Lou Reed

Waiting for Lou

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In very good, release-quality sound, this bootleg presents 64 minutes of music from Reed's May 14, 1974 concert in Stockholm. At this point, guitarists Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter (who'd played on Reed's Rock 'n' Roll Animal album) had departed from his band. So Lou's live sound had retreated to a lighter approach than the hard rock, guitar-heavy attack of the Wagner-Hunter era. But although his backup unit on this CD -- Danny Weis on lead guitar, John Prakash on bass, Whitey Glan on drums, and Michael Fonfara on keyboards -- is unheralded, actually it was a pretty good outfit. The keyboards in particular added a different color to Reed's concert sound; the funky keyboard intro to "I'm Waiting for the Man," in fact, sounded a heck of a lot like the intro figure the Talking Heads would use a few years later for their cover of Al Green's "Take Me to the River." Lou's set list hadn't changed much since late 1972 (when he recorded the concert eventually issued on American Poet), and the ten songs here include several common to most of the bootlegs circulating of his 1972-1974 shows: "White Light/White Heat," "Sweet Jane," "Vicious," "Rock 'n' Roll," "Walk on the Wild Side," and "I'm Waiting for the Man." For that reason, it's not especially recommended to fans who already have live versions of the songs from the early-to-mid-'70s on Rock 'n' Roll Animal and American Poet. For insatiable Reed-heads who want more, though, this is a good deal -- Reed (who only sings and doesn't play guitar) and the band perform with commitment and zeal, and there are a few less-traveled tunes thrown in, particularly "Ride Sally Ride" (from the then-yet-to-be-released Sally Can't Dance), "Oh Jim," and a revisitation of the Velvet Underground's "Sister Ray."