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What Are the Best (and Worst) Live Albums of All Time?

A new Rolling Stone Now podcast episode discusses the history of live albums, and the making of the Who’s ‘Live at Leeds’

The Who - Roger Daltrey and Pete TownshendThe Who 'Live at Leeds' Concert, Leeds, Britain - Feb 1970

Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who 'Live at Leeds'

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On February 14th, 1970, the Who, in their post-Tommy prime, played a concert at the University of Leeds that engineer Bob Pridden captured on an eight-track recorder – it would form the basis for Live at Leeds, one of the most powerful live albums ever made. On the new episode of Rolling Stone Music Now, Pridden shares memories of recording that show and touring with the Who for decades, and then Rob Sheffield and Andy Greene join host Brian Hiatt to share their picks for the greatest live albums of all time, from B.B. King’s Live at the Regal to the J. Geils Band’s Blow Your Face Out. Along the way, Sheffield explains why Peter Frampton is the Plutarch of the the ’70s live double-LP, and the panel discusses why some songs (Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page,” for instance) only work in their live incarnations.

To hear the entire episode, press play below or download and subscribe on iTunes or Spotify.

Download and subscribe to our weekly podcast, Rolling Stone Music Now, hosted by Brian Hiatt, on iTunes or Spotify (or wherever you get your podcasts), and check out two years worth of episodes in the archive, including in-depth, career-spanning interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Halsey, Ice Cube, Neil Young, the National, Questlove, Julian Casablancas, Sheryl Crow, Johnny Marr, Scott Weiland, Alice Cooper, Fleetwood Mac, Elvis Costello, Donald Fagen, Phil Collins, Alicia Keys, Stephen Malkmus, Sebastian Bach, Tom Petty, Kelly Clarkson, Pete Townshend, Bob Seger, the Zombies, Gary Clark Jr. and many more – plus dozens of episodes featuring genre-spanning discussions, debates and explainers with Rolling Stone’s critics and reporters. Tune in every Friday at 1 p.m. ET to hear Rolling Stone Music Now broadcast live from SiriusXM’s studios on Volume, channel 106.

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