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Albums I’d Love To Hear Live


With U2 taking “The Joshua Tree” out for a dance this year, I figure it might be worth taking a look at albums you’d love to hear performed in their entirety. That isn’t the same as your favorite albums by an artist, for instance, I’d rather hear With The Beatles live then Abbey Road, though we could debate as to which album is superior. With that in mind…

Big L – I don’t claim the killing of Big L is our greatest loss, not with Biggie dead at 24, but he was hella close to it. I’d go with the greatest hits The Big Picture for “Ebonics” and “98 Freestyle”.

Bob Dylan – A toughie but I think Oh Mercy would do it. I know all the reasons for all the others, and simply put of general interest could imagine Infidel, but Oh Mercy was considered a return to power at the time and Dylan though enough of it to give it a chapter in his book.

Elvis Presley – I’m gonna cheat and go with The Complete Sun Sessions.

Frank Sinatra – I know (and will figure out much more) that he has better albums, but I would love to hear Songs For Swinging Lovers on stage.

Jay-Z  – Vol. 3: Life And Times Of S. Carter  – I can see why this would be an unpopular choice, for one thing it wasn’t a very popular album, like a sinkhole between Vol 2 and The Blueprint, but it stands up as a transitional into greater greatness, and any way it has Jigga rhyming “Carter” with “competition is nada”. It made me a HUGE fan and I’ve never heard any of it performed live.

Marshall Crenshaw – I caught Marshall performing his debut album at City Winery a coupla years ago, nice but I want Life’s Too Short. It starts with three sure shot hard rockers and ends with one of his saddest songs, and Marshall knows from sad. In between “Walkin’ Around” is a great New York song and “Everything’s The Truth” is a brutal squirmier.

Louis Armstrong – The obvious choice is Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man or Live At Town Hall, but there is a greatest hits I am very fond of Hello Louis… The Hit Years (1963-1969), a two album set, 39 songs, the second album features his All Stars and I dunno, “Hello Dolly,” “A Kiss To Build A Dream On,” “What A Wonderful World,” “Cabaret,” “When The Saints Go Marching In”… No, “My Buckets Got A Hole In It” or “On The Sunny Side Of The Street” and yet this is Armstrong as pop star. I think I’d prefer to see it to Armstrong as artist.

Marvin Gaye – I know what you’re thinking but no, I would go with his second album That Stubborn Kinda’ Fellow because what price “Stubborn Kinda Fella,” “Hitch Hike” and every song Mickey Stevenson co-wrote which is, for the record, NINE OUT OF TEN. And a special mention to the Chuck Berryish calypso “It Hurt Me Too”. That would be an old school schooling, for sure.

Paul McCartney – I know it is obvious, but Band On the Run rocks too hard to be denied.

Public Enemy – I realize you probably believe I’ve lost my marbles, but that He Got Game soundtrack fucking rocks its ass off… it would be terrific live.

Prince – Dirty Mind –no # 2 here, that’s the one.

Simon & Garfunkel – Oddly, I don’t consider them much of an album band so I’d go with the flawless Bridge Over Troubled Water and hope they bring out the Everly Brothers for “Bye Bye Love”.

Stevie Wonder – Gee that’s a diffi… Songs In The Key Of Life.

Taylor Swift – The Red tour was Taylor’s greatest tour and I want to hear her play em again, including an acoustic “State Of Grace”.

The Beach Boys – We’ve heard ‘Brian perform Pet Sounds’ for years now, I’d toggle between All Summer Long and Surf’s Up.

The Beatles – I did say this wasn’t about favorite albums, so consider it a coincidence but the UK A Hard Day’s Night.

The Clash – I’m gonna cheat a little, and add the UK The Clash debut album to the US The Clash debut album…

The Fall –I go between Totale’s Turns (a live album itself) and Live At The Witch Trials (not a live album itself)

The Monkees – I found this the hardest to decide upon, all along I’ve gone for pop over art in my choices, and with that in mind, and not caring who wrote what, More Of The Monkees. Incidentally, the first album I ever bought with my own money.

The Only Ones – With Peter Perrett just having released a terrific new album, his sophomore album with the Only Ones, the simply gorgeous Even Serpents Shine. Though I would do one think, I would flip side one with side two so he outros with “Out There In The Night” –a song that reminds me of Emily Peggotty.

Tomas Doncker – He is currently touring behind his The Mess We Made and my personal favorite Big Apple Blues would be the obvious choice for me, but I would love to hear the Global Soul Ethiopian masterpiece Power Of The Trinity, which Doncker has kinda shelved over the years. It was the album that first turned me onto the funkmeister and the years have been more than kind to it, indeed it is a complete original and if he could round up some of African buddies, that’s the album I’d love to see.

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