Most helpful positive review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A celebration & conclusion to the most influential band ever
on 9 September 2001
'Live MCMCXIII'is an excellent live album that captures the original line-up of The Velvets reformed after all the years...What people seemed to hate about this reformation, is that the songs are sometimes quite different to the recorded versions (now almost Commandments). What they're missing, is that the Velvets have been covered to death- mostly badly- and these are their songs. They can do what they like with them.
There's some chuff here: Lou's re-phrasing of 'Venus In Furs' is irritating; 'Velvet Nursery Rhyme' is a piece of crap & 'Hey Mr Rain' is quite dull ('European Son' or 'Sister Ray' would have been better!). Mo Tucker provides some great lead vocals on the brilliant 'Afterhours' & 'I'm Sticking with You'. Cale sings 'All Tomorrow's Parties' & 'Femme Fatale'- the latter suits his rich vocals (though obviously, Nico is missed). Lou's take on 'I'll Be Your Mirror' is o.k...Disc One also offers perfunctory versions of 'Gonna Have a Good Time Together', 'Guess I'm Falling in Love' & 'I Heard Her Call My Name'. 'Some kinda Love' is quite close to the original (recorded without Cale). The best songs on this disc are 'Beginning to See the Light', which I prefer to the original (Reed's voice & phrasing are superb) & 'The Gift'- which is given a wonderful performance by Cale...Disc Two gives us the extended 'Sweet Jane', which is superb & a Cale-vocalled 'White Light/White Heat' (which seems correct as WLWH is very much his album). The takes on 'Heroin' & 'Black Angels Death Song' are as good as they could possibly be (& if people think these versions are bad- check out some of Lou's solo live LP's!!!). The triad of 'Rock'n'Roll', 'I Can't Stand it' & 'I'm Waiting For the Man' are great- the last with a Cale lead vocal- making the song afresh. 'Pale Blue Eyes' is probably one of the Velvets best & is given a perfect rendition here. The final (& new) song is 'Coyote'- which is ok, but not as good as anything on 'Songs For Drella'...This is a great final chapter for the band- who would fall out & then come together temporarily to say goodbye to the late, great Sterling Morrison. They were the greatest band in the world (though few knew). Listen to this, they are the greatest band in the world (you know). OK, we're missing 'Run Run Run', 'Here She Comes Now', 'I'm Set Free', 'Ocean' & 'Oh Sweet Nuthin', but the Velvets back-catalogue is rich enough to get over this...Worth purchase for 'Beginning to See the Light' & 'Pale Blue Eyes'; yes, they are THAT good.