There are two things that framed Live's career. The first was '94's "Throwing Copper." The group's sophomore set, with the singles "I Alone." "All Over You," "Selling The Drama" and "Lightening Crashes," sold over 8 million copies.
The second was the band's dispute with lead singer, Ed Kowalczyk, who allegedly demanded a $100,000 "lead singer bonus" in '09, following an '05 contract that made him the sole signatory of Live's Black Coffee Publishing company. This arrangement was made without the knowledge of Live's other members. The group filed a lawsuit and vowed they would never to work with Kowalczyk again. Aside from that, it was all good.
Kowalczyk, guitarist Chad Taylor, bassist Patrick Dahlheimer and drummer Chad Gracey had been performing together since middle-school. The York, PA band eventually went to NYC and performed at CBGB's which led to a contract with Radioactive Records.
Their '91 debut album, "Mental Jewelry" was produced by Jerry Harrison, onetime bassist for the Talking Heads.
The massive success of "Throwing Cooper" helped '97's "Secret Samadhi" debut at #1 on the Billboard album chart.
Harrison returned for '99's "The Distance To Here." The album peaked at #4 on the strength of the single "The Dolphin's Cry."
The next two albums, '01's "V" with the single "Overcome" and '03's "Birds Of Prey" containing "Heaven" failed to break the Top 20.
The '04 greatest hits compilation, "Awake: The Best of Live" contained a version of Johnny Cash's "I Walk The Line." The arrangement was later appropriated by American Idol Chris Daughtry for the competition.
"Songs From Black Mountain" came the next year but the group's fortunes didn't improve. The album got to #52. It did hit #3 on the Indie Album chart.
"Radiant Sea: A Collection Of Bootleg Rarities and Two New Songs," and "Live At The Paradiso - Amsterdam" arrived before the Kowalczyk/Live split.
Live returned in '14 with "The Turn," their first album in eight years and first with singer Chris Shinn, who replaced Kowalczyk.
Predictably, Kowalczyk was critical stating "they obfuscate that it's not the real band. They don't say that it's not the original lineup. They just kind of go out and surprise people, and it's really sort of lame."
"Chad, Patrick and I invested most of our lives to writing, recording and performing the songs of Live," said Taylor. We deserve a chance to reconnect with the fans to say goodbye to the old era and hello to the new."
1991 Mental Jewelry
1994 Throwing Copper
1997 Secret Samadhi
1999 The Distance To Here
2003 Birds Of Pray
2006 Songs From Black Mountain
2014 The Turn