Keno's Classic Rock n Roll Web Site
Released - in 1974 on RCA Records. Produced by Steve Katz and Lou Reed
Lou Reed - Lead Vocals
- Lead Guitar & Guitar
All songs written by Lou Reed except album's guitar into by Steve Hunter
*Added to the LP in 2000
Recorded at The Academy of Music in New York City in 1973, this is one of the better live rock albums. Lou Reed let loose some mightily fine Glam Rock at this show, yet this is more a great guitar LP than perhaps anything else. Lou doesn't even play his own guitar on these cuts, as he didn't need to, he had the powerful double guitar attack of Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner behind him. The album's opening number, "Intro", starts off with some of the best live guitar playing ever to land on any rock album, and once Lou joins in on vocals, as the music moves on to the classic "Sweet Jane", from Lou's Velvet Underground days, it just gets better." Intro/Sweet Jane" is one of those numbers that I rate a ten and wish I could rate even higher, as the guitars just explode! With that said, I still can't forget that the main guitar riff to "Sweet Jane", played here in the same way it was played on the Velvet Underground's studio cut of the song, is really the very same guitar riff first played by Jimmy Page in 1965 on Them's hit single, "Here Comes the Night".
For song two, we hear another Velvet Underground tune, the classic, "Heroin". In part thanks to this band, this is another one that sounds better here live than the Velvet's studio version. Many rock fans point to this song as perhaps rock's best written drug song, and on this night Lou once again makes you feel the sting of the lyrics.
Another Velvet Underground number that also sounds great here, is the LP's closing tune, "Rock 'n Roll", clocking in at just under ten minutes and like "Heroin", it is full of all kinds of new life played live with this band. Then finially there's "White Lighting/White Heat" - the fourth song of the Velvet's found on this LP; it is on par with "Rock 'n Roll" and the others; man, this backing band was just on fire when this concert was recorded!
When this LP was first released it only contained 5 songs, with "How Do You Think It Feels" and "Caroline Says I" added to it in 2000 when the album was remastered. Unlike most other albums these days that contain bonus cuts, these two song were actually added on to the album - not to its ending, but placed smack in the middle of the other songs and are not considered bonus cuts, but are now a part of the LP. Rock N Roll Animal rates higher without them, but still, they are cool to hear regardless and they do fit in okay with the flow of what you are hearing.
- Keno, 2006
To listen to some soundclips from Rock N Roll Animal, or to purchase it, click on: Rock N Roll Animal [CD]
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