Eight superb live albums released in the 1990s

There were some superb live albums released in the 1990s. Some of the best ones came from recordings made many years earlier.
Paul Simenon of the Clash
Paul Simenon of the Clash / Chris Moorhouse/GettyImages
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Queen - Live at Wembley '86

This 1992 album release doesn’t look as far back as some of the other albums listed here. It does fit the criteria well overall though. It’s very definitely capturing Queen, one of the top rock bands ever, and very much still at a peak performance level. Their short Live Aid set the previous year at Wembley is hailed as one of the best live rock shows. For this double album, the band has returned to the stadium in London and very much delivered again.

The band had a real boost from Live Aid which they followed up with a brilliant new album A Kind Of Magic in June 1986 and The Magic Tour, which included two sell-out July dates at Wembley Stadium. The second night there on July 12 was recorded for this album. For those who remember such things, there was a VHS video of the show released in 1990, updated onto DVD in 2003.

But it’s the album that takes our focus. Sometimes live albums are overproduced or edited too much to remove the reality of a live show. This one crackles with the atmosphere and has all the anticipation of the space between songs. All the band is in fine rocking form here, especially Freddie Mercury. You can almost hear his swagger and posturing around the stage, you can hear it in his brilliant voice. The end of “A Kind Of Magic” has his trademark “Ay-oh” call out with the crowd to enjoy and remember too.

Next. Brilliant live albums from the 1980s. Brilliant live albums from the 1980s. dark

The two discs have a total of 28 songs, crammed with so many hits but also with a short rock roll segment including a blast of “Tutti Frutti” and then later in the show Mercury having fun on “Big Spender”. A stunning “We Are The Champion”  closes the show before the band’s version of the UK national anthem. It’s a magical night, a brilliant album, and one of the best live records of all time.

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