BG2 03664 Rock 'N' Roll Animal
Produced by Steve Katz and Lou Reed
Released on February 1974
US CHART POSITION #45 . . . GOLD RECORD (5/1/78)
. . . UK CHART POSITION #26
Find it at GEMM
BG2 03664 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

R ock ‘n’ Roll Animal offers part of Reed’s live performance in NYC from December 21, 1973 (the rest of it presumably appears on 1975’s Lou Reed Live). Though, at only five songs, it might seem the spirit of Scrooge was upon him, the treatment given these songs is nothing if not generous. Led by the clever interplay of guitarists Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner, with full-bodied support from Prakash John on bass, Reed and his band du jour saturate the arrangements with color, take creative detours, and manage to make a 13-minute “Heroin” and 8-minute “Sweet Jane” perfectly justifiable. Fans may be surprised to find only “Lady Day” from his solo catalog (and here the band manages to find a lot of new music in the crevices); the remaining tracks are VU tunes. Where the originals were often bleak, Rock ‘n’ Animal features a fertile musical landscape - and it’s here that the effect of Hunter and Wagner are incalculable. “Heroin” becomes an epic filled with guitar heroics, “White Light - White Heat” busts up the place like a battering ram; songs that were intense but unadorned in the studio are elevated to larger-than-life proportions on stage. Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal might well be the best “glam rock” live album ever recorded; it certainly ranks as Reed’s most colorful and engaging live record. If the knowledge that you’re only getting five songs for your money leaves you nonplussed, focus on the music: nearly fifty minutes of high-octane, ass-kicking rock & roll. Note that the 2000 CD reissue includes two more selections from Berlin, with purportedly better sound (although the BMG digital remaster is no slouch).

AYL1-3664 cover AYL1-3664 back cover
AYL1-3664 cover AYL1-3664 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. INTRO/SWEET JANE    7:55
  2. HEROIN    13:11
  3. WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT    5:15
  4. LADY DAY    4:00
  5. ROCK 'N' ROLL    10:17

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  6. HOW DO YOU THINK IT FEELS (LIVE)
  7. CAROLINE SAYS I (LIVE)

    All songs written by Lou Reed. Intro to "Sweet Jane" by Steve Hunter.

CREDITS

LOU REED -- vocals, guitar
RAY COLCORD -- keyboards
PENTTI GLAN -- drums
STEVE HUNTER -- guitar
PRAKASH JOHN -- bass
DICK WAGNER -- guitar
Gus Mossler -- engineer
Joe Lopes -- tape operator
Ralph Moss -- production assistance
Bruce Somerfeld -- production assistance
Dalrymple -- cover photography
Acy R. Lehman -- art direction

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US February 1974 RCA LP APL1-0472 gatefold cover
UK 1974 RCA LP INTS 5086  
US   RCA LP/CS AYL1/AYK1-3664 "Best Buy Series"
GER   RCA LP/CS NL/NK-83664  
US 1988 RCA/BMG CD/CS BG2 03664 digital remaster
US March 21, 2000 RCA CDX 67948 w. bonus tracks
JPN   RCA CDX BVCM-35059 digital remaster w. bonus tracks

 

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