BOBBY VEE – Live! On Tour – (Liberty) – 1965

Bobby Vee - Live On Tour

A live album.


This would have been the first live rock ‘n’ pop album ever … if it was live.

It wasn’t.

The audience noise is “canned”

"Canned” applause is pre-recorded applause which is usually added to the sound track of something recorded in a studio so that it sounds like it was recorded in front of a live audience (rather than in a studio). And, yes, it would be done in order to suggest that there was an enthusiastic audience listening.

"Canned laughter" is more common. This is the pre-recorded laughter that you often hear in television sit-coms.

As it turns out, the first rock ‘live’ album is generally regarded to be, 'Got Live if You Want It' (1966) by The Rolling Stones.

The Stones, however, have (apparently formally) disowned “Got Live If You Want It” as the band’s first live album because the amount of studio tracks and overdubs featured on the recording make the album barely “live”.

I’m not sure why Bill Haley’s “Twistin’ Knights at the Roundtable” (1962)( recorded at the "Bitter End" club in New York),  Trini Lopez "at PJ's" (1963), "More Trini Lopez at PJ's" (1963), or "Live at Basin St. East" (1964) and Johnny Rivers "at the Whisky à Go Go" (1964), "Here We à Go Go Again!" (1964), "Meanwhile Back at the Whisky à Go Go" (1965), "…And I Know You Wanna Dance" (1966), which are all recorded live, aren’t considered to be firsts.

Perhaps it’s because they were recorded in small venues rather than on tour … or perhaps it’s because they don’t fit in with rock music snobbery.

If Haley, Lopez and Rivers don’t get a mention then neither will Elvis for his “Elvis (NBC TV Special)” album, half of which was live, which was released in December 1968. Presley's informal live jamming in front of a small audience in the special is, however, regarded as a forerunner of the "unplugged" concept, later popularized by MTV.

Given the dismissal of Haley, Lopez and Rivers and the Stones dubs, perhaps, then, the first “true” live rock album was “Live at Kelvin Hall” (1967) by The Kinks or Cream’s “Wheels of Fire’ (1968).

And then there is Ritchie Valens “In Concert at Pacoima Jr. High” (1960) which is partially live and partially canned.

I digress.

There is nothing live on Bobby’s album.

If we didn’t know, the give away would be the fact that all but two songs (his hit, “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes” and the medley of two hits Take Good Care of My Baby / Run to Him) are songs that had never been released before on single or album.  Any big pop act with a lot of hits (like Vee) would not be trialling this much new material live. 

So, it is proper to treat this album as a studio album.

With that in mind I don’t know if his hits, mentioned above, are originals with audience applause attached on, or re-records. Likewise I don’t know if the medley is a splice or a re-record as a medley.

By 1965, Vee’s star had waned (though he would have a big bounce back in 1967 with his US #3 "Come Back When You Grow Up") as he hadn’t had a Top 20 since “Charms“(#13 US) in 1963.

His albums, like most rock ‘n’ pop albums of this era weren’t big on the charts but they did sell.

Also, as far as I know, no singles were released from this album (canned applause or otherwise).

With all that, I’m not sure where the logic for this album is, unless this is all earlier unreleased material.

They would have been better to release it as a studio album with advance singles.

If it is new, Vee digs back into his musical memory and does songs he liked (I assume) as a youth, as well as some recent hits.

Tracks (best in italics)

            Side One

  • Every Day I Have to Cry – (Arthur Alexander) – Steve Alaimo’s #45 US hit from 1962. The faux screams works on this as it is the type of song you would expect the teens to scream over.
  • Let the Four Winds Blow – (Dave Bartholomew / Fats Domino) – the first release was by Dave Bartholomew (1955) but it was a #15US hit for Fats Domino in 1961.
  • The Night Has a Thousand Eyes – (Marilyn Garrett / Dorothy Wayne / Ben Weisman) – Bobby's hit (#3US, #3UK) from 1962. A great song live or not.
  • Weekend – (Bill Post / Doree Post) – Eddie Cochran’s 1961 single which didn’t chart in the US but went to #15 in England. Very Eddie Cochran which Bobby pulls off well though Eddie's guitar is missed.
  • You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby – (Johnny Mercer / Harry Warren) –  Johnny Mercer’s song done by everyone which was a #5 for Bobby Darin in 1961.
  • Hey Little Girl – (Otis Blackwell / B.W. Stevenson) –  Dee Clark's #20 Pop, #2 R&B US hit from 1959. Vee is convincing again witha rock beat song ….

           Side Two

  • Sea Cruise – (Huey "Piano" Smith) – Frankie Ford's #14 hit US from 1959.
  • Things – (Bobby Darin) – Darin’s #3US and #2 UK hit from 1962. A great pop song.
  • Shop Around – (Berry Gordy, Jr. / Smokey Robinson) – The big hit from the Miracles in 1961 (#2 Pop, #1 R&B US). Very contemporary by Bobby standards and quite good.
  • It'll Be Me – (Jack Clement) – the first recording was by Jerry Lee Lewis (February 1957) as B-side to his hit single "Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On" (#3Pop, #1R&B US). Brit Cliff Richard and the Shadows released their version as an A-side which went to #2 on the UK Singles Chart. Bobby Vee's version is halfway between Cliff and Jerry Lee …not a bad place to be. He can rock.
  • Medley – Take Good Care of My Baby – (Gerry Goffin / Carole King) / Run to Him – (Gerry Goffin / Jack Keller) –  Bobby's two hits from 1961, #13US, #3UK on the first part and #2US, #6UK on the second done as a medley. Great songs.

And …

Bobby tackles a number of styles convincingly in this good set … the faux screams are totally unnecessary …. I'm keeping it.

Chart Action

Nothing nowhere


Hey Little Girl


It'll Be Me

mp3 attached

Run to Him


Take Good Care of My Baby

The Night Has a Thousand Eyes






  • The Beach Boys “Party” released in November 1965 was, also, recorded in a music studio. It was presented as an impromptu live recording of a party with informal chatter by friends and family overdubbed later. Though not ‘rock” James Brown's "Showtime" (1964) was also “live” and canned (his James Brown and His Famous Flames Tour the U.S.A. (1962) was a studio album).
  • Folk, classical and, especially, jazz had released live albums prior to this.

About Franko

Hi, I'm just a person with a love of music, a lot of records and some spare time. My opinions are comments not reviews and are mine so don't be offended if I have slighted your favourite artist. I have listened to a lot of music and I don't pretend to be impartial. You can contact me on though I would rather you left a comment. I also sell music at Cheers
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