The era of the live album truly got underway with the blockbuster success of Frampton Comes Alive in 1976; in its wake, most every major rock act released a live set. But five landmark live albums hit the shelves four years earlier.
Live Cream Volume II – Cream broke up in 1968, with Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker all going on to other high-profile projects. This posthumous document captured their thrilling onstage dynamics.
The Mothers – Just Another Band from L.A. – Frank Zappa’s band had been through wholesale lineup changes by this point, but this uproarious set captured the peak of the “Flo and Eddie’ (ex-Turtles Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman) era band in all its mischievous glory.
Slade Alive! – A massive hit in the band’s native U.K. this live release from the workmanlike hard rock quartet was their first release to make the charts in the U.S., laying the groundwork for a succession of American tours, sharing bills with Aerosmith, Black Sabbath and ZZ Top.
Mountain Live – Released only five months after Flowers of Evil (half of which was recorded live) this Long Island hard rock outfit’s double live LP featured a 17-plus minute reading of their popular “Nantucket Sleighride.”
Procol Harum Live: In Concert with The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra – Rock band and orchestra collaborations onstage are commonplace today, but in 1972 this was an edgy, groundbreaking (and very successful) experiment.
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4500-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he taught a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.