Ten brilliant live albums from the 1970s

Was the 1970s the best ever decade for live music albums? Here are ten that make a strong case for that accolade.
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Yes - Yessongs 

You might question whether the elaborate elements of prog rock and the extended songs and solos it tends to bring are quite right for a live album. But there's enough evidence to suggest prog rock live on an album can be a very good thing. 

Yessongs from Yes, released in 1973, is an excellent example of where it works very well. Yes managed to extend it over a triple album giving plenty of room for their songs to spread out. They also made it accessible for buyers with the band insisting on a low sale price for the three discs and setting up a lower royalty payment to make that happen. As a buyer at a bargain price back then I’ll say thank you again now for that approach. 

The band went through many lineup changes in their time. Hardcore fans will argue about which is the classic lineup for Yes. The one for Yessongs is very close to that if not a direct hit. The album had Jon Anderson's vocals, Steve Howe on guitar, Chris Squire on bass, and Bill Bruford on drums for two tracks and Alan White for eight.  Rick Wakeman was featured on keyboards (and capes!) having just joined the band. That's my classic Yes lineup anyway.

The album is a good mix of their top songs at the time plus live favorites and some that were less heard then. There was space for Wakeman's keyboard work and Howe’s intricate guitar, not to mention the booming bass from Squire. I recall feeling that bass thumping on my chest when I saw them live a few years after this came out. The album also left room for improvisation when playing live and for some amazing solos along the way. 

Once again, there are some critics of the production sound. The album, like the band lineup, is classic Yes. It’s an excellent live album of its time.