Lou Reed took a sabbatical from touring in the early '80s, as he adjusted to married life and broke free of a longstanding drug and alcohol addiction. But the release of one of the finest albums of his entire career, 1982's The Blue Mask, had whet Reed's appetite to play in front of crowds again. Just prior to his '83 follow-up Legendary Hearts, Reed reassembled his fantastic studio band (consisting of guitarist Robert Quine, bassist Fernando Saunders, and drummer Fred Maher) for the concert stage, and played shows at one of his favorite venues, the intimate Bottom Line in New York City. The 1983 home video (and eventual DVD) A Night With Lou Reed chronicles an outstanding set that perfectly captures the feel and energy of this great quartet. The time off the road had obviously recharged Reed's creative batteries, as he played guitar once again on stage (something he'd taken a break from) and rocked with a passion and focus not seen since his Velvet Underground days. A consistent highlight from beginning to end, individual standouts include such Velvets nuggets as "Sweet Jane," "White Light/White Heat," and a gorgeous reading of "New Age," as well as the then-recent compositions "Women," "Waves of Fear," and "Turn Out the Lights." Also featured are such early solo Reed gems as "Wild Side," "Satellite of Love," and "Kill Your Sons" (the latter containing some ferocious guitar work courtesy of Reed), making A Night With Lou Reed an essential addition to any serious Lou Reed fan's collection.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato