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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 10 February 2004
I remember reading about this show in NME when it occurred and the naive hope it would come to the UK afterwards to tour (it never did) though across the 1970s I was able to finally see separately all three performers (Reed, Cale and Nico)as they each spent more time gigging and having solo records released.
Given the original Velvets never made it till much later to the UK (and then after Nico had died) this one off show is a fascinating historical recording for all Velvet fans, but I suspect will not appeal much to others. The CD sounds almost like the first ever "Unplugged" set recorded, as we hear pared down acoustic or minimal instrument (with no percussion) versions of both Velvet and early solo songs by each of the three in turn. It's lack of ego and hype exudes in each set (especially Lou Reed given he was on the verge of super stardom with Transformer etc.)before an audience of French fans who probably could not believe their luck. The odd technical glitch merely adds to what a precious archive item this is - only a pity they did not include a DVD disc of the show (given it was recorded for French TV) in this well presented and documented limited edition set.
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on 4 October 2003
'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.
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on 20 November 2004
A unique event, great performances from all concerned. I especially like "Wild Child", a song from Reed's undeservedly obscure first album. Nico sounds fantastic, and "Ghost Story" persuaded me to buy Cale's first album.
One thing that bothers me is the unnecessary silence between all of the tracks. (At least the limited edition American Poet box set has Lou's songs without silence between them.) The poor sound quality of the recording is forgivable, the apathetic CD mastering isn't.
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on 26 December 2004
Well worth investing in.This show has been around on Bootleg for years, now it gets its official release and about time too.Very laid back rendition of Velvets classics plus some stunning work from the wonderful Nico.
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on 29 July 2016
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