Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Popular and Successful Live Albums

Steven Saslow spent more than a decade as chief investment officer for the Blackstone Relative Value Fund, managing director for BAAM, and a consultant for Blackstone. Now semi-retired from Blackstone, Steven Saslow enjoys attending theater performances and listening to live music.

Live music, by definition, is something that every fan must experience to truly understand. However, a number of popular bands have recorded special performances and entire tours in order to release live albums. In some cases, these albums have gone on to become more popular than the artist’s studio works. Peter Frampton’s Frampton Comes Alive!, for example, sold millions of records throughout the mid-to late 1970s, spending nearly 100 weeks on the Billboard record charts.

Other popular live records come from live performance series, such as the MTV Unplugged catalog. Dozens of internationally recognized musicians have stripped down their music for an acoustic MTV Unplugged performance, though few shows have been praised as much as Nirvana’s 1993 concert. Known for a loud, abrasive style of rock, the Unplugged concert saw Nirvana adopt a softer sound, covering the likes of David Bowie and Lead Belly. Nirvana Unplugged has sold more than 25 million copies to date, making it the band’s second most successful release.

Finally, live albums can serve to commemorate special performances. In 2009, Coheed and Cambria released a four-disc live album following their special Neverender tour. Recorded over multiple nights at the Terminal 5 Club in New York City, the album contains performances of the band’s first four albums from start to finish.