Rock n Roll Animal is a live album by Lou Reed, released in 1974. In its original form, it features five songs, four of which are Velvet Underground songs. They are all re-arranged into a powerful hard rock set. The musicians were Pentti Glan (drums) and Prakash John (bass), Ray Colcord (keyboards), and Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter on guitars. (The two guitarists would later form the basis of the second Alice Cooper band, beginning on Welcome to My Nightmare, which also features Glan, Colcord and John.)
Further excerpts from the same concert were released in 1975 as Lou Reed Live (between the remastered Rock 'n' Roll Animal and Lou Reed Live the entire show has been released, albeit in a different order than the original concert). This live album's stereo mix puts guitarist Dick Wagner on the right channel, and Steve Hunter on the left; this arrangement is reversed on Lou Reed Live.
Paul Nelson of Rolling Stone magazine was in attendance that night and recalls: "As it happens, I had seen Reed and a mediocre pickup band at Lincoln Center some months earlier in his first New York non-Velvets appearance and he was tragic in every sense of the word. So, at the Academy, I didn't expect much and when his new band came out and began to play spectacular, even majestic, rock & roll, management's strategy for the evening became clear: Elevate the erratic and unstable punkiness of the centerpiece into punchy, swaggering grandeur by using the best arrangements, sound and musicians that money could buy; the trimmings, particularly guitarists Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter, were awesome enough so that if Reed were merely competent, the concert would be a success.
"And it was, as one can judge from the resultant albums. The band does not emulate the violent, hypnotic, dope-trance staccato power and subway lyricism of the Velvet Underground, but rather opts for a hard, clean, clear, near-royal Mott the Hoople/Eric Clapton (Layla) opulence and Reed sings out most of the songs in his effective street-talk style. Animal, coming first, naturally contains the best performances ("Intro/Sweet Jane," "White Light/White Heat," the first half of "Rock 'n' Roll")."
A remastered version was released on CD in 2000. It featured two tracks not included on the original LP or 1990 CD release.
All songs written by Lou Reed unless otherwise indicated.
- "Intro/Sweet Jane" (Steve Hunter, Reed) – 7:55
- "Heroin" – 13:05
- "White Light/White Heat" – 5:15
- "Lady Day" – 4:00
- "Rock 'n' Roll" – 10:17
- "Intro/Sweet Jane" (Hunter, Reed) – 7:48
- "Heroin" – 13:12
- "How Do You Think It Feels" – 3:41
- "Caroline Says I" – 4:06
- "White Light/White Heat" – 4:55
- "Lady Day" – 4:05
- "Rock 'n' Roll" – 10:21
- Lou Reed – vocals
- Pentti "Whitey" Glan – drums, percussion
- Steve Hunter – guitars
- Prakash John – bass, vocals
- Dick Wagner – guitar, vocals
- Ray Colcord - keyboards
|1974||Billboard Pop Albums||45|