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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Rush - Exit Stage Left

Exit Stage Left from Rush has a lot going for it as a live album in terms of preparation, production, and performances.  Released in October 1981 the band trio of Neil Peart, Geddy Lee, and Alex Lifeson had taken particular care in selecting the right blend of songs and recordings for the album. 

That includes a whole second side of the double disc from The Apollo, Glasgow, well-known for its great audiences.  The crowd comes across very well on the record, adding nicely to the live performances. The remainder of the three sides was recorded in Montreal, as part of the tour for their prior album Moving Pictures

The album captures the band at its best and often sounds even more powerful live than on their studio albums. Quite a feat for a three-man group. They rock up quite a storm on the record, building an amazing wall of sounds at times. 

Many of the songs, largely drawn from their previous four albums, benefit from a live adaptation, extended intro, or a variation on instruments used over the studio versions. Which in turn adds to the interest in the live album for Rush fans. It's a great summary of their recent work at that point in time. The album hit platinum status and was a top ten hit in the US, UK, and their Canadian homeland.

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