It's hard to imagine that the Velvet Underground was on the brink of dissolution when this keepsake (i.e. bootleg) cassette recording was made of the band's legendary final stand at Max's Kansas City. Granted, this is the Velvets without two of its founding members, John Cale and Mo Tucker being replaced by brothers Doug and Billy Yule on bass and drums, respectively. But there is a fierce amount of energy being generated by a very tight, well-rehearsed unit, as these shows were played around the same time the band was recording its final studio offering, "Loaded".
This disc features a slew of Velvets classics - "I'm Waiting for the Man", "Sunday Morning", "I'll Be Your Mirror", "Femme Fatale", "Sweet Jane" and "New Age" - interspersed with an unusually chatty and upbeat Lou Reed providing between song banter and occasional explanations of various songs' origins. For a brief, shining moment Lou Reed was at the top of his game as a songwriter and performer, and the Velvet Underground seemed poised for the elusive commercial breakthrough it never achieved.
Serious fans will have no trouble looking past the sonic limitations of this recording to savor the historical importance of a great band captured at a point when its flame was arguably burning most brightly. The casual listener may be surprised to find that the performance and material more than compensate for the raw sound quality.
- Original Release Date: May 30, 1972
- Release Date: January 19, 2016
- Label: Rhino Atlantic
- Copyright: ℗© 2016 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved.
- Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
- Total Length: 1:19:37
- ASIN: B019O6ED8A
- Average Customer Review: 39 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,941 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)