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4.5 out of 5 stars42
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 28 November 2009
When this album was released, I had possibly been too young to have been into the VU and I'd not been impressed with Lou Reed's previous offerings (although this changed over the years). From this perspective, I had little to compare R'nR Animal against and so was not influenced by my expectations (other than I didn't expect it to be much good). A friend brought it 'round to play...I loved it and went straight out and bought it! Although there are quite a few noticable mistakes during the guitar soloing, it is certainly the sublime twin guitars that steal the show and take it well outside of the usual Lou Reed album - it's perhaps more akin to a Bowie gig with Earl Slick.

The track Lady Day rarely gets a mention whilst reviewers rave on about (the excellent) Intro-Sweet Jane, Heroin, Rock and Roll, etc - all great tracks and great to play along to, but the ominous approach and the plaintive soloing in Lady Day is just stunning (even today) and all too brief.

Although this album has been well slated for its extended reworkings of well loved 'classics', if you want a (mostly) upbeat 70s live rock album with lots of soloing (but not heavy) guitars, then this is definitely one to consider. If you want something that represents anything else Lou Reed has done, then you might be left confused or wanting.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 December 2011
Now I know the epithet 'the best live album ever' is not necessarily that ambitious a mantle to aim for - wasn't King Crimson's Earthbound cited as the nadir of this much derided art form? Despite this however, Lou Reed's 1974 masterpiece Rock n' Roll Animal is, for me, the nostalgia trip par excellence.

I also know that all the Velvet Underground purists (myself included!) will complain that the versions here of Sweet Jane, Heroin, White Light/White Heat and Rock n' Roll are far inferior to the originals. Broadly speaking, I would agree with this contention, and acknowledge that solo artists should not try to recapture past band glories, by 'reinterpreting' earlier classic songs (although actually Morrissey was still performing a superb version of How Soon Is Now? until recently). However, in the case of Rock n' Roll Animal, Reed assembled a superb band featuring two outstanding guitarists in Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter, who really excel at extended, melodic solos - the intro to Sweet Jane being an outstanding example of this.

For info, the later CD re-release of the album includes two extra tracks - How Do You Think It Feels and Caroline Says I.

Other contenders for best live album ever? For me, there is one very strong favourite - Doctor Feelgood's Stupidity.
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on 29 November 2013
R.I.P Lou Reed.
great album,great artist,great band,great songs,great entertainment.I love it very very very much indeed.
A well missed artist.
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on 26 March 2013
The opening intro to "Sweet Jane" should be by rights used as a teaching aid for all budding axemen who are looking for a sound worth emulating, this is Classic Lou Reed at the Pinnacle of his career, after this nothing much of note has come our way, so snap this up before it gets deleted or something similar that happens to old rock and rollers.

I particularly like "Heroine" not the drug,only the song which accurately states "It's my wife and it's my life" this song should probably be banned because sadly it almost glorifies everything mum and dad hope their sons and daughters will not get into
but ironically it's cautionary as well because it speaks of the highs and lows I like it it's dirty street wise feeling.

It has a cracking tongue in cheek song "Rock And Roll" which ends the set and could so easily be misunderstood "Despite all the amputation you a can dance to a rock and roll station" only Lou Reed could write that.
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on 7 February 2014
This is absolutely the best live album ever. Every song is excellent, Lou's backing band are fantastic.

Overall this is a classic.
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on 27 October 2011
I'm neither a big fan of live albums (always disappointing) or of Lou Reed's solo work (always a struggle to get into), but this album is easily the best live album I've ever listened to.

The record's success has to come from Reed's backing band, who sound incredibly tight and the way they play gives the album a real power and energy. I love the alternative version's of Reed's own back catalog and that of the Velvet Underground. I especially liked the re-working of 'White-light White-heat', which in my opinion is better then original version as it really capture's the raw rock and roll energy that I imagine Reed's going for in this project. A really great album and next to Transformer is Reed's best solo work.
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on 1 November 2013
Old copy needed replacing and this re issue was a wonder ful find
just like hearing it for the first time again
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on 3 January 2016
Great. Has more tracks than the original vinyl release. Sound quality is great.
This release is a very good remaster. I bought the sister release to this,
Lou Reed live (extended version CD series) and the remaster and sound quality
is very noticeably inferior to this release.
(Please someone remaster and reissue the Lou Reed Live CD to the standards
of this issue of RnR Animal, my cash is waiting!)
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on 6 January 2012
Recorded with Lou Reed at his peak, this live album from New York captures him perfectly. Consisting of only seven songs (five on the original), Reed takes us through an emotional set list, with the highlight coming on the epic `Heroin'. Most of these songs have been altered slightly and extended which adds to the unique feel of the recording. The introduction builds up the tension for three minutes and when the rift kicks in for Sweet Jane, you know you're in for something special.

Reed combines his Velvet Underground days well with his most recent release at the time, Berlin, and the two additional songs 'How Do You Think It Feels' and 'Caroline Says I' fit in well. Compare this to some of his later live work (`Perfect Night in London') and you can truly appreciate the passion Reed once had, which sadly is completely gone in later recordings. The final two songs 'Lady Day' and 'Rock 'n' Roll' finish the album perfectly. This is a must have album for any Velvet Underground fan and in my opinion was his last good release before he went downhill.
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on 16 March 2016
What an a** kicking live album, short but sweet. No - sweeter than Paul Simon. Haha! Lou delivering the goods, made of pure talent and originality, interpreted into great versions of classic songs. Themselves, now classic. Highly recommended. Buy, and enjoy!
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