I don't think these polls make much, if any, sense. The proposal itself is preposterous: "What's the best
live album of all time
"? Who in his right mind can give an answer to this? The only possible answer comes from the fan base of each group, but then this is not that helpful in terms of evaluating the quality of the performances.
Kidding around with the idea of the best decade in the history of music, a quite funny thread, I answered "Neil Young".
Young's "Rust Never Sleeps" is considered one of popular music greatest albums by many maganizes and stuff. His "Time Fades Away" went gold, became quite legendary, even though it took years to be released on CD. All these, not to mention "Live Rust" and his "Unplugged", peaked at least about 20 in the charts.
One will rightly say: "Ah, Yara, and then there's Allman's Brothers "At Filmore East", one of the greatest popular music albums ever". And I'd agree with that too.
Then comes one and says: "Oh, how dare you don't mention Stones' Get Yer Ya Ya's Out? Are you out of your mind?", and I'd say: yes, you're right, quite a remarkable album.
Other guy, more bluntly, says: "Yara, you cunt, what about James Brown's Live at the Apollo or B.B King's live at the regal? Just because they were black?". And I'd agree that those became quite legendary too and are remarkable in their own way and that I certainly don't have anything against black people, which would bring my questioner to Jimi Hendrix's Woodstock and Band of Gypsis - and I'd say all right, you're spot on, who am I to question Hendrix? I love both albums.
Then comes a woman, she feels she's not well-represented, and says: "You bitch, Yara, don't you remember Janis Joplin's at her peak in Live at Winterland, 1968?", and I'd say: right, it's thrilling, no doubt.
Then come Romeo, and he's moaning: "You bastard, you forgot the very greatest live presentation ever, Dylan's concert at Albert Hall, 1966, legendary while unofficial and even more after it became an official release".
And I'd say: "Yes, who can top Dylan at Newport or Albert Hall? It's history in the making".
By the way, one would say, "do you know a music style called "Jazz", which is also popular music, isn't it? How dare you fail to mention Coltrane & Monk's playing together at the Carnegie?".
"Oh, yes, my dear", I'd say, "this is in fact one of my favorite live albums".
Then would the lady come back and say: "Well, and you, for sure, won't recognize Aretha's live at Filmore or Amazing Grace as relevant?", and yes, I'd say, very relevant indeed, infectious listening.
After being trashed by all kinds of people coming with great arguments to counter my defense of Wembley, I'd reply: "But, look at all this discussion, does it make any sense?", and then I'd get philosophical, yes, and I'd quote Cicero when he says that when different works of art attain such a level of excellence it's pointless to make comparisons - they're all the best in their own way. "I'm not willing to compare Mozart and Beethoven, it's nonsense", I'd say.
BUT, that being said, for sure a line can be traced when it comes to albums that certainly DO NOT attain such level of excellence: I'm afraid Wembley may be there. : (( Sadly.
Now, I could, yes, build an argument for Milton Keynes, in many ways: it encompasses all kinds of music, the performance is breathtaking and Brian's and Roger's adaptation of Action This Day, Staying Power, Back Chat and so on to the stage must be one of the most impressive musical achivements made by Queen. Roger's drumming is divine there, just wonderful, and Brian guitar playing is smooth, powerful and disarmingly creative. Freddie was indeed on fire, and taking into account that it's a live album from 1982 already encompassing exciting, beautiful funk, R&B and Rock and Roll fusion, thanks not only to Freddie's gorgeous performance, no, but to the creativity of the band, I think a case could be made for the nomination of this one, if for no other reason because it brought a whole music trend to stage and then helped consolidate part of what became, for better or for worse, the most influencial music styles to come - Queen's Milton Keynes antecipates Michael Jackson's sound and makes it happen on stage with a whole lot of power and energy.
So: being the question absurd, I'd say that an argument could be made for enhancing the status of Queen's performance at MK among the finest live albums - I think there's no single best live album ever, but a bunch of impressive achievements which can't really be compared.
Then, maybe, Queen's original, inovating approach to Rock and Roll at Milton Keynes could be quoted among the finest ones. :)))