Seven live albums from the 1970s that should be ignored

If you want to hear the best live albums from the 1970s, you’ll need to know which others you can skip past.
These live albums from the 1970s you can just ignore.
These live albums from the 1970s you can just ignore. / Tom Hill/GettyImages
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 Two major names with disappointing live albums

Bob Dylan - At Budokan

When it comes to major artists Bob Dylan is surely one of the biggest. At Budokan caught Bob Dylan on his world tour in Japan in early 1978. Dylan has admitted he needed the high earning tour for a financial boost after an expensive divorce from his wife Sara the previous year.

While the album does feature many of Dylan’s hit songs, the arrangements for the live versions are quite different. They are perhaps a bit more toned down from the originals. The band he had with him included woodwind instruments and I have to say there’s way too much flute on the record. It becomes quite intrusive rather than in the background. 

Although a fresh version of a song on a live album can be fun, it’s also not what the fans want to hear. These newer versions fall quite flat, and, notably, his tour drew media references to being Las Vegas style. That's too glitzy for the gritty Dylan. He faced a lot of criticism for At Budokan and his reasons behind the album and performances. Ultimately, if you want a live album from Dylan, this isn't where to start. 

Lou Reed - Live: Take No Prisoners

This is a weird album from 1978. The raw, dangerous, and lively Lou Reed should be a plus for a live record. As Reed himself mentions at one point he has Bruce Springsteen in the audience for the recording. That's no great plus, either.

Reed is very talkative throughout, and that can be fun at a gig. It’s not what you buy a live record for though. He does get into a few songs, but interrupts them and doesn't cover many through from start to finish. There are a few rants and not enough songs, it’s an insight into Reed, but a frustrating slice of his musical abilities.