Forget about 'Lou Reed Live', 'Rock'n'Roll Animal' and even 'Perfect Night in London'(All great records, by the way), Lou Reed Live in Italy is the best Lou Reed live album, bar none.
Just look at the track list, for crying out loud. After a three seconds long introduction, you can hear Reed's guitar tears into the classic opening chords of Sweet Jane, the best riff he's ever written. This version of Sweet Jane is argueably the best version out there - Lou singing 'You know they're sayin' Jane, oh Sweet Jane' is Lou at his finest, and Robert Quine... we'll talk about Robert Quine.
Oh, why not talk about him now. Robert Quine is the best guitar player to have ever worked with Lou Reed. He is as good as Mike Ranson who worked with Bowie and Lyle workman who played lead for Frank Black. He's quite possibly even better. Listen to the lead guitar in 'Waves of Fear', it's incredible.
Lou's new stuff here is great - Waves of Fear and Average Guy are the stand outs, but the older Reed is what truly shines through. Sally Can't Dance no More is a vicious attack on fame, The Satellite of Love is lou's romance at it's best, and Walk on the Wild Side is, well, a walk on the wild side.
Still, to me this will allways be memorable because of the Velvet Songs. Before and after, Reed will atmpt to make the Velvet stuff feel at home in his sets, and, with the exception of the Loaded songs, he will allways fail. This is the exception. White Light/White Heat, Waiting for the Man and of course, Heroin, Reed's finest song, shine through the able musicians.
I'm way to young to have been alive through that Lou Reed tour, and even through I've seen Reed live, I'm still at agony for not have seen him live at those 1984 shows. This is the closest I'll ever get.