There wasn’t a live album officially released during the lifetime of the band. However, Mirror Man was recorded live (albeit in the studio) and some shows were recorded with a view to releasing an album – the 1974 London and 1981 Reseda shows for example – but nothing official came of it.

Thirty two years after the event Virgin finally decided to release their recording of the Drury Lane, London show of 1974.

Otherwise the closest we have to official live albums are the Rhino release of the 1978 My Father’s Place show or the 2006 release of Amsterdam ’80 which had both been recorded for a radio broadcast. Apart from that there are only a few ‘grey’ releases (listed below) … and, of course, the bootlegs

Magneticism – The Best Of Captain Beefheart & His Magic Bands Live 72-81

Career-spanning live compilation of two other live compilations plus additional tracks.

Recorded: 1972-81
Released: 2009
See full Magneticism info

Live London ’74

The complete recording is at long last released by Virgin.

Recorded: 1974
Released: 2006
See full Live London ’74 info

Amsterdam ’80

Great sounding release of most of this show at the Paradiso.

Recorded: 1980
Released: 2006
See full Amsterdam ’80 info

Railroadism – Live in the US 72-81

Career-spanning live compilation.

Recorded: 1972-81
Released: 2003
See full Railroadism info

Magnetic Hands – Live in the UK 72-80

Career-spanning live compilation.

Recorded: 1972-80
Released: 2002
See full Magnetic Hands info

I’m Going To Do What I Wanna Do: Live At My Father’s Place 1978

Complete and splendidly packaged limited edition of a great show.

Recorded: 1978
Released: 2000
See full I’m Going To Do What I Wanna Do info

London 1974

Horrible live recording of the Tragic Band.

Recorded: 1974
Released: 1994
See full London 1974 info

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