Rock n Roll Animal was the first live album released by Lou Reed after he left The Velvet Underground in 1974.
It was recorded on December 21, 1973 at the Howard Stein’s Academy of Music in New York. The concert was split into two separate live albums with the second, called Lou Reed Live released in 1975. The last studio album to have been released was Berlin.
Rock n Roll Animal is a controversial recording because Lou Reed turned the Velvet Underground classics into hard rock with duelling guitars.
Lou Reed Rock N Roll Animal
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- Intro / Sweet Jane – 7:48 (originally from Loaded)
- Heroin – 13:03 (The Velvet Underground & Nico)
- How Do You Think It Feels – 3:28 (Berlin)
- Caroline Says I – 3:49 (Berlin)
- White Light / White Heat – 4:53 (White Light / White Heat)
- Lady Day – 3:48 (Berlin)
- Rock And Roll – 10:08 (Loaded)
If you knew the original LP, then you’ll see that two more songs – How Do You Think It Feels and Caroline Says I have been added to the CD & digital versions. We now have four Velvet Underground classics and three songs from Berlin.
Playing at the concert were:
- Lou Reed – vocals
- Steve Hunter – guitars
- Dick Wagner – guitar, vocals
- Ray Colcord – keyboards
- Prakash John – bass, vocals
- Pentti “Whitey” Glan – drums, percussion
I like this alternative sound of the songs although I’m surprised at how well they translate to a more mainstream hard rock sound. I don’t want live albums to sound just like the studio versions although I accept that sometimes the changes work and sometimes they don’t.
My main niggle with the album is that it’s too short and I’d hoped that this and Live aka Extended Versions would have been combined and restructured to match the order that the songs were played live in concert.
What Other People Say
It has appeared in critics lists of the best live albums:
Vox Best 70
Most of the reviewers at Amazon love it but some traditional Velvet fans hate the hard rock approach to the songs.
Buying Rock N Roll Animal
To help you to find the album quickly and easily, I’ve given you the following links::
What Do You Think?
Is this the best Lou Reed live album?
What Are The Best Live Albums Of All Time?
What are the best hard rock live albums?
Because there are so many great hard rock live albums, I have a second division poll where more of your favourites could be promoted if they get enough votes.
I’ve also included this album in the poll to find the best glam rock live albums.
You can see the complete list of readers polls at Live Album Polls.