6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 23 December 2013
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2014
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.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2015
This is a review of the issue on the US Amazon site, under Velvet Underground Bataclan, date of issue 4/13/14 on the Sunburst label. (This particular issue does not show when looked under Lou Reed)
I don’t know if what I got is a CD-R. but it has full color printing on the disc and an OK picture for the jacket but no liner notes. It is labeled as Sunburst, with a sub-label as Jet Air Music. If this is a CD-R, they certainly did a good job with the graphics.
It used to say on the site…”This is a CD-R fulfilled by Amazon.” As I type, it says ‘no longer available.’
The sound of this is still not right. There is mid-range distortion. The guitars sound piercing. The clapping in between songs sounds unnatural. It should not be like this. There is a bootleg CD of this with far more natural sound. I redubbed this disc thru an equalizer getting much of the midrange distortion out of it. It sounds far more tolerable that way, however it still not quite as good as the bootleg CD.
If there was ever a day and age for an equalizer, this is it. Too many CDs nowadays have excessive treble and high midrange distortion and other noise. Quite often this is fixable, but sometimes whoever ED’d the disc just does not know what they are doing and what bass and treble sound like and maybe went a little too far to bring back down. But I have had great success in fixing those over-driven CDs. If you are interested, the trick is to bring the levels down using the equalizer rather than the recording levels. Bringing the levels down by using the recording levels will wipe out the treble.
I would encourage anyone interested to seek this out from other sources because this disc does not sound like the original tape.
The big drag is that the selection of equalizers on the market is very poor, as is the selection of much of the electronics today. This really worries me.
Does anyone out there know if it is yet possible to set levels and EQ using a computer without buying THE RECORDING STUDIO© (that’s a joke, sort of)…for hundreds $$$ and a bunch of stuff you won’t use?
2 stars because I can almost get the sound right….