Which Classic Albums Most Deserve To Be Re-Imagined In A Live Setting?

noah | June 5, 2009 6:00 pm

Tomorrow I’ll be tripping down to Philadelphia to attend The Roots Picnic, an all-day affair masterminded by Jimmy Fallon’s sidemen (haha, jk guys) and featuring two sets by the band; TV On The Radio, Santigold, and Antibalas are also on the bill. But perhaps the most intriguing part of the day’s festivities will be the start-to-finish performance of Public Enemy’s It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back–yes, they’ve done it before, but this time, the musical duties will be handled by the Roots and Antibalas. This and the impending relaunch of Unplugged have made me wonder: What albums most deserve a live re-imagining, whether it’s the transformation of samples into band arrangements or the classic Unplugged treatment? I’ve actually been mulling over this question all day, and can’t think of anything off the top of my head–unless Freestyle’s Greatest Beats, Volume One counts. (It should!) After the jump, a few musical experts offer their suggestions. Please feel free to expand further, and if you’re going to the picnic, come say hello! Christopher R. Weingarten, Public Enemy sample expert / brevity exerciser: “Kylie.” (No specifics, although I would love to hear “2 Hearts” blown out by a big band.) Lucas Jensen, IMterviewer: “I generally don’t like that stuff, unplugged for the sake of, BUT I imagine that The Queen Is Dead would be great.” Amy Phillips, Pitchfork news editor: “Maybe Madonna’s Like A Prayer” Dan Gibson, All My Children blogger: “Paul’s Boutique, although that doesn’t make much sense logistically. I also would have really liked to hear Aquemini straight through with a band.” Tyler Coates, man about the Internet: “Maybe some of Jason Molina’s Songs: Ohia albums, but performed with the full band he has now.” The Roots Picnic [okayplayer.com]