Six outstanding live hard rock albums from the 1990s

It’s another great decade for live albums. Here are six that will rock your world, with a couple extra that you might want to miss out.
AC/DC's Angus Young
AC/DC's Angus Young / Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/GettyImages
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How well do you recall the live albums of the 1990s? There were some amazing albums released back then with plenty of hard rock artists strutting their stuff. The decade certainly had a well-trodden path to follow with all the very successful live music which came out in the 1970s and 1980s.

Of course by then, with the success of those live albums in earlier years, record labels and artists were well aware of the success such releases could bring. That led to much scouting through old tapes and recordings to see what was available. Which in turn saw quite a few live albums released in the 1990s, but where the actual recordings were made many years earlier. And why not if they’re good enough to be heard? 

Then we had a new concept, stripped back and unplugged live albums. MTV Unplugged started in 1989 but peaked in the 1990s with some amazing albums across a range of artists, including many rock bands. I’ve written about the MTV Unplugged albums separately so I won’t include any from that series on this particular list. 

Six of the best live hard rock albums from the 1990s

Sure, leaving out the MTV Unplugged series means a few top artists are missing here. But the quality of live hard rock albums in the 1990s is still very strong and it’s not a hard task to find plenty of others that count among the best of the decade. So here are six that I’d highly recommend you have a listen to if you haven’t done so yet or recently.  There are also an extra couple of connected albums mentioned which are better avoided.

Pearl Jam - Live On Two Legs (1998)

Here’s another band where bootlegs of concerts were very common, but with strong demand for an official live album. Live On Two Legs was their first live album to meet that gap. Released in 1998 it was taken from various gigs on their summer tour that same year across North America. 

Whoever was responsible for selecting the songs to include deserves an award. This has a terrific combination of anthems and old and new tunes. There are some great jam sessions across the songs plus some more laid-back numbers among the grunge and rock. Pearl Jam and the producers definitely captured the experience of seeing the band live, even if it is taken from multiple shows. Have a listen to the singalong on “Better Man”, you’ll be joining in soon enough as if you were there.

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