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Thread: Live or Studio?

  1. #1
    Border Desperado cosec3791's Avatar
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    Default Live or Studio?

    Now this should be interesting. As many of us can see, we are quite divisive when it comes to preferring live or studio. So, in which guise you prefer them in? With the perfection of studio, or raw and real while live? Also tell why you think so! And thanks Delilah for the idea of a new thread!

    Now, my opinion is, I prefer them live WAY more than in studio. I am a nitpicker of audio based details. I noticed some very cool nuances they got in live performances, which to me, set them apart from studio versions by quite a lot. They can be so many things. Here are some differences:

    1) Witchy Woman with its blues intro, esp. with Walsh and Felder. And they way they end it, SO EPIC!
    2) Take It Easy can become quite different when live. I love when it is all electric, which gives it more edge. Another difference is an improvized solo at the end (both by Bernie and Walsh) as well as no banjo while the solo is there (I feel it is not so good)
    3) Some songs feel way cooler, rocking and more alive without acoustic guitar when done live, like Earlybird and Certain Kind of Fool
    4) Desperado is so much better live (to me again). Henley became much more courageous when singing it, with no hesitancy, and the brief electric guitar added by Felder later on from the One of These Nights tour with Walsh is the cherry on top!
    5) Doolin Dalton and reprises have much more depth and connection when done live than in the album. I particularly adore the OOTN tour with Walsh arrangement, where Felder plays a lot of Les Paul, as a rocking substitute for a harmonica. And I really like the slide bridge between the Doolin Dalton/Desperado reprise, and it definitely sets the studio and live versions apart.
    6) Already Gone, I feel has a marked departure from studio, as Felder adds much more electric guitar than in the song
    7) BOML had a lot of variations in some live performances. Sometimes drums were added. An interesting example is 1975 Springfield where Dan Fogelberg plays piano
    Hotel California had some variations throughout with pick scraping by both Walsh and Felder (not obviously there in the studio version) and also different notes played. An extra edge is there, due to lead guitars being all electric.
    9) You Never Cry Like a Lover has different electric guitar parts compared to studio by Felder.
    10) The Long Run in some live versions had some awesome saxophone, which I felt made it way more authentically R&B.
    11) In the City has some marked rawness while live
    12) King of Hollywood has Felder's guitar being way more clear.

    These examples are to show that there are indeed some differences and they are not close to same.

    I also like these differences. Made the studio version pale in comparison. Also, I love the general rawness and imperfections occurring in live versions. Basically, the antithesis of why people like studio versions: perfection.

    That is what I don't really like too much. I like an imperfect, but brilliant live performance, which the Eagles deliver in spades.

    And lastly, I really like the different covers they do live. To me, it is a massive highlight of concerts. I love their Joe Walsh and James Gang covers a lot. They are so good, I personally feel there is something inadequate when he performs his songs solo.

    BTW, this is not an attacking post or anything. Just my humble opinion. And sorry for the SUPER LONG paragraph.
    The chemistry... nuff said

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    Default Re: Live or Studio?

    A couple of points to the live edge is just stuff like the following little things.
    1. Tequilla Sunrise extra verse....love that.
    2. In the City....HOTE Walsh solo is amazing.
    3. well, shake it make it, take it Easy....love that ending.

  3. #3
    Stuck on the Border Delilah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Live or Studio?

    You’re welcome, cosec3791.

    I think the studio versions are great and I probably listen to them more than live versions.

    However like you, I prefer live versions that do show some improvisations and imperfections to “live” versions that have been doctored up in the studio or sound note for note like the albums.

    That’s probably why I just love those early live concert bootlegs...the band was so lively and energetic. They played those long instrumental jams on songs like Tryin and Chug All Night, which is an improvement over the studio versions. Glenn would really tear it up on guitar and even Henley sounds like a bonafide rock drummer. Then when Felder joined they really upped the rock vibe. By the time HC was released, the spontaneity seemed to dissipate to a degree and the band seemed more concerned with image and perfection. Gone were those long instrumental jams and chatty dialogue with the audience. Of course they still made mistakes and tried some things differently. e.g. 1976 Houston concert.

    The problem with the early bootlegs besides availability is the sound quality, which is often poor. The rare live version of “Oh Darling/ Wait and See” is a treasure but I do wish it was a better recording. Same for “Georgia Peach.” It’s almost a cruel irony that the best-sounding bootlegs are from the band’s last decade or so, when they played it safe just like the albums and half the sound is coming from backing musicians.

    Take it to the limit, one more time.

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    Default Re: Live or Studio?

    Delilah, I could not agree with you more about the quality of those early bootlegs. I saw many of those 70s shows and there definitely was a looseness and even some recklessness that was gone by the end of 1976. I wish there were some great stereo recordings from back then, but I haven't found any. The closest thing I've come across to that would the four song California Jam set which sounds really good, especially for that time. I own a number of bootlegs and the performances are often legendary, but on many it's a challenge to sit with headphone and get maximum enjoyment from them due to the mostly inferior sound quality.

