Lou Reed's albums are always very well produced, with a lot of time having been spent in the production and mixing stages, making them all sound as though they couldn't be any better. On stage, however, Lou appears to drop that curtain of perfectionism and apparent 'darkness' and simply lunges at pure rock and roll, the way it should be done. Songs like 'Sex With Your Parents' take a rush of energy that it's impossible not to understand the message. Vicious,Riptide and New Sensations are much better on stage than any other time on studio. This is also an album about rage, and I'm sure that's what Lou is trying to convey here. His opinions transpire at every sentence, every breath, so there is no mistake where he stands on some issues. If you are a serious collector of his works or even a beginner to Lou Reed, you should definitely buy this CD and listen to it, over and over again. Finally, you need to try hard not to speed when you listen to this when driving.
This wonderful live album was recorded live in 1997 at the Royal Festival Hall for the Meltdown Festival. There are 15 tracks which cover most of Reed's finest songs.
The most noteable feature of this album is the crystal clear sound. This is immediately obvious from the first track "I'll be your mirror". Lou has a fantastic accoustic guitar sound. He describes it in the sleeve notes as "the sound of diamonds". Don't be mislead by this, the album isn't an unplugged album, although there is an element of that style that creeps into this album. In fact on numbers like 'Busload of Faith', after a gentle introduction the band really rocks out.
The other musicians are Mike Rathke - Guitar, Fernando Saunders - Bass and vocals, Tony Smith - Drums and Vocals.
I think this album would serve as a great starter album for people new to Lou Reeds music, and as it looks as though it may be unavailable fairly soon you should grab a a copy of this as soon as you can.
I recall after watching the gig a few years ago, walking over Waterloo Bridge, and thinking that it would be great if the concert had been recorded. It has.
Anyone who has followed Reeds career knows that it has been a bumpy ride. The excellent first Velvets album followed by a somewhat rushed second (White Light/ white heat) record, a personal deep third (The Velvet Underground) and then a poppy last band album (Loaded)
The early seventies were good for Reed with the awesome "Transformer" record and then the beautifully bleak "Berlin". Then things got a bit strange during the mid seventies / early eighties and, in my opinion, Reed only started to record seriously when he sobered up with "The Blue Mask" and later "Magic and Loss" and "New York" Since then his studio recordings have not managed to shock and innovate in the way they had previously achieved.
This live recording is probably up there in the top three for Reed live albums. The others being "Take no prisoners" and the newish "Animal Serenade" It's an acoustic set with the usual Reed backing band. The set list is a nice representation of Reeds career. Some good songs form an extensive back catalogue. There is no "Walk on the Wild Side", "Satellite of Love", "Sweet Jane" or "Waiting for the Man" There are however some big tracks on here. Stand out tracks are "I'll be your mirror" "Perfect Day" "Vicious" and "Dirty Blvd"
A good addition to any Lou Reed fan's collection. And a better record than most of his later studio adventures.