I keep seeing this list on Socials and I thought I would give it my best shot.  NOT easy of course, but here I go.  My 5 albums I can’t live without and WHY!

  1. Earth, Wind & Fire | Gratitude – It came out in 1975.  It was a double album and three sides were live and one side studio cuts.  I bought the cassette when it first came out so I could play it in the car.  I got the vinyl quickly after so I could crank it up in my bedroom.  I love so many EWF albums, but this one is special.  I still play it to this day at least once every couple months.  It’s simply perfect.
  2. Rufus & Chaka Khan | Stompin’ at the Savoy – Live – Yes, another LIVE album!!  I love all Rufus albums with Chaka.  They could do no wrong.  Masterjam could be here if I couldn’t do another live album.  Every song is a classic.  The band was so tight and Chaka just kills the live performances.  Like EWF this album was three sides live and one side studio.  The studio side dropped the classic Ain’t Nobody!!  I was lucky to see them live in 1980 twice at the Circle Star Theatre in San Carlos and both shows were perfect!!!  I saw Chaka’s first solo tour in 1978 as well.
  3. Return to Forever | Romantic Warrior – What can I say?  If you asked me what is Jazz Fusion?  I would tell you to listen to this album.  Perfect in every way!  This was RTF’s Sgt. Peppers album and they were he Fab Four of Jazz Fusion.  I love and I mean LOVE this album to this day!  My first concert was seeing them on April 23rd, 1976 at the Berkeley Community Theatre!!  The first concert I show was later in December of 1976 at the same theatre with Stanley Clarke’s solo band opening for Herbie Hancock.  YES!!!
  4. Talking Heads | Stop Making Sense – How is this on my list when I’ve never seen them in person.  Yes, I did see the movie a couple hundred times and it only pisses me off cuz I did NOT see them live.  Ugh!  The movie is perfect, the album is perfect, the performance is perfect and most of all the band is perfect!!  If you haven’t seen the movie do NOT talk to me about music ever!!  Just go away!!  I love the band, but it’s the addition of Alex Weir (guitar), Bernie Worrell (keyboards), Lynn Mabry (vocals), Edna Holt (vocals) and Steve Scales (percussion) that take the music & band to the next level.  Just get off your ass and watch the movie.  I feel it’s the greatest movie of a bands live performance ever!!  I listen to the album ALL the time.  Seriously ALL the time. 
  5. Alice in Chains | MTV Unplugged – I like Pearl Jam’s and Nirvana’s unplugged a lot, but this one is extra special.  From the opening song Nutshell to the last song Killer in Me it’s perfect.  The band was perfect and Layne’s performance is magical even though he was struggling.  I loved the band and I love this album out of ALL the my Grunge days.  I was lucky to see them live in 1991 a couple times, but not unplugged.  Every time I listen to this album it brings back so many great, crazy and sad memories about 1991.  It really pulls me!  I’m gonna go listen to it now!!

I’m surprised that 4 out of the 5 are live albums, but at the same time, not surprised.  I’ve always loved live performances on albums and in person.  I’m curious, what do you think of my list?