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Old 06-27-2010, 03:14 PM   #1
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When live versions are a better song

There's lots of these - where the way the band does it live (different arrangements or instrumentation or different verses, etc.) is so much better than the studio version.

Here's one I heard on sirius today. It's a good song but too AAA for my tastes.

Much cooler live:

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Old 06-27-2010, 06:42 PM   #2
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No others come to mind?
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:55 PM   #3
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Easily this:

Wake Me Up When September Ends/The Saints Are Coming/Beautiful Day all in one. The uplifting effect of it is invaluable, considering the meaning behind the songs and timing of the performance correlating with the recovery of New Orleans after Katrina, the re-opening of the Dome, and the winning turnaround within the Saints' organization.

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Old 06-27-2010, 09:19 PM   #4
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Listen to everything Cheap Trick ever did, then listen to Live at Budokan. Night and Day.

Peter Frampton's pretty much the same way.

I miss the days when bands gave you more at a live concert, though. These days, too many band try to play the exact same version from the CD. That's what sells though. That's kind of sad that the audience isn't as musically educated as they used to be and can't deal with the live version being any different than the radio.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:30 PM   #5
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if a band is worth a ****, their live stuff should be just as good or better than the studio stuff

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I miss the days when bands gave you more at a live concert, though. These days, too many band try to play the exact same version from the CD. That's what sells though. That's kind of sad that the audience isn't as musically educated as they used to be and can't deal with the live version being any different than the radio.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:31 PM   #6
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Listen to everything Cheap Trick ever did, then listen to Live at Budokan. Night and Day.

Peter Frampton's pretty much the same way.

I miss the days when bands gave you more at a live concert, though. These days, too many band try to play the exact same version from the CD. That's what sells though. That's kind of sad that the audience isn't as musically educated as they used to be and can't deal with the live version being any different than the radio.
There's still plenty of great live bands.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonOfNOLA View Post
Easily this:

Wake Me Up When September Ends/The Saints Are Coming/Beautiful Day all in one. The uplifting effect of it is invaluable, considering the meaning behind the songs and timing of the performance correlating with the recovery of New Orleans after Katrina, the re-opening of the Dome, and the winning turnaround within the Saints' organization.

Good call. I think this still rates as my favorite game in the Superdome--even more than this past season's NFCCG.
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:29 PM   #8
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if a band is worth a ****, their live stuff should be just as good or better than the studio stuff.
That's my feeling as well. This is the rule, rather than the exception...
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
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if a band is worth a ****, their live stuff should be just as good or better than the studio stuff
Yep, the real challenge is finding videos with sufficient sound quality.


Clutch - "Escape From The Prison Planet" (studio version)


Paul Simon ft The Roots & Antibalas - "Late in the Evening"


The Avett Brothers - "Laundry Room" (studio version)


Mark Knopfler - "Cannibals" (extended intro/outro and terrible video quality) (studio version)


Dawes ft. Deertick - "When My Time Comes" (studio version)


William Elliott Whitmore - "Old Devils" (studio version)


Robert Randolph and The Family Band - "The March" (w bonus Saints, better than the live album version)


Jimmie Vaughan ft. Robert Randolph, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray - "Six Strings Down"


The Band - "Don't Do It" (their studio version)
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:33 AM   #10
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Listen to everything Cheap Trick ever did, then listen to Live at Budokan. Night and Day.

Peter Frampton's pretty much the same way.

I miss the days when bands gave you more at a live concert, though. These days, too many band try to play the exact same version from the CD. That's what sells though. That's kind of sad that the audience isn't as musically educated as they used to be and can't deal with the live version being any different than the radio.
Those were the first two acts that popped in my mind when I saw this thread. Guess it's a generation thing.

Can probably include the Allman Brothers and the Grateful Dead in that bunch, too.
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:30 AM   #11
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Those were the first two acts that popped in my mind when I saw this thread. Guess it's a generation thing.

Can probably include the Allman Brothers and the Grateful Dead in that bunch, too.
Well, this era (late 70s) and especially just prior to it (late 60s early 70s) may have been the greatest era of live bands. That said, I think my statement could use some qualifying.

The 60s bands had a lot of open jams on songs, where the band would take off in whatever direction suited them. The Dead were certainly the epitome of this attitude, but if you listen to live albums by bands like Bloodrock, the Guess Who, Grand Funk, Deep Purple, Rare Earth (there are many, I'll stop there), you'll find a very experimental, improvisational approach even to relatively pop songs. However, most of those bands weren't particularly big on the radio. They were just part of a movement. Some bands, like the Dead and Zeppelin, never really changed, even when others started to be truer to their radio airplay. On the other hand, most of the bands which got a lot of airplay (Beatles, Three Dog Night, Jackson Five) pretty much always stuck to their radio versions.

