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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must for Reed/Cale/Nico fans, 23 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Le Bataclan '72 (Audio CD)
This is a great live album and a must for any fans of Reed/Cale/Nico. It covers a mix of their solo work and songs by the Velvet Underground, in a very pared back, relaxed acoustic set that shows off the best of all three performers' singing, songwriting and musicianship.

Highlights include a brilliant rendition of 'Berlin' (a new song for Lou Reed at the time); a beautifully laid back 'I'm Waiting for the Man'; and an enthralling 'Heroin', with Lou Reed's vocals / acoustic guitar, and John Cale's viola perfectly matched.

Vocally, there are strong performances all round. John Cale's melodic Welsh brogue sounds as great as ever on tracks such as 'Ghost Story' and 'The Biggest, Loudest, Hairiest Group of All' (a song not otherwise ever released). Reed's voice sounds unusually good, while Nico's haunting singing generally sounds great on both her solo songs and the VU tracks, with only 'All Tomorrow's Parties' a slightly disappointing encore.

The sound quality is, for the most part, pretty good for an impromptu live album. I haven't heard the previous release of the album so I can't offer a compare and contrast. I would say, however, that this version is not worth buying just for the new bonus tracks, as they're hardly worthy of the name. Rather than complete songs you get an extract from an echoey rehearsal session, where Lou Reed sings and talks John Cale through a couple of later VU songs. Interesting but from a curiosity perpsective only.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Velvets Unplugged, 21 April 2014
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This review is from: Le Bataclan '72 (Audio CD)
This CD is an absolute delight, I used to have this on a long-ago-chewed-up tape, and it has occasionally appeared as a CD over the years, but at very high prices, so seeing it newly released at a decent price I had to buy it. I had heard about the wrong pitch issue, and after playing this along with the "pitch-corrected" versions on youtube, it does play a bit slower, but to be honest if I'd not read about this issue I would never have known. The gig itself sounds wonderful, it would have been amazing to have been there, any problems of bad feeling or ego problems between Lou, John and Nico, if they existed, are completely impossible to detect in this wonderfully intimate and laid-back recording. Each sings a few songs, Lou and Nico both sing several from the first Velvets album, and all three showcase their more recent solo material. John's greatest contribution is in his playing - his songs ("Ghost Story", "Biggest, Loudest, Hairiest" and "Empty Bottles") are pleasant but nothing special, but his piano arrangement on "Waiting for my Man" is brilliant, as is his viola on "Black Angel.." and "Heroin". (If you can't imagine these songs done acoustically, believe me, they are wonderful versions). Lou sings two of his best songs from his first solo album, "Wild Child" and "Berlin", and Nico shows off material from her brilliant albums "Marble Index" ("Frozen Warnings" and "No-one is There") and "Desertshore" ("Janitor..."), accompanied by Cale on viola, as well as singing her three songs from "VU and Nico". The rehearsal material is very short and a bit pointless, really. Essential for Velvets/Lou/Cale/Nico fans.
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Le Bataclan '72
Le Bataclan '72 by Lou Reed (Audio CD - 2013)
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