And it occurred to me how perfectly timed that live album was. If they did a live album one tour sooner they'd have missed all the big Breakfast In America hits, if they did it one tour later they'd get a show from a band on the verge of breaking up with a set promoting one of their weaker albums.
So I was thinking about what other acts put out live albums at just the right moment.
Deep Purple's Made in Japan is a perfect example of a well timed live album. The band is at their peak in their best lineup but they hadn't yet made "Who Do We Think We Are" either so there's none of the weaker tracks on there dragging the set down.
Rush's first seveal live albums are really well timed. The first one captures their early era pretty much as well as it ever could be. the 2nd one is right before they went all in on the synths showing their prog side at its best. plus since the 1st one comes right before A Farewell To Kings and the 2nd one is far enough away from it we're spared a live version of "Cygnus X-1".
I'd put forth that several classic live records just ever so slightly miss the mark.
Yessongs for instance was well timed in regards to the point in the band's career, but lineup-wise it just missed out on being a full live album with both Bruford and Wakeman. The Fragile tour would have been the ideal timing IMO.
Genesis Live is a similar case. It's the right lineup in their prime, but the Selling England tour would have been the ideal time for their show to be recorded as far as the setlist goes. Of course that was rectified with archival releases.
On the other hand with Genesis I'd say that Seconds Out was pretty well timed giving us a good representation of the shortlived Collins-led prog years right before they lost Hackett. The Trick tour might have been better choice than the Wind tour, but there's only one Wind song anyway so that didn't make much of a difference.
What do you guys think?