It disappointed me that, when rock became more mainstream with bands like Van Halen, the live shows became more generic. I guess that's my real beef here. Pink Floyd, for example, really stuck closer to their album versions in the 80s whereas, in the 60s, they were as "out there" as The Dead.

Interestingly enough, though, the reason I brought up Frampton and Cheap Trick is that their album material was decidedly light - very radio oriented for the era of the BeeGees and Neil Sedaka. But when they went live, they simply rocked - and people loved it. The live concert was almost like an entirely different band than the record.

A final note, though, these days I've really gotten into Govt. Mule, for exactly this reason. As a musician, I want a band to challenge my ears in a live concert. I want to hear a different take every time they get on stage. If I want to hear the radio version, I'll buy the CD. But that's just me and I'm definitely in the minority.
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Old 06-28-2010, 05:04 PM   #12
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Well, this era (late 70s) and especially just prior to it (late 60s early 70s) may have been the greatest era of live bands. That said, I think my statement could use some qualifying.

The 60s bands had a lot of open jams on songs, where the band would take off in whatever direction suited them. The Dead were certainly the epitome of this attitude, but if you listen to live albums by bands like Bloodrock, the Guess Who, Grand Funk, Deep Purple, Rare Earth (there are many, I'll stop there), you'll find a very experimental, improvisational approach even to relatively pop songs. However, most of those bands weren't particularly big on the radio. They were just part of a movement. Some bands, like the Dead and Zeppelin, never really changed, even when others started to be truer to their radio airplay. On the other hand, most of the bands which got a lot of airplay (Beatles, Three Dog Night, Jackson Five) pretty much always stuck to their radio versions.

It disappointed me that, when rock became more mainstream with bands like Van Halen, the live shows became more generic. I guess that's my real beef here. Pink Floyd, for example, really stuck closer to their album versions in the 80s whereas, in the 60s, they were as "out there" as The Dead.

Interestingly enough, though, the reason I brought up Frampton and Cheap Trick is that their album material was decidedly light - very radio oriented for the era of the BeeGees and Neil Sedaka. But when they went live, they simply rocked - and people loved it. The live concert was almost like an entirely different band than the record.

A final note, though, these days I've really gotten into Govt. Mule, for exactly this reason. As a musician, I want a band to challenge my ears in a live concert. I want to hear a different take every time they get on stage. If I want to hear the radio version, I'll buy the CD. But that's just me and I'm definitely in the minority.
Great post. I don't necessarily expect or want my favorite artists to sound better in person, but it's great when they deliver something different. Or take the time to explain what they're doing so you can appreciate the music in a new way.

The Beatles stopped playing live because their records got so complex they couldn't reproduce them live anymore. (And, possibly, because they couldn't stand each other much of the time?) It's kind of a shame because, as the rooftop performance and some of the more raw in-studio performances (like "Two of Us") in Let It Be showed, they still had a lot of performance chemistry.

Pretty much all the Southern Rock bands of the 70s (not just the Allmans) were better live. They tended to rock harder in person than they did on record, where they'd get toned down by their producers. In the punk/new wave era a lot of the bands weren't so good live, but some really brought it--X was unpredictable in a good way, the Minutemen were as accomplished in a live setting as a jazz trio.
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:29 PM   #13
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About the Floyd sounding bland to compared to Syd's frantic leads, well its the perspective of two guitarists whose approach were radically different. Syd would've played blues songs all night long without variations, but they solid song structure(melody, harmony, complex rhythms) on Piper and on Interstellar Overdrive, Roger Waters provided that structure, because it sounded like marbled, meandering noise. Gilmour had wonderful technique and give Waters bleak songs great color. If you consider most of those albums content, that wasn't easy sometimes, especially on Animals and the Wall.

By the 1980's, Pink Floyd were lights years ahead conceptually, still they weren't like Rolling Stones re-hashing old ideas(yet) and frankly punk early on was very multi-media, especially the Sex Pistols, whose manager tried to recreate Andy Warhol's 60's Velvet Underground, problem was none of them could play or write, John Lydon or Lou Reed? Clash were better experimenting with rap, reggae, and ska, but after Sandinista, they'd become part of that slack music industry they always hated. Its a inevitable price most bands pay in becoming successful, even with anti-establishment credentials, RATM, System.

Cheap Track has endured and still sound great live, but their image sold because the band seemed an odd fit. Besides Robin Zander, the band didn't look your typical musicians and their guitarist looks more like a comedian all dressed up then that cryptic, all-conquering "rock god" Jimmy Page playing unimaginable solos most nights.

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Old 06-29-2010, 12:53 PM   #14
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Rush's Exit Stage Left has many songs that to me are better than the originals. Xanadu in particular.
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