Lou Reed

Live in Italy

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It's widely agreed among Lou Reed connoisseurs that his 1984 release Live in Italy is one of the best live albums of his recording career. But since it was never issued domestically (only available as an import), it has become increasingly harder and harder to find over the years. So in 1996, BMG got the rights to the recordings and reissued the album with a different cover (a well-known shot of Reed playing guitar, which also served as the cover to his 1983 video A Night With Lou Reed, and retitled it Live in Concert. Reed is backed by one of the finest bands he's ever played with -- guitarist Robert Quine, bassist Fernando Saunders, and drummer Fred Maher -- who thrash and burn through 14 solo Reed and Velvet Underground classics (taped over two nights in September 1983). Featured are explosively cacophonic versions of such allegedly autobiographical tunes as "Kill Your Sons," "Waves of Fear," and "Rock N' Roll," as well as a must-hear 15-and-a-half-minute medley of "Some Kinda Love/Sister Ray," and an amped-up version of "White Light/White Heat." Although the aforementioned home video/DVD A Night With Lou Reed is the better of the two and an absolute must-see (taped at N.Y.C.'s Bottom Line the same year), Live in Concert remains a powerful listen all these years later.

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