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on 26 July 2017
The greatest live album by the godfather of alternative rock. The intro to Sweet Jane alone sends shivers up my back. I have loved this album for 35 years from the day I first heard it, and I still love it now. It is heavy rock in every sense of the word. It transcends the boundaries of pop music to become theatre. RIP Lou, you were a genius.
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on 3 July 2017
Lou once said , that he was a better guitar player than Jimi Hendrix and a better lyricist than Jim Morrison , ( because Jim was an idiot ) .. Laughable and debateable points .
A lot of what the man said was only fir for the Loo .
But this is one of the greatest rock n roll albums of All time .
Buy it ... or miss out on something on a par with Electric Ladyland & L.A. Woman.
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on 4 June 2015
I like lou. This is ok but not up there with his best work.
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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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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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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 10 March 2013
I saw this concert live and remember Lou walking on to the stage to Sweet Jane, fantastic! Guys a legend
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on 8 February 2010
I first heard this album on Capitol Radio on the Nicky Horne show, in those days when he played whole sides of albums, I was mesmerised and hooked.

I was fortunate to see Lou Reed, Dick Wagner, Steve Hunter et al perform this album at the Hammersmith Odeon on the promo tour all those years ago and this still stands in my memory as one of the greatest concerts I have ever been to. The man brought the house down that evening in what was truely the pinnacle of his live performances. I subsequently wore out two copies in vinyl over the years.

Thoroughly recommend this album together with part two which is the silver covered 2nd live album.
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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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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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