Ten absolutely stunning live albums from the 1970s

What would be in your ten best live albums from the 1970s? There are so many contenders to choose from.

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The Who - Live At Leeds

This album was released in May 1970. It's quite remarkable that after so many years, I saw The Who live last summer. Of course, they were missing a couple of original members but were still in incredible form. 

Live At Leeds was the original four, possibly at a live peak. They'd been busy touring their rock opera, Tommy. But this album offered more from their live set. It came out looking and sounding like an official bootleg. The cover, the notes, the song selection, and leaving in background noise gave it that rogue quality. 

It wasn’t crammed with hits, but had a rocking extended jam version of “My Generation” and a short burst of “Substitute”, along with other songs and covers. The authentic sound, the crackle of the energy, and the cables at times, help this one rank as one of the best live albums too.

Ramones - It’s Alive

The Ramones didn't have huge commercial success with their albums, and this one isn't any different. But that doesn't make them any less of a great punk rock band. Their live shows were usually where the real interest lay, so a live album makes great sense. 

It’s Alive was recorded at the Rainbow Theatre, London on New Year's Eve, December 1977. Coming at the end of their UK tour that year, the recording marked another turning point.  It was their last album with all four original Ramones members, Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee, and Tommy. 

The band blitzed their way through 28 songs for the album. All short, all-powerful, all-punky Ramones songs were selected from their first three albums and played at their best. It was peak punk for sure, the album stands as another terrific example of catching a band live at their prime. 

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