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What Took So Long?,
By A Customer
This review is from: Bataclan '72 (Audio CD)
'Sorry we're late. It took us a while to get here' - so says Lou Reed at the beginning of my bootleg copy. I can't believe this album is only just getting an official release. I first came across a fragment of this performance a year or so ago and luckily managed to get hold of the full show, astounded that no one saw fit to package it - this is simply a must have for any fan of the Velvets, Reed, Cale or Nico, the closest thing that any of them did to a true 'unplugged' show.
A superb performance from all three artists with Reed getting special mention, his voice never sounding so good in a live context before or since. I'm not sure which tracks will be on this release (I can't seem to find much information on it yet...) but lets hope its the full show. A superb laid back rendition of 'Waiting For My Man' starts the show, Reed delivers a wonderful, haunting version of 'Berlin' (his Barbara Streisand song) and then a curious version of the 'Black Angel's Death Song' follows. It often seems like each of the songs is trying to top the last one. The undeniable centre piece of the album for me however is 'Heroin' played and sang in an almost lethargic fashion then jumping out at you with its trademark dynamics.
The Cale songs are interesting, especially 'The Biggest, Loudest, Hairiest Group Of All', despite the mic feeding back part way through, but seem to serve as a more light hearted interval. Nico's performance is equally enthralling and intense, with solo harmonium performances of some of her solo tracks before she, Lou and John treat everyone to a breathtaking version of 'I'll Be Your Mirror'. I really can't explain how incredible this performance is but when the disk ends and they've said their goodnights you can't help but feel that you've experienced something very special indeed.