    As you put it, the more recent stuff sounds great, but the hunger just is long gone which is really a shame.

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    Border Desperado cosec3791's Avatar
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    Default Re: Live or Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by scottside View Post
    Delilah, I could not agree with you more about the quality of those early bootlegs. I saw many of those 70s shows and there definitely was a looseness and even some recklessness that was gone by the end of 1976. I wish there were some great stereo recordings from back then, but I haven't found any. The closest thing I've come across to that would the four song California Jam set which sounds really good, especially for that time. I own a number of bootlegs and the performances are often legendary, but on many it's a challenge to sit with headphone and get maximum enjoyment from them due to the mostly inferior sound quality.

    As you put it, the more recent stuff sounds great, but the hunger just is long gone which is really a shame.
    Can I just say: you are so f****** lucky to see them in the 70's! My favorite year is 1977, and you saw them doing TALA!!! ARGHHHH!!!

    And do you have any bootlegs from 1976-1979 which are interesting??? Surely they all can't be below a C+ right?
    The chemistry... nuff said

  6. #6
    Border Desperado cosec3791's Avatar
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    Red face Re: Live or Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by Delilah View Post
    You’re welcome, cosec3791.

    I think the studio versions are great and I probably listen to them more than live versions.

    However like you, I prefer live versions that do show some improvisations and imperfections to “live” versions that have been doctored up in the studio or sound note for note like the albums.

    That’s probably why I just love those early live concert bootlegs...the band was so lively and energetic. They played those long instrumental jams on songs like Tryin and Chug All Night, which is an improvement over the studio versions. Glenn would really tear it up on guitar and even Henley sounds like a bonafide rock drummer. Then when Felder joined they really upped the rock vibe. By the time HC was released, the spontaneity seemed to dissipate to a degree and the band seemed more concerned with image and perfection. Gone were those long instrumental jams and chatty dialogue with the audience. Of course they still made mistakes and tried some things differently. e.g. 1976 Houston concert.

    The problem with the early bootlegs besides availability is the sound quality, which is often poor. The rare live version of “Oh Darling/ Wait and See” is a treasure but I do wish it was a better recording. Same for “Georgia Peach.” It’s almost a cruel irony that the best-sounding bootlegs are from the band’s last decade or so, when they played it safe just like the albums and half the sound is coming from backing musicians.
    Yeah for most of you, the studio versions are which you listen to the most, as they are easily accessible. But for me, thankfully all my bootlegs are digital and some of then are offline, so I could listen to bootlegs in a place without internet. So I guess that explains it. Also there is a certain nostalgic connection to the studio version, as those are the versions most fans grew up with.

    Yeah, I definitely feel the 70's are the best decade of the Eagles. I'm usually not a country rock fan, but I really like the banjo jam Bernie has during Earlybird. Though I don't like Chug All Night too much tbh. Glenn did pretty well those times actually, but I still don't feel he is Walsh/Felder level. My personal favorite year of them live is a tie between 1977 and 1980. 1977 had a great setlist. Yeah, in TLR years and after, the improvized solos indeed reduced. Apparently, some of the songs with improvized guitar like Witchy Woman and Funk #49 still were played, though we don't have a bootleg with them in the setlist. Turn to Stone was somewhat disappointing in TLR tour when the Felder/Walsh solos were removed. But there are still songs with improv guitar in TLR tour, but they are way more subtle.

    Oh yeah, good recordings from the 70's are hard to find indeed. But being a millenial, I managed to adjust very well, which is surprising, considering my lowly age. Yeah, 1973 Holy Cross is good, not that interested though. Good stuff was done. They were pretty bold with the setlist, considering the year. However, I'd say in terms of quality of available bootlegs, HFO was the best. The last decade (the 2000's) had only one professional recording (2004 Melbourne). Everything else was audience recorded. Whereas 1994-96 had quite a few soundboards and a few pro shot videos as well floating around. Also, while I respect their talent, it is disappointing that a lot of the music is from backing musicians. That's another reason I like the 70's more. Just them doing their thing.

    And lastly, which is your favorite year of them? Mine is a tie between 1977 and 1980. 1977 because of some unique as hell setlists (though speculative of course), great form for the most part and great versions of some songs. And 1980 as quite a few setlists were pretty unique. Great form for the band, and the best thing is, there is concrete proof for uniqueness of setlists. Great quality bootlegs from 1980 as well.
    The chemistry... nuff said

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    Default Re: Live or Studio?

    Quote Originally Posted by cosec3791 View Post
    Can I just say: you are so f****** lucky to see them in the 70's! My favorite year is 1977, and you saw them doing TALA!!! ARGHHHH!!!

    And do you have any bootlegs from 1976-1979 which are interesting??? Surely they all can't be below a C+ right?
    We’ll be getting try and love again soon . Just need a 77-80 concert now that no one knows about 😂.

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