strummer were alive, London Calling? Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere? First Crowded House record? Late for the Sky? Songs in the Key of Life? Life's Rich Pageant? Yankee Foxtrot Hotel?

Sal Nunziato said...

Good point about knowing in advance. I know I'd be miserable if I heard "Born In The USA" instead of "The River."

As for separating---I guess if generous amounts your favorite album are often part the artists live repertoire, you could pic an album that usually isn't.

steve simels said...

Television -- Marquee Moon. From stem to stern.

That would be nice.

Anonymous said...

In regards to the Somewhere/Anywhere comment I posted earlier, I'm after the four Sequence songs as well as the alternate It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference track. If you haven't posted these yet and can get to it one day, it would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.

Michael said...

All great choices Sal. My Stones pick would be Beggars Banquet. My fave Stones album is Between the Buttons, but I think beggars would make for a more fun concert experience. I'd love to hear that band going out with a thunderous rendtion of "Salt of the Earth."

Ditto re: Todd. Obvious choice. he'd never do it. But it would be a total gas.

I was just wondering aloud on someone else's blog why Mudhoney is doing Supermuff Bigfuzz when 2008's The Lucky Ones was such a smokin' hot album. I guess for the same reason this is become such a trend: so the fans can also feel a little younger for a awhile. Nothin' wrong with that, as long as doing a gig like this doesn't mean the band's about to hop on the nostalgia circuit. REO Speedwagon and Styx today, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees and L7 in a few years??!?

Fielding said...

still feel bad about walking out of quadrophenia... though it really wasn't good, was it??

Sal Nunziato said...

I don't feel bad about leaving. It wasn't happening. If I remember correctly, Zak Starkey wasn't quite as hot as he has now become, and everything seemed dreadfully slow.

That is my memory.

Fielding said...

I remember it being incredibly sterile... and yes, Zack was kind of going through the motions