I want to share a story with you and get your opinion as well. Today I found an album online that I hadn’t heard since my university days and right away, it brought back some really fond memories. Without hesitation, I downloaded it and watched as it added itself to the queue on my smartphone. As soon as it was finished downloading, I hit play, turned up the volume on my wireless speakers and prepared myself for sheer musical bliss.
What I got instead was a horrible rendition of an old favourite of mine! Has it really been that long? Could I have heard it differently in my younger days? This was a dilemma; I just paid good money for bad singing and a lot of crowd noise. Then it struck me! That was it. The off key singing, the screaming crowd; I had just purchased and downloaded a live album of one of the greatest bands of all time!
Why is this such a problem? I don’t like the sound of live music, preferring studio recordings over the live stuff any day. To me, and a lot of others, a studio recording is music in its purest sense. You don’t have the screaming fans, the tired singer struggling to finish a show and there are none of those impromptu guitar solos that are so common on live recordings.
Too Much Noise?
Say what you want about how a live performance lets you “feel” the emotion and the energy of the show. I can see your point, but it falls upon deaf ears with me. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy going to a live show and watching my favourite artist belt out the tunes that make them famous. But if I am going to spend my hard-earned money on music to listen to at home on my Jukebox, it has to be a studio recording or nothing. I believe in the theatre of the mind, but I can make my own rock show without all of the excess screaming and shouting of the fans.
A Fluid Combination
Studio recordings are a much cleaner medium for the ears and for the mind. They are scripted and the musician is focused on the lyrics and the music, not the crowd in front of them. A studio recording is usually done as separate tracks that, when combined, make an album that flows well together. Most live albums are made up of a variety of concert venues making each song sound different acoustically than the last.
I like studio recordings and there are a great many people that would argue with me. What’s your opinion? Do you like live music with all of the added fanfare, or are you a purist and like to hear the music for what it is? Leave a comment and let us know.