Sound: Lou Reed's lineup on this album shows how this epic album has become such a cult favorite for fans. Lou Reed, a talented guitarist and vocalist doesn't pluck a single string on this album, but rather his two hired guitarists, Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner play lead. These two guitarists are remembered as the amazing guitar duo that appeared on many Alice Cooper albums. The first live album Lou Reed created once he started his successful solo career shows his best lineup in years. The talented keyboard player Ray Colcord creates great revisions and differences from the original Velvet Underground songs played on the album and those who played them originally. All the songs on this album are from Velvet Underground, and their best songs in comparison to the raunchy lyrics and questionable musicianship of the young musicians in Velvet Underground who were more interested in making people angry then making good music, but occasionally achieving both. The bass player Prakash John, also a member of Alice Cooper's posse of musicians shows true creativity through the run on solos and bridges during Sweet Jane and Rock N' Roll.
For a small summary of the songs on the ORIGINAL release, (this does not include the extra material off of one of Lou Reeds albums Berlin played on the remastered version.
01. Intro/Sweet Jane: the intro to this song has been said to literally have influenced some great players in music to start trying to play professionally. The song creates a defined example of how Hunter and Wagner play greatly together. Sweet Jane is the most popular song from the album. The link.
02. Heroin: originally a song with slow arpeggios and a climax to distortion, the original Velvet Underground version was much more influential and used effects not known previously, but it was also hard to listen to. The version of Rock N Roll Animal is much different, giving a more soulful sweeping feel to the song rather than a depressing samba. With a climax that still tames the ears, this song is a great listen if you are patient enough for 13 minute songs. Link 1, link 2. (I apologize for not giving the full version in one part, but the song would song like crap if one video included it all)
03. White Light/White Heat: this song is a quickly put together blues-rock song with a driving beat. The guitarists give the song added creativity and power. This song is lyrically meaningless, but one of the best guitar songs on the album. The link.
04. Lady Day: a dark mysterious feel shows throughout this song, with great keyboard playing all through. The song contains less of a climatic approach considering Hunter and Wangner rarely have the ability to stay out of a song, thus making every part enjoyable. The link.
05. Rock N' Roll: a great way to end an album is by making a short radio friendly single into a 10 minute masterpeice. The song, I must say, is a driven out a little too far, but who can blame the band for wanting to make the album longer?The link. // 10
Lyrics: Lyrically the album differs from much of Lou Reeds material, mostly flooded with songs of gay sex and anti-everything 1960's mumbo jumbo. Lou Reed only sings on this album, and his voice has aged to enough that he doesn't sound like a beaten schoolchild. This album includes mostly fun loving songs and, even the song Heroin, which tells the sad life of a depressing addict, is still enjoyable because of the great musicianship. Rock N Roll contains probably the best example how Reed turned something depressing into a fun loving song.
Despite the amputation
you could dance to a rock 'n' roll station
It was all right
it was all right
oh, now here she comes now-now // 10
Overall Impression: Not many people know of Lou Reed's music and few even know of Velvet Undergrounds aspiring debut album, "The Velvet Underground & Nico". This album is a completely different approach than Lou's other albums. I must say there is no song on this album I consider the best. Whenever I've listened to this album, I've listened to the entire album in full. Once I get into it, I can't stop until I hear those last outcries of fans after Heroin is over. The reason this is my favorite live album is because Lou Reed made such a drastic change. I listened to all of Velvet Undergrounds songs. I bought all their albums and loved their music, but noticed; many songs were great lyric wise but did not include good riffs or solos. This album puts the best songs Lou Reed made from Velvet Underground (in my opinion) and made them crowd friendly. I dislike how my version does not have the bonus tracks. I have a friend who only listens to Bon Jovi and Thrash Metal bands like Five Fingered Death Punch constantly, and if he were to steal this album from me, I'd let the guy keep it. He's always denounced Lou Reed as Art Rock bull****, and plus I'd be able to get those bonus tracks when I buy it again the day after. // 10