Ed Kowalczyk - Vocals & Guitar
Chad Taylor - Guitar & Vocals
Patrick Dahlheimer - Bass
Chad Gracey - Drums

Live rose to success on the strength of its anthemic music and idealistic, overtly spiritual songwriting, two hallmarks that earned the group frequent comparisons to U2. The group's roots stretched back to the early '80s, when future members Chad Taylor (guitar), Patrick Dahlheimer (bass), and Chad Gracey (drums) began playing together under the name "First Aid" while attending middle school in York, Pennsylvania. After losing an area talent contest, they decided to enlist singer Ed Kowalczyk, and as a foursome the group played under a series of names before settling on Public Affection.

After earning a rabid local following, Public Affection released a cassette, 1989's The Death of a Dictionary, on their own Action Front label. Shows at CBGB's and other famed New York clubs followed, eventually earning them a demo deal with Giant Records which proved unsuccessful. The completed demo did earn them a deal with Radioactive, however, and before drawing their new name out of a hat, Live recruited Talking Head Jerry Harrison to produce their 1991 debut, Mental Jewelry. A collection of songs based on the writings of Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti, the record made Live one of the key players in the post-Nirvana alternative music scene thanks to singles like "Operation Spirit (The Tyranny of Tradition)" and "Pain Lies on the Riverside."

Three years later, Live returned with the muscular Throwing Copper, which lingered a number of months on the charts before pushing the group into the rock mainstream. After a series of popular singles like "Selling the Drama" and "I Alone," the album's slow build climaxed with the funereal "Lightning Crashes," which propelled the album to the top of the charts and paved the way for the subsequent hits "White, Discussion" and "All Over You." Secret Samadhi, the third Live LP, followed in early 1997, and while it failed to match the commercial success of Throwing Copper, it nevertheless sold over two million copies.

Released in 1999, The Distance to Here went platinum on the strength of "The Dolphin's Cry," which peaked at number two on the Mainstream Rock singles chart. The bandmates continued to refine their ambitious, spiritual sound over the next four years, with both 2001's V and 2003's Birds of Pray cracking the Billboard Top 30 as a result. However, the band's seventh studio effort, Songs from Black Mountain, effectively spelled the end of Live's popularity in 2006, with less than 100,000 copies sold in America. The album fared considerably better overseas, prompting Live to devote more time touring Europe during the decade's latter half.

In mid-2009, the band decided to go on hiatus. Kowalczyk recorded a solo album, Alive, while Taylor, Dahlheimer, and Gracey formed a new band, the Gracious Few, with Kevin Martin and Sean Hennesy from Candlebox. (Their first album, The Gracious Few, appeared in 2010.) By that time, it was revealed that Kowalczyk had decided to exit the band, and legal squabbles ensued. In 2012, the original trio of Taylor, Dahlheimer, and Gracey had launched a new version of Live, recruiting vocalist Chris Shinn to be Kowalczyk's replacement.

The band's official website announced in December 2016 that Ed Kowalczyk has rejoined the band and that they will not only tour in 2017, but are writing and recording new material to be announced at some point in the future.
Viewing All | Live


Live - Mental Jewelry album art Live Mental Jewelry (Album) Radioactive Japan 1991 Sell This Version
Live - Throwing Copper album art Live Throwing Copper (Album, EP) Radioactive Thailand 1994 Sell This Version
SHOW #94-34 Live - In Concert - New Rock album art Live / Spin Doctors Live / Spin Doctors - In Concert - New Rock(2xCD, Transcription) Westwood One SHOW #94-34 US 1994 Sell This Version
none Live - Concert Broadcast album art Live Concert Broadcast(CD, Promo) Radioactive none US 1994 Sell This Version
Live - Secret Samadhi album art Live Secret Samadhi (Album) Radioactive US 1997 Sell This Version
Live - The Distance To Here album art Live The Distance To Here (Album) Radioactive Japan 1999 Sell This Version
Live - V album art Live V (Album) Radioactive Denmark 2001 Sell This Version
Live - Birds Of Pray album art Live Birds Of Pray (Album) Radioactive Denmark 2003 Sell This Version
Live - Songs From Black Mountain album art Live Songs From Black Mountain (Album) Epic Australia 2006 Sell This Version
Live - Live At The Paradiso Amsterdam album art Live Live At The Paradiso Amsterdam (Album) Action Front Records, Vanguard Europe 2008 Sell This Version
Live - The Turn album art Live The Turn (Album) Think Loud Recordings US 2014 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

Live - Operation Spirit album art Live Operation Spirit (Single, Maxi) Radioactive Europe 1991 Sell This Version
Live - Four Songs album art Live Four Songs (Maxi, EP) Radioactive, Radioactive US 1991 Sell This Version
Live - Pain Lies On The Riverside album art Live Pain Lies On The Riverside (Maxi, Single) Radioactive Germany 1992 Sell This Version
RARSP-2320 Live - Mirror Song album art Live Mirror Song(CD, Single, Promo) Radioactive RARSP-2320 US 1992 Sell This Version
RARDM 54442 Live - The Beauty Of Gray album art Live The Beauty Of Gray(CD, EP) Radioactive RARDM 54442 US 1992 Sell This Version
Live - I Alone album art Live I Alone (Maxi, Single) Radioactive, Radioactive US 1994 Sell This Version
Live - Selling The Drama album art Live Selling The Drama (Single, Maxi) Radioactive US 1994 Sell This Version
RAR3P-3233 Live - Horse album art Live Horse(CD, Single, Promo) Radioactive RAR3P-3233 US 1994 Sell This Version
PR011 Live - Black Book / Selling The Drama album art E.Y.C. / Live E.Y.C. / Live - Black Book / Selling The Drama(7", Jukebox) MCA Records PR011 Italy 1994 Sell This Version
Live - Lightning Crashes album art Live Lightning Crashes (Maxi, Single) Radioactive US 1995 Sell This Version
Live - White, Discussion album art Live White, Discussion (Single, Comp, Maxi) Radioactive US 1995 Sell This Version
Live - All Over You album art Live All Over You (Maxi, Single) Radioactive UK & Europe 1995 Sell This Version
PR 034 Live - Selling The Drama / Dreamer album art Live / Livin' Joy Live / Livin' Joy - Selling The Drama / Dreamer(7", Jukebox) MCA Records PR 034 Italy 1995 Sell This Version
AFR001 Live - 1996 Friends Of Live Holiday Gift album art Live 1996 Friends Of Live Holiday Gift(7", Single) Action Front Records AFR001 US 1996 Sell This Version


Add Review



March 2, 2006
edited over 12 years ago
In the 90's, you couldn't switch on mtv without seeing a new alternative rock group on the tube, and this band was more than just another band. They embraced the craziness of bands of the time (nirvana, jane's addiction, primus, et al), but as a twist, they brought the mind of a poetic frontman and a daring (yet still conservative) guitarist in the mix to spice up this original band. They've been written off as a wannabe-U2-like band, and they've been subjected to being noticed only by Ed's bald head as their icon, if you will. I loved Secret Samadhi and Throwing Copper...excellent songs which ranged from country-esque strumming to feedback-riding torment-filled songs. Definitely check them out if you love any of the bands out now in the indie scene because I'm sure that some of those bands took lessons from Live.

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