Posts Tagged ‘Rock and Roll Heart’

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By the mid-’70s, Lou Reed had been through a lifetime of rock ‘n’ roll experiences in just a little more than a decade. From early-’60s session work to the Velvet Underground to the unexpected chart success in the early ’70s with the solo hit “Walk On the Wild Side,” Reed was never one to stay in limbo. He followed his hit Transformer album with the dark and haunting Berlin, the live album Rock and Roll Animal and the back-to-basics Sally Can’t Dance.
His next move remains one of the most famous middle fingers in the history of music: the 1975 release of Metal Machine Music, a double album of guitar feedback and other noise effects. Was it a joke, a bold artistic statement, a contractual obligation or all of these? In early 1976, Reed told an interviewer, “I committed a number of blasphemous acts that I can back myself up on, only in saying that it got me the chance to make Metal Machine Music, and it gave me the power to make Coney Island Baby my way, from top to bottom.

That’s why I did Metal Machine Music. It was supposed to clear the air. Most people, even if you are into electronic music, aren’t going to listen to that.”
Reed was back on a more conventional path with Coney Island Baby in early 1976, and by October, he returned with the self-produced Rock and Roll Heart, his seventh solo album. It’s another of Reed’s more conventional records, opening with the soul-injected “I Believe in Love,” which surges along with R&B horns. Its refrain of “Good time music, good time rock ‘n’ roll” is a 180-degree turn from the barrage of noise found on Metal Machine Music.
Reed sticks to traditional music here: “Banging on My Drum” is a straightforward rocker, “Follow the Leader” is funky and “You Wear It So Well” is a soulful ballad. On “Ladies Pay,” he even sounds like he’s imitating Patti Smith imitating Lou Reed.

There’s much use of horns on Rock and Roll Heart, bearing the influence of early rock ‘n’ roll and jazz that often hangs out in Reed’s work. The closing “Temporary Thing,” one of the album’s best tracks, creates a tension that never breaks over five intense minutes as it borrows from the Velvets, jazz and soul music.
Like many of Reed’s albums from the late ’70s and early ’80s, “Rock and Roll Heart” doesn’t get much love these days. But give it a chance. It’s a fresh and intriguing listen, hardly the throwaway its critics claim.

Finally back in print!  Second classic live performance from Lou Reed (first being American Poet), this one totally unreleased and not bootlegged before combining key classic tracks from his previous solo albums ‘Transformer’ , ‘Berlin’, ‘Sally Can’t Dance’ and ‘Coney Island baby’.  Presented in full colour glossy deluxe gatefold sleeve with shots of Lou Reed from the tour and liner notes by Nina Antonia.

Finally back in print! Second classic live performance from Lou Reed on Easy Action (the first being American Poet (EARS012)), this one is totally unreleased and not bootlegged before, combining key classic tracks from his previous solo albums Transformer, Berlin, Sally Can’t Dance and Coney Island Baby. This is an FM Radio broadcast from Lou Reed’s 1976 Rock N Roll Heart Tour fully restored and remastered in 2006, presented in full colour glossy deluxe gatefold sleeve with shots of Lou Reed from the tour and liner notes by Nina Antonia. Rock and Roll Heart was the seventh album by Lou Reed, released in 1976. It was his first album for Arista Records after record mogul Clive Davis reportedly rescued him from bankruptcy. ‘A Sheltered Life’ (included in this set) dates back to 1967, when the Velvet Underground recorded a demo of it (available on Peel Slowly and See). Lou’s band Michael Fonfara – keyboards, Bruce Yaw – bass, Marty Fogel – sax, Michael Suchorsky drums. Recorded at the Civic Theatre, Akron, Ohio, October 23rd, 1976

Lou is on fine vocal form and is actually SINGING, instead of his usual trick of just reciting his lyrics, my fave track has to be the run through “The Kids”, this version is at times very nasty and visceral and splenetic in its rage, but also tender. This would have been a great show to have witnessed in America’s home of Rubber and Tyres. Plus, the back cover also states this was licensened from Lou’s own Sister Ray Enterprises Production Company. So all in all it is a fine snapshot of a night where Lou was focussed and on fire and burning with real passion.

Lou Reed’s latest collection, ‘Rock and Roll Heart’ wasn’t a showcase for the usual diverse aspects of Lou Reed’s musical outpouring, moreover, it was a shower of bullets, shot at any given interested targets. Unfortunately for Reed, most of the shots missed, but we can be certain that the gun was loaded, what with, is up for countless debate. His Boston show from October 1976 at the Orpheum Theater drew the usual suspects with a snapshot of young punks and nearly crossed the line at missing out a performance of Heroin which when played, differed remarkably from the more familiar versions rolled out on stage since the early days with Nico et al and Transformer. WBCN-FM’s presence warranted expectation that maybe Lou Reed didn’t necessarily want or respect, but Reed’s vision is rarely blurred. The familiar resolute figure took the stage with the singular demeanour he was authorised to parade, but with the quiet seduction and subdued authority that always set him apart.

Echoes proudly presents the entire original WBCN-FM broadcast of Lou Reed’s astonishing performance at the Orpheum Theater, Boston, Massachusetts on 29th October 1976. Professionally re-mastered original FM recording with background liners and rare archival photos.

Lou Reed was touring in support of “Rock and Roll Heart”, when he rolled into L.A.’s Roxy and played a set that was recorded for later radio broadcast. Lou Reed and his road band (which included Michael Fonfara on keys and Marty Fogel on sax) sound like they’re having a fine time, and with free jazz legend Don Cherry sitting in, the band’s frequent jams give this an exploratory feel that sets it apart from some of Reed’s other live sets of the period.

Lou Reed himself is in a loose and playful mood (at least by his standards), occasionally goofing on the lyrics, and reveling the opportunity to make noises with a new guitar synthesizer. The set does include two lesser-known tunes from Rock and Roll Heart, ‘You Wear It So Well’ and ‘I Believe in Love,’ and the extended improvisations will make this worth a listen for serious Lou Reed fans!!, Available now from Amazon on
LP – 140 Gram Double transparent vinyls (White and Blue)