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Rock & Roll Animal Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, Live

165 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, March 21, 2000
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Product Description

Lou's best live album, remastered from the original tapes and featuring two previously unreleased performances of Caroline Says and How Do You Think It Feels !

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Recorded live in 1973, Rock N Roll Animal is Reed's glam-rock sneer back at his Velvet Underground legacy. Four tracks are VU classics (two about the redemptive power of rock, two about the transformative power of dope) dressed up into slick, flashy twin-guitar noodle-fests, with big riffs and showboating solos and Reed practically phoning in his vocals. It was something of a hit at the time, and it's easy to hear how the simple forcefulness of these songs sounded good on early-1970s radio. But Reed doesn't bother to conceal his contempt for the commercial trappings he's put on his songs--"Heroin," in particular, turns from savage ambivalence into an easy cartoon--and the album's hard to like now. Two previously unissued tracks from 1973's Berlin-"How Do You Think It Feels" and "Caroline Says I"-flesh out this reissue version of the original LP. --Douglas Wolk

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 21, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, Live
  • Label: RCA
  • ASIN: B00004RD54
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,350 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

98 of 102 people found the following review helpful By Richard B. Luhrs on September 1, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The intricate, extensive and sublimely rocking introduction to "Sweet Jane" which opens ROCK & ROLL ANIMAL must have made many of this album's earliest buyers think they'd fallen victim to a record company foul-up. Surely the soaring guitars, thundering bass and tight, swirling drums with which they were confronted couldn't have had anything to do with Lou Reed, legendarily laconic purveyor of atonal drones and decadent, rambling anecdotes. But sure enough, after three and a half minutes all that virtuosic showboating somehow morphed into the beloved Velvet Underground classic, with Reed tossing off his lines in a voice by turns sardonic, indifferent and haunted. The result was, and still is, an album both the hardcore Reed fan and the Reed-hating hard rocker can dig, an eminently successful experiment in classic seventies metal from a man whose prior recordings had firmly established him at the opposite pole of the sonic spectrum.
In truth, however, ANIMAL is less a Lou Reed album than an album of Lou Reed songs as (stunningly) interpreted by what was then Alice Cooper's touring band. The leader's presence here, while significant in establishing the requisite dark, dissipated and druggy ambience, is ultimately more counterpoint than fulcrum. Instead, it's the beautiful picking of guitarists Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner, Ray Colcord's nightmarish organ runs and the stop-on-a-dime interplay of bassist Prakash John and drummer Pentti Glan that are the real story, offering up post-Allman Brothers reinventions of Velvets nuggets like "Heroin," "White Light, White Heat" and "Rock & Roll" as well as several tracks from Reed's outrageously underrated BERLIN LP. What starts out looking like the most awkward of musical marriages ends up being one of rock's all-time greatest live albums, its dynamism literally unflagging from one end to the other. Recommended for...well, you.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Smitty on May 17, 2005
Format: Audio CD
For those of you looking to purchase this c.d. you might be interested to know that there is another c.d. called "Lou Reed Live" that is the rest of this concert. It took me years to find, thanks to the help of the internet, but it is just as good as this disc. If you've already had this album, then you probably like me thought it wasn't long enough? Thanks to the newly released version with bonus tracks it has been made better. But if that's still not enough, here's the answer. The "extended version" is available but it's basically the same as the original but with "explicit" lyrics included. Also included is Reed's best band ever! So if your buying Rock & Roll Animal you've got to make it a 2 pack & get "Live"! The complete show is worth the price of admission!
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By M. Scagnelli on May 26, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Lou Reed's Rock and Roll Animal completely blew me away. It is completely different than most of Lou's other material. First of all, the setlist is great. It includes four great songs by the Velvet Underground; Sweet Jane, Heroin, White Light / White Heat, and Rock and Roll. It also contains three great songs from Berlin; Caroline Says I, Lady Day and How Do You Think It Feels. Each song is done incredibly. The Intro into Sweet Jane is great. Following this, Lou and the band rip through Heroin, doing a 13 minute version that is fairly different than the original, but still great. The two extra tracks, How Do You Think It Feels and Caroline Says I are two of the best songs from Berlin, and these recordings are just as good as the album, if not better. You even hear Lou tell the audience to shut up before starting a song. The version of White Light / White Heat is even louder than the original. The version of Lady Day done is even better than the album version on Berlin. The album closes with a great version of Rock and Roll, with a funky rhythm solo in the middle. The overall effect of the album is incredible. It makes you feel like you are actually at the show. If you are a fan of Lou, you will love this album. You'll love it even if you aren't a fan. It makes a good starting place for Lou Reed. Especially with the two extra songs, Rock and Roll Animal is one of the greatest live albums of all time.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Richard Christie on August 16, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Lou Reed fans remain divided over this one and even Reed himself reportedly declared a strong opinion (against) its artistic validity. Yet it remains amongst Reed's most celebrated and controversial albums.
The reason for this is obvious, or at least it is obvious to any musician listening to it - "its the BAND man". The rhythm section is a decade ahead of its time, Prakash John blazing a path on bass that many rock (and more than a few jazz) artists were to follow. The arrangements are precisely thought through and well rehearsed, this outfit was tight, and the set is presented as it was performed, with no overdubs [edit 2008: having transcribed the Intro (Sweet Jane) I now believe there to three, perhaps four, guitar parts in this piece, suggesting overdubs to the track].
On guitars hired gun master musicians Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner (also credit Wagner for most of the arrangements) kick Reed's Velvet Underground material into a space Reed possibly hadn't totally prepared himself for. This is pure rock, high voltage rock , raw, totally-controlled-yet-live rock and roll. The terms glam-rock and heavy-metal are simply inapplicable.
The band aside, Reed's contribution is also superb, even powerful, despite his less than prominent level within the mix. Regardless of the contentions of some critics this isn't Lou Reed plus an overpowering backing band, it's a cohesive and sonically democratic ensemble. Whoever originally mixed this concert also understood this essential fact.
It will persist as one of the era's finest live rock recordings.
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