Live albums give artists the chance to bring a concert experience directly into their fans' homes. Studio efforts thrive on multiple takes, a controlled environment and a directive toward perfection. In contrast, live releases often incorporate improvisation, jam sessions and a general feeling that anything can happen – even though a lot of thought does go into song selection.

Some artists have used concert recordings to launch their careers. Such was the case for Peter Frampton, who turned Frampton Comes Alive into a springboard for success. In other cases, a strong live release has reinvigorating a sagging career, as Johnny Cash did with At Folsom Prison. And then there are instances when a live effort marked a major turning point for a band, as when Live Bullet took Bob Seger from local Detroit fandom to worldwide fame. Whatever the circumstances surrounding these releases, all the best live albums achieve one thing: capturing an artist in a distinct moment of their career.

We pored through the archives to come up with this list of the most awesome live album from every rock legend. The sub-genres include folk, punk, metal and everything in between. Some of these concert recordings sold millions of copies, while others received little fanfare. Still, they remain the best of the best ...