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5 Artists Who Debuted With Live Albums: Dave Matthews Band, Jane's Addiction, And More

by Joey DeGroot   Sep 15, 2014 11:51 AM EDT

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If an artist decides to record a live album at all, it's usually released at least a few years into their career, after they're established enough to warrant interest in how their live performances sound. However, these five artists took a more unusual route by actually debuting with live albums.

1. MC5 - Kick Out The Jams (1969)

One of the most important albums in the development of hard rock and punk is MC5's 1969 debut album Kick Out The Jams, which was recorded live in October 1968 over the course of two concerts in the band's native Detroit. Though MC5 would follow it up with two acclaimed studio albums, neither proved to be as monumental or influential as Kick Out The Jams.

2. Hüsker Dü - Land Speed Record (1981)

Though they would later move away from punk towards a more melodic, pop-influenced sound, Hüsker Dü was known early on as one of the fastest and most blistering hardcore punk bands in America. The band's furious early sound is captured on the live album Land Speed Record, which was their first full-length release.

3. Jane's Addiction - Jane's Addiction (1987)

It's hard to believe that a band as weird as Jane's Addiction, who was a key component in the popularization of alternative rock, first came to prominence in Los Angeles at the height of the city's hair metal scene. Instead of debuting with a proper studio album, Jane's Addiction decided a live album would most accurately capture their energy as a band, and recorded 1987's Jane's Addiction at L.A.'s legendary Roxy club in one night.

4. Dave Matthews Band - Remember Two Things (1993)

While some bands like to include live tracks within their studio albums, Dave Matthews Band did just the opposite with their first full-length Remember Two Things, which the band self-released in 1993. The 10-track album consists of eight live recordings, with just two studio recordings. The band's proper studio debut, Under the Table and Dreaming, was released in 1994.

5. Jeff Buckley - Live At Sin-é (1993)

Though Jeff Buckley released just one full-length album during his short lifetime, he also released three EPs, including his 1993 debut release Live at Sin-é, a live recording of Buckley performing solo at Manhattan's Sin-é coffeehouse. The original EP contains just four tracks (two of which, "Mojo Pin" and "Eternal Life" were later re-recorded in the studio for his album Grace), but was re-released in 2003 as a two-disc, 47-track set.

Who are some other artists that debuted with live albums? Let us know down in the comments section!

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