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on 24 January 2011
Well over 30 years old and this still rates as one of the genuinely great live rock albums. Okay, traditional Velvet-heads will turn their noses up, but there's no denying that Lou sounds like he's enjoying himself in front of a powerhouse line up of virtuoso musicians, guitarists Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner to the fore, very ably supported by Prakash John on bass. You could draw a parallel with pal Bowie's David Live set, in which Earl Slick's searing guitar notably - and frequently - let rip on some Bowie standards (and that didn't go down well with some Ziggy diehards either...). Hunter and Wagner dominate the set right from the start, with their mazy, melodic licks in the Intro seaming into the monster chords of Sweet Jane. Heroin is a slow burning epic, building up momentum into some blazing dual guitar interplay. Whilst White Light/White Heat is somewhat underpowered after such a start, the pace picks up again with Lady Day and the soaring closer Rock 'n' Roll, featuring more dazzling interplay between the leads. Lou would never claim to be from the Plant or Gillan school of rock vocalists, but he does a decent enough job in this untypically heavy setting. Overall - very highly recommended.
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The greatest live album ever bar none? Listen to this and you will find that there are not that many concert albums that can better this. Granted most Velvet Underground snobs hate it because of the "rock outs" and the the extended guitar play of Wagner and Hunter. You sense in addition that Reed had been spending much time with David Bowie and some "rock god" influences have rubbed off. Yet "Rock n Animal" demonstrates that Reed was one of the great chameleon's of rock and could turn his hand to just about anything he wanted whether it be the avant garde to heavy metal.

Fully recognising the Velvets groundbreaking heritage and his great work with Nico and Wharhol should not distract from your enjoyment of this monster live album. The band is tighter than a shark with lock jaw, Reed's singing is fantastic and unlike "Take no prisoners" his endless and frankly irritating monologues are absent. The crowd are also well trained with no whooping or howling out of place. Clearly an audience who love the material and add to the occasion. I dare anyone not to marvel at the brilliance of "Sweet Jane" as Hunter and Wagner do an extended jazzy intro to be joined half way through by Lou Reed walking on stage to the crunchiest riff of all time and the audience losing the plot. "Heroin" is stunning and builds to such a crescendo you feel exhausted at the end of it. The best ever version of "Rock n Roll" is also included for good measure. All in all Reed doing what Reed does best, surprising the audience and moving the goalposts.
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on 3 January 2016
Great. Has more tracks than the original vinyl release. Sound quality is great.
This release is a very good remaster. I bought the sister release to this,
Lou Reed live (extended version CD series) and the remaster and sound quality
is very noticeably inferior to this release.
(Please someone remaster and reissue the Lou Reed Live CD to the standards
of this issue of RnR Animal, my cash is waiting!)
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on 16 March 2016
What an a** kicking live album, short but sweet. No - sweeter than Paul Simon. Haha! Lou delivering the goods, made of pure talent and originality, interpreted into great versions of classic songs. Themselves, now classic. Highly recommended. Buy, and enjoy!
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on 26 March 2013
The opening intro to "Sweet Jane" should be by rights used as a teaching aid for all budding axemen who are looking for a sound worth emulating, this is Classic Lou Reed at the Pinnacle of his career, after this nothing much of note has come our way, so snap this up before it gets deleted or something similar that happens to old rock and rollers.

I particularly like "Heroine" not the drug,only the song which accurately states "It's my wife and it's my life" this song should probably be banned because sadly it almost glorifies everything mum and dad hope their sons and daughters will not get into
but ironically it's cautionary as well because it speaks of the highs and lows I like it it's dirty street wise feeling.

It has a cracking tongue in cheek song "Rock And Roll" which ends the set and could so easily be misunderstood "Despite all the amputation you a can dance to a rock and roll station" only Lou Reed could write that.
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on 31 January 2002
This album is quite simply the best live album ever recorded - with the exception of The Who Live At Leeds. It is not just the superb musicians around Reed that make this such a great album, it is the fact that it captures the mood so perfectly. You can feel the energy generated on that night, and while it may be nearly 30 years since this was recorded, it still sounds as fresh now as it did then. The songs are typical Reed, dark one minute, rocking the next. A master at his craft and in the company of some great musicians. This was my first Reed album, and remains my favourite!
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on 28 June 2006
This would have to be one of the best hard rock and live albums ever, and with two extra tracks and a sensational re-mastering job, it's got even better.

Reed's band, and guitarists Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner in particular, create an almost orchestral sound. For example, Sweet Jane features a marvellous instrumental introduction which builds and builds, then culminates in the riff kicking in just as Lou struts out on stage. Rock n Roll is a great closing track, with some stunning guitar work. Lou's in great voice, too.

The original CD seemed to have been mastered through mud, but the new transfer has depth, `bite' and you can hear everything clearly.

A companion LP, Lou Reed Live, was recorded at the same concerts but has yet to see the light of day on CD. It had a nice version of Vicious, but not much else; a pity that wasn't added to this disc, but you can't have everything.

I wouldn't call this a `good time rock n roll record' - how could any album with 'Heroin' on it be considered a `good time' record? - but it really kicks along and still sounds fresh and exciting.
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on 13 November 2009
Only 5 songs on the original release - oh yes believe it. And what's more they are worth ten times the price paid for them. This release adds two more tracks from the same live concert and leaves you begging for more. The 8 minute version of "Sweet Jane" has to be the highlight of Lou Reed's career and this is due entirely to Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner on guitar and Prakash John on bass. The lengthy introduction building up to Lou's unseen arrival on stage just makes hairs stand up on the back of your kneck. A 13 minute version of "Heroin" might then seem similarly indulgent but this is about pure music. This band are so good they take the songs apart and turn them into something transcendental. "White Light/White Heat" in 5 minutes invents punk rock - just like that. A relatively short "Lady Day" leads to a simply gobsmacking rendition of "Rock'n'Roll" which is just so infectious in a primal way that I challenge anyone to remain stationary when listening to it. The musical break which sees a play off between a staccato lead guitar and bass is both ingenious and exhilirating and Reed brings the house down when it's over.

The two extra tracks are also pure gold. I presume they were left out partly because the other tracks were so long that they wouldn't have fitted on a vinyl release and partly because Reed fluffs a line at the beginning of Caroline Says. However, to hear him bark "Shut up!!" at his own audience is a classic Reed moment. Add the dark eye makeup and a studded dog collar and what you have is, perversely, a proto-punk performance backed by a virtuoso band. Absolutely indispensible.
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on 22 November 2013
Although not to everyone's taste ... listen to it before you buy if you do not know it. Part of my growing up! Worth buying otherwise for the "Intro" which is a must for all guitar music fans.
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on 26 June 2012
Genius.Together with the Grateful Dead's two early live albums and also the Allman Brothers Fillmore East live album, this album sits at the Pantheon of the best live albums of all time. Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner's guitar work is absolutely sublime
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