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Four classic rock records that could stand an in-concert revival

zz topA full evening of "Eliminator" would be impossible to resist. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

By Aaron Leitko

Playing a concert consisting of your band's best-loved record in its entirety is a great way to sell some extra tickets. At least, it has been for "younger" artists -- Sonic Youth, Built to Spill, Snoop Dogg, among many others, have all had a crack at it. Here on Click Track, we think it's a bit of a sham. But we might feel differently if the album in question was, say, "Led Zeppelin IV."

Classic acts have been slow to pick up the trend, though. Possibly because they have more money and thus, less incentive. But recently, a few dino-rockers have started to come around. Bruce Springsteen and Van Morrison have both given in, performing "Born to Run" and "Astral Weeks," respectively. CDs aren't selling the way they used to, you know. And there just aren't as many laser-light shows left out there to keep the music alive.

Come October 10th, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters will visit the Verizon center to perform the band's epic 1979 double-album, "The Wall." Here are four more classic rock records that could stand an in-concert revival by whichever band members are still civil enough stand on stage with one another.

Genesis, "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway"
This almost happened, actually. Back in 2004 Phil Collins and company tried to fire-up a tour centered around the group's 1974 prog-rock masterpiece, but Peter Gabriel -- who was the group's lead singer through the early '70s -- backed out. Who needs him, though? What's Tool TOOL's Maynard James Keenan up to these days?

Queen, "A Night at the Opera"
Queen's original lead singer, Freddie Mercury, died in 1991, but the band has been on-and-off the road since 2005 with Bad Company frontman Paul Rodgers. Maybe an album-themed tour would help freshen up the quasi-reunion thing a bit. Get Trans Siberian Orchestra's people on the phone about the accompanying light show.

Led Zeppelin, "IV"
Or whatever it's called -- "Zoso" or "Four Symbols." What really matters is that "Stairway to Heaven" closes side A. It's the record that was made for a mega-dome revival, if not turned into its own Broadway musical or theme park ride. Furthermore, Led Zeppelin already reunited, if only for one show, back in 2007. There's no excuse.

ZZ Top, "Eliminator"
When the '80s dawned, arena rockers did their best to incorporate new-fangled studio-gear -- i.e. synthesizers and drum machines. "Eliminator" stands out among these efforts, because it doesn't suck. "Legs," "Under Pressure," "Sharp Dressed Man," and "Gimmee All Your Lovin" were all huge singles. For God's sake, even "TV Dinners" managed to chart. Give the people a chance to fully appreciate the Gibbons brother's visionary statement on blooze-technology.

By Aaron Leitko  | September 29, 2010; 1:35 PM ET
Categories:  Lists  | Tags:  Bad Company, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Paul Rodgers, Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, Steely Dan, Tool, the Wall  
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Exile on Main Street. With plenty of guest musicians & vocalists to help out. In fact, I propose that Click Track identify at least one guest artist per album track. Could be a fun exercise.

Posted by: Miles_Standish_Proud | September 29, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Well, in the last year Maynard has..

-Toured twice with TOOL
-Started work on a new TOOL album
-Toured with his Puscifier side project
-done a tour with his wine making movie
-Restarted A Perfect Circle

So I think he's a bit busy.

Also, there was a Led Zepplin themed roller coaster at the old Hard Rock Park down in Myrtle Beach for a year. Big looping coaster with a Led Zepplin soundtrack. Park's unfortunately closed right now due to managerial incompetence.

Posted by: EricS2 | September 29, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I would much rather hear Pink Flyod's "Wish You Were Here" done in it's entirety. Waters has been touring "The Wall" for years, this is just the first year he's coupled it with a full stage show. Gilmour and the rest of the band performed all of "Dark Side of the Moon" on their last tour.

Rush has toured "2112" in the past, and this past summer toured with "Moving Pictures" in its entirety.

The Genesis tour a few years ago actually did have quite a few numbers from "Lamb Lies" sans Gabriel including "The Cage," "Carpet Crawlers," and the title track.

To say classic artists are ignoring this moneymaking proposition is a bunch of hoey. It's clear the writer is just looking for specific bands to tour. Heck, I'd love it if Led Zeppelin would actually tour, but despite all of the rumors, speculation, and almosts, it appears to be the biggest pipe dream in the music world. Plant keeps touring on his own, and now Jones has found something to keep him busy aside from the London Philharmonic, Them Crooked Vultures. Meanwhile Jimmy Page is sitting at home just waiting for the London Olympics hoping that the other two will actually have some time to talk to him about playing the opening or closing ceremonies.

There are a couple albums I would like to see done in their entirety live...

R.E.M. "Out of Time"
Police "Ghost in the Machine" (not gonna happen)
The Who "Tommy"
U2 "War"

Posted by: Russtinator | September 29, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"Waters has been touring "The Wall" for years"

Really? Name one time other than the Live in Berlin concert in 1990. He did do Dark Side of the Moon live as well in 2006-2007, but his current tour is the first tour of the Wall since 1980.

Posted by: Hemisphire | September 29, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

His tours have always included big chunks of "The Wall." Not necessarily the album in its entirety and staged theatrically, but he played all of side 3 on his "Dark Side" tour, and played most of the album during his 1999 "In The Flesh" tour.

Posted by: Russtinator | September 29, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

RUSH has NEVER played the entire "2112" album. Not even when it was released. Yes, they play "Overture" and "Temples of Syrinx" on just about every tour...but NEVER the complete album. The complete 1st side, maybe, but not the complete album.

This summer was the 1st time they've EVER played the entire "Moving Pictures" album. It was amazing!

Possibly the best rock band of all time.

(Oh shut up! If you're not a fan, then you don't get it. I said possibly, not definitely.)

Posted by: Bebunk | September 29, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Rush played the entire "2112" album on the second leg of the "Test for Echo" tour in celebration of the "20th anniversary" and release of a remastered version of the album in 1997. They played at Nissan Pavilion (now Jiffy Lube Live), and played EVERY track on the album sequentially, including the entire "2112" suite, "Passage to Bangkok," "Twilight Zone," "Lessons," "Tears," and "Something for Nothing." I guess you missed that show.

It is true that they typically only play the Overture and "Temples of Syrinx" during their shows, but do occassionally slap on the "Grand Finalle," which is present on the "R:30" live album and DVD from the 30th Anniversary Tour.

Posted by: Russtinator | September 30, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

What if Primal Scream did Screamadelica ... oh wait, they are.

Of the four suggested, ZZ Top would be the most enticing for my concert $$$ (especially since all the band members are alive).

Posted by: M__N | September 30, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

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