Live on Two Legs is Pearl Jam's sixth major label release. The American Music Guide notes the following information about Live on Two Legs:
Label: Epic/Sony Music Entertainment
Released: November 24, 1998
Genre: Rock (Live)
2. Given to Fly
3. Hail, Hail
5. Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
9. Red Mosquito
10. Even Flow
11. Off He Goes
12. Nothing Man
13. Do the Evolution
14. Better Man
16. F*ckin' Up
Live on Two Legs fills an interesting gap. On one hand, it is definitely an album that captures the wide open anthemic arena rock for which Pearl Jam has nearly become eponymous. Many rock fans will tell you there's nothing like the potential energy that is captured when 30,000 people start singing along to Eddie Vedder's lead. Live on Two Legs hardly does a live show justice, but it will definitely bring back intense memories for anyone who has hit a Pearl Jam live show. Live on Two Legs was recorded as part of the band's North American tour promoting Yield and No Code, the band's most recent albums at the time of Live on Two Legs. The recordings are all done live in the period of June-September of 1998.
In that sense, Live on Two Legs is also a promotion for Yield and No Code not in the sense of a commercial, but rather critical perspective. By the juxtaposition of their newest material by old standards like Alive and Even Flow as well as covers of successful masters like Neil Young with F*ckin' Up, Pearl Jam effectively demonstrates they can still rock just as hard as when they were still an unknown grunge band from Seattle. It is also a form of transition or continuity check between Yield and No Code and also Vitalogy in the sense of its packaging. It is a really simple paper packaged disk, with some time-lapse photography on the cover. Much like the images from Yield, the artwork cries out "motion" and "excitement". However, the artwork also feels like Epic rushed this one out the door for fans impatient for the next release.
Finally, Live on Two Legs serves as an excellent primer for those who are unfamiliar with the Pearl Jam style. If your friends say Last Kiss when you say Pearl Jam, Live on Two Legs will work really well. The sheer excitement captured in Live on Two Legs works as an excellent introduction as the songs are stripped down, raw instruments captured straight from the sound board. It sounds like a really well done bootleg, and doesn't have the after recording editing. Most importantly, the track list is some of Pearl Jam's best- Live on Two Legs almost plays like a demo for their Greatest Hits album.
However, Live on Two Legs isn't a must-buy for the true enthusiast. In light of their recent release of over 70 official bootlegged concerts, it shouldn't be construed as a pure live hardcore fan's bootleg. There is speculation that at least Even Flow is a splice, and Live on Two Legs really doesn't have the continuity that a true bootleg would. Also, you should not buy Live on Two Legs for new content. Aside from one cover, all of the material can be found on studio albums.
All in all, Live on Two Legs is worth the $15-20 you will spend on it. It is an enjoyable listen, best done justice with a really good pair of headphones at full volume to capture the atmosphere that this album projects.