Since Aerosmith had become one of America's premier rock & roll concert attractions by 1978, it was only natural that an in-concert collection was issued that year, the double album, Live Bootleg. Unlike other live albums at the time, it's obvious that not a lot of overdubbing was involved to fix up the tracks, which results in a refreshingly authentic representation of Aerosmith at the group's most drugged-out and rocking. All of the performances were taken from Tyler and company's 1977-1978 U.S. tour (with the exception of a couple from 1973), while the album's packaging and title were a joke on all the poor-sounding, unauthorized live recordings that were in circulation at the time. Just about every classic is included -- "Back in the Saddle," "Sweet Emotion," "Walk This Way," "Come Together," "Last Child," "Mama Kin," "Train Kept A'Rollin," etc. -- as well as key album tracks ("Sick as a Dog," "S.O.S.," etc.). But the album's high point has to be the aforementioned pair of long-lost tracks from 1973 -- loose and groovy covers of the Yardbirds' "I Ain't Got You" and James Brown's "Mother Popcorn." Although the performances may lack the fire of the shorter Classics Live II set from 1988, Live Bootleg is an excellent representation of one of rock & roll's elite live acts. Note: to tie in with the careless bootleg theme of the album, the track "Draw the Line" is unlisted.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato