Entertainment Weekly - 11/28/97, p.83
"...not only validates the comparisons to jazz singers but shows off how original and idiosyncratic her phrasing can be..." - Rating: B+
Rap Pages - 3/98, p.112
"...Erykah Badu LIVE stands as a self-reflective mirror for both her growth as an artist and our reality as human beings. It is for all those who seek to live, love, laugh and elevate..."
LIVE includes covers of Chaka Khan ("Stay"), Roy Ayers ("Searchin'") and a medley of Heatwave's "Boogie Nights" and The Mary Jane Girls' "All Night Long."
Personnel: Erykah Badu (vocals); Norman "Keys" Hurt (piano); Hubert Eaves IV (bass); Charles "Poogie" Bell (drums); Joyce M. Strong, Karen Bernod, Chonita "N'Dambi" Gilbert (background vocals).
Engineers: Kenny Ortiz, Gordon Mack, Norman "Keys" Hurt.
Recorded live at Sony Music Studios, New York, New York.
LIVE was nominated for a 1999 Grammy for Best R&B Album. "Tyrone" was nominated for the 1999 Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
With her debut album, Erykah Badu exploded onto the R&B scene, quickly achieving iconic status lofty enough to displace Mary J. Blige as the reigning queen of modern soul. On this live recording, she makes it clear that her talent is not bound to studio chicanery and expensive production. Throughout LIVE, Badu exhibits the intensely soulful yet artfully restrained vocal style that has made her such a runaway success. On her own tunes such as "On & On" and "Apple Tree" as well as distinctive interpretations of Chaka Khan's "Stay" and Heatwave's "Boogie Nights" she evinces an authority that is as enthralling as it is unquestionable.