On February 7, 1993, Selena held a free concert in front of 3,000 at the Memorial Coliseum in Corpus Christi. The set list performed during the concert was released as a live album on May 4, 1993.Pete Astudillo, who was a former backup singer for Selena y Los Dinos, remained touring with Selena on the Live! Tour. The song "Perdóname", which is included in the track listing of the album, is performed as an original song by Astudillo. The song was later released on his second studio album Como nadie (1993). Another original song performed by Astudillo, "¿Porque le gusta bailar cumbia?", is included in the track listing of Live! and was released on Como nadie. The three cumbia-influence tracks, "No debes jugar", "La llamada" and "Tú robaste mi corazón", are the only studio tracks on the album.
"La llamada", the second promotional single released from Live!, was written and produced by Quintanilla III and Astudillo.Howard Blumenthal wrote in his book The world music CD listener's guide that "La llamada" is an "energetic" song. It is set in A major with 90 beats per minute. "La llamada" describes a woman telling her boyfriend over the phone that she saw him kissing another girl, while her boyfriend tries to persuade to her that it was not him. It peaked at number five on the Hot Latin Tracks, number six on the Latin Regional Mexican Airplay and number eight on the Latin Pop Airplay chart. "Tú robaste mi corazón" is a duet with "The King of Tejano music" singer Emilio Navaira. It was released as the second promotional single from Live! and was written and produced by Quintanilla III, Vela and Silvetti. Blumenthal wrote in his book that the song is a "great love duet". Paul Verna wrote that Selena's fans were "not growing weary" of "Como quisiera" (Preciosa) and "Tú robaste mi corazón". He also noted that the two songs were "slow-paced love songs" and were potential singles from the posthumous album Siempre Selena (1996). "Tú robaste mi corazón" is composed in the key F major with 130 beats per minute. The song describes a woman and a man finding harmony and love in each other while also feeling emotions never felt before in their lives. "Tú robaste mi corazón" peaked at number five on the Hot Latin Tracks, number eight on the Latin Regional Mexican Airplay and number six on the Latin Pop Airplay charts.
Sarah M. Misemer wrote in her book Secular saints: performing Frida Kahlo, Carlos Gardel, Eva Perón, and Selena that Live! and Amor prohibido (1994) were the two most successful albums of Selena's career. Joey Guerra of Amazon.com wrote that Live! is a "sizzling reminder of [Selena's] electric stage charisma and blossoming talent as a performer". Guerra also stated that the songs performed live had showcased Selena's "uncanny ability to infuse a love song with both girlish innocence and a heated sexuality". He noted that "Como la flor", "Baila esta cumbia" and "La carcacha" were examples of his claims. He also states that any listener can feel the "heat seeping through your speakers". Guerra ended his review stating that Live! "foreshadows" Amor prohbidio (1994).Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic wrote that Live! had offered proof of Selena being an "energetic [and] exciting performer". Erlewine noted that Selena performed live versions of her "most popular numbers" in front of an "enthusiastic audience". Erlewine ended his review stating that Live! had "capture[d] some of that energy and shows why she was so popular". Shortly after the album's release music critics began calling Selena the Mexican equivalent of Madonna.
Live! was released on May 4, 1993. It was certified gold (Latin type) by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipments of 100,000 copies in the United States its first year. The album debuted at number 146 on the US Billboard 200 chart following Selena's murder on April 22, 1995. The album peaked at number 79 on May 13, 1995 before it slipped off the chart on June 3, 1995.Live! debuted at number four on the Top Latin Albums chart, it then peaked at number three within three months of its release. The album remained on the chart, taking the top 20 spots. Live! temporarily slipped off the charts and re-entered at number 47 in January 1995, before it went off the chart again. The album took the third spot on the chart following Selena's murder. A week later, the album peaked at number two before it hovered the top ten spots and then slipped off the charts a year later. In 1997, Live! was then certified double platinum (Latin type) for shipments of 200,000 copies.Live! debuted at number eight on the Latin Regional Mexican Albums chart, then slipped off the charts for nearly a month. It reentered and peaked at number one for seven consecutive weeks. The album remained in the top 10 for two years. The album went to number two following Selena's murder.Live! sold more than 250,000 copies in Mexico.
Songwriters – A.B. Quintanilla III, Selena, Ricky Vela, Pete Astudillo, Chris Perez, Jorge Luis Borrego, Chrissie Hynde, Barrio Boyzz, K. C Porter, Miguel Flores, Suzette Quintanilla, Abraham Quintanilla Jr,
Engineering – Brian "Red" Moore, Malcolm Harper, Ron Morales
Engineering assistants – Suzette Quintanilla, Abraham Quintanilla Jr