Roxy Theatre, Los Angeles
1st December, 1976
FM recording, mostly stereo.
02 Sweet Jane
03 I Believe In Love
04 Lisa Says
06 She´s My Best Friend
07 I’m Waiting For The Man
08 Sheltered life
09 You Wear It So Well
10 Claim To Fame
11 Walk On The Wild Side
12 Coney Island Baby
“Listening to the first track (simply called Jam) on this CD as a blindfold test would probably stump a lot of people. It’s a kind of jazz rock with a touch of Miles. Not really the kind of music one expects to find at a Lou Reed show.
But then, if Bruce Springsteen had Clarence Clemons to layer in the sax lines, in 1976, Lou Reed had jazz trumpeter Don Cherry, together with saxophonist Marty Fogel, to help his music swing. While not credited on the artwork, Cherry’s presence is integral to the general funky/jazzy vibe apart from getting a prime spot on tracks such as A Sheltered Life, I’m Waiting For The Man and Kicks (some fans even consider the version here among the best live versions of the song). Cherry even managed to imbue a quiet storm feel on Walk On The Wild Side. [Don Cherry would formally appear on Lou Reed’s 1979 album, The Bells.]
For his fans, Reed bookended the set with the classics, opening with Sweet Jane and closing with Walk On The Wild Side. In between he delivered a passionate She’s My Best Friend and I’m Waiting For The Man. Listening to this, one is also struck by how much Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits fashioned his vocals after Reed’s, so much so that Lisa Says and You Wear It So Well could even pass as Dire Straits tunes!
In November 1976, Reed had released his seventh album, Rock And Roll Heart, but for this set, he only performed four new songs from the album – I Believe In Love, A Sheltered Life, You Wear It So Well and Claim To Fame. Coming after Berlin and Transformer, fans probably wanted more rocking angst but found Reed with what would be considered an R&B album! The lack of really standout songs didn’t help and fans are divided over “this faux jazzy big band sound” – just listen to the opening of A Sheltered Life.
But nothing seemed to faze Reed at this gig. Compared to the sound on the more sedate New York album in 1989, this concert practically brims with life. This is one very good sounding show, and with Don Cherry on board, becomes especially memorable for those who feel that the godfather of punk should dabble even with R&B if he so wishes.
Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality stereo MP3s – sample rate of 192 kibit/s). As far as we can ascertain, this recording has never been officially released.”
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