Sonically these four discs comprise the classic Velvets’ strongest recordings. The performances are lively, varied, and engaged, and there’s a perverse pleasure in hearing Lou Reed keep the poetry prosaic and crack wise about his bummers before tiny crowds in a San Francisco more post-utopian than it was ready to admit.
Agree that this gives Lou Reed some diverse-personality props that he’s deserved forever. Absolutely agree about the sonics — for once, excellent sound is not just a feature but a key essence. I can hear and point out power and variety in the band I could only intuit and gesture at before.
Jon Savage collection on order. One of the great sets of ears.