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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Cheap Trick - At Budokan

This album was perhaps an unexpected success. Certainly to the extent it has achieved anyway. That's not questioning the quality of the album by any means. It's a great record that became a surprise runaway hit.

Cheap Trick was another good touring band with limited record success. Signed to Columbia Records a quirk in rights there allowed the Japanese division to release live versions of local shows. So this album started as low budget, Japan-based version of the band's gigs at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo back in 1978.

News of the record spread gradually and the record started appearing as an import in the US. It went the equivalent of viral but before the internet and social media were a thing. As sales in Japan and elsewhere started to grow, a US release was put in place for 1979. 

The band's simple punk-rooted style songs matched with the slightly screamy and frenzied Japanese crowd was a neat mix. That gave the record an added edge and energy. You could feel the live atmosphere oozing out of the tracks. 

Have a listen above to “I Want You To Want Me” one of the top and best-known tracks from the album. It's a great live sound and a simple catchy song to stick in your memory. The album broke Cheap Trick to the mainstream and brought commercial success for them.