Are live albums dead?

Once in a while I see someone posting regrets that the day of the live album has passed. Most live recordings today are of a DVD to accompany a group’s current studio-recorded release. But although they may be fewer than in the glory days of the 60s and 70s, live recordings of new songs certainly have not been consigned to the dust bin of Southern Gospel history.

Several groups have recorded landmark live albums since the turn of the century. I am sure that several others are worthy, but these three in particular come to mind:

  • Greater Vision – Live at First Baptist Atlanta. I consider this the quintessential live album for a group with their style. Their style is not the style of the Kingsmen or Happy Goodmans, or of Gold City, but within their fully orchestrated / big ballad style this stands head and shoulders above the pack.
  • Brian Free & Assurance – Live in New York City. This album redefined the group’s sound through one of their career hits, “Long as I Got King Jesus.”
  • Legacy Five – Live in Music City. The full impact of this album will not be known until after NQC, but coupling Roger Bennett’s final Legacy Five project with a song selection that includes songs like “Truth is Marching On” and “I Have Been Changed” stands a chance of propelling the album or group to several Fan Awards this year.

Though the days of a live album with (just) a live band accompaniment may be mostly past, reports of the live album’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.


For more about —and other Southern Gospel news and commentary—follow our RSS feed or sign up for our email updates!

2 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. I would love to hear the Kingsmen do another Live CD…they did so many great live albums in the past.

  2. Generally, live albums are a thing of the past, but some rare gems exist today.
    Yes, the Kingsmen should have another live album (with just the band) come out soon. But I think that it just wouldn’t be the same without Hamill. Unless they bring him on for some speciallity songs.
    I heard “I Have Been Changed” for the first time a few days ago. I see why Daniel stands as a strong supporter of it- it’s GREAT. The best song they had since “He Forgets” and “I Stand Redeemed”, and it just may supass those in popularity if it is marketed and presented properly