on 6 April 2014
Actually, it deserves two and a half stars. This release is just SO frustrating! The concert, what you can hear of it, sounds as though it could have been the Velvets finest hour, one of the all-time great live albums but it is let down badly by the sound quality which is, frankly, very poor. It's a typical fan's bootleg recording on a cheap cassette recorder and it's a terrible shame that an official recording team weren't present that night. The band were smack bang in the middle of their 2 studio albums, "White light / white heat" & their 3rd, self -titled LP. It shows too , by being delightfully schizophrenic, - hard as nails, sharp-edged and aggressive one minute ( 'Foggy notion', 'White light' and 'Sister Ray' ) and tender, fragile and beautiful the next,( 'Jesus', 'I'm set free' and 'Pale blue eyes' ) I much prefer their performance on this to the '1969 live' album , which to my taste is a little too mellow for them ( even though the recording on that album is far superior )
If you think I may be exaggerating about the poor sound, then try listening to tracks like " I'm gonna move right in" & " Beginning to see the light " without reaching for the 'skip' button. I tried so hard to put the fuzz, the muffled distortion and the crackles out of my mind and focus on what music I can hear but it doesn't help. The louder tracks are uncomfortable on the ears and almost verging on the unlistenable.
The quieter tracks are not too bad actually because they are performed so gently that there is little distortion. "Candy says" is of particular interest because Lou sings the lead instead of Doug Yule. These tracks still, however, sound like they were recorded a 1000 metres away from the band in an empty aircraft hangar on a cheap device.
Fans may always dream of what could have been made of this concert. Never mind. It is nevertheless, a curio, a collector's item and is of historical interest , so I suppose Velvets completists and fanatics will be reasonably pleased by it.
on 20 April 2014
Nice one. I'd only heard parts of this recording previously: "Move Right In" & "Foggy Notion", as featured on THE LEGENDARY GUITAR AMP TAPES. But this at 90 minutes is the complete show. And a marginal upgrade on the AMP TAPES cd.
Great performances. Sound quality is fine - if you're used to audience recordings from this era you'll find this perfectly acceptable. 8 page booklet contains contemporaneous photos and interesting, informative notes.
on 8 May 2014
This is for VU completists, Bill Levenson and Jonathan Richmond types and no more. Not a great recording and if you listen closely to the R&B jams such as Booker T this is hardly a great performance. Yes, the uber fans need it but you may well not and there are other, mo' betta live VU recordings out there. Check out the reissues of the first two VU studio albums with some of the live stuff on those box set packages and you will hear bangin' and poundin' groovier than this. Ditto the Robert Quin-sourced VU material out a decade ago.
The MC5 opened this show? Whoa, why wasn't I there??