Lou Reed

Sweet Jane

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This recording of a 1972 radio show has been available in numerous guises for many years; the label listed is merely about the easiest to find as of the mid-'90s. This is inarguably among the finest of Reed's solo work, released or unreleased, split evenly between the Velvet Underground classics and highlights from Reed's early solo albums, with backing by the Tots, the group of unknown musicians who played with him in concert during the period. The sound is very good, Reed's singing is great, and the band plays in a raw and urgent manner that Lou should have employed on his solo albums, but didn't. The Velvet's songs are well-done and considerably different from the originals, and the versions of solo classics like "Vicious," "Walk on the Wild Side," "I'm So Free," "Berlin," and "Satellite of Love" slay the studio takes to shreds. Essential for Reed fanatics. (This material was officially released in 2000 on the Pilot CD American Poet.)