Ten fantastic live albums from the 1980s

Ten records that deserve to be named among the best live albums of the 1980s.

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Simon & Garfunkel - The Concert In Central Park

This album had a lot going for it. Half a million people turned up to a free benefit concert in September 1981 at New York’s Central Park. That’s already a pretty big event. Add in that it marked the reunion of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, back on stage and playing together again after ten years apart. 

Some people wondered if the pair would reunite and continue working together. Others weren't sure they'd even make it through the concert given the tension and arguments during three weeks of rehearsals. Simon referred to the sessions as miserable. They did go on a world tour in 1982 but by then were barely speaking to each other and broke up again soon afterwards. 

The concert itself and this record were magical. The duo performed their joint work and did some solo songs too. It still seems a shame that “Bridge Over Troubled Water” was performed by Garfunkel as one of his three solo numbers rather than as a duo. The encore from them both included a superb version of “Sound Of Silence” which is rather special to see and hear.

Putting the tensions aside, they gave us great harmonies, great songs, and despite their own later reservations, great voices too. It's one of those albums marking a momentous time and doing so very well. The album, released a few months after in February 1982 went double platinum and sold well around the world