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Take No Prisoners (Live)

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Album Review

"I do Lou Reed better than anybody, so I thought I'd get in on it," Reed says at one point during this double live set, and that seems to sum up the album's theme quite well. Recorded during a week of shows at New York's Bottom Line in 1978, Live: Take No Prisoners presents Lou Reed the Standup Comic, doing schtick on Patti Smith ("F*ck Radio Ethiopia, man! I'm Radio Brooklyn!"), political activism ("Give me an issue, I'll give you a tissue, and you can wipe my ass with it"), and the agony of playing "Walk on the Wild Side" ("It's not that I don't want to play your favorites, but there are so many favorites to choose from!") while occasionally pausing to play a song. As a comic, Lou is no Lenny Bruce or Bill Hicks, but he's funny by fits and starts (and he plays guitar better than either of them). On the odd moments when Lou is focused enough to actually perform a song from start to finish (such as "Pale Blue Eyes" or "Coney Island Baby"), he's in fine form, sounding loose but enthusiastic, but those moments don't happen especially often, and this album plows through a mere ten songs in close to 100 minutes, which gives you an idea of just how far he stretches out here. If you're a fan who wants a look into the mind of Lou Reed, comic or otherwise, Live: Take No Prisoners certainly fills the bill, but if you want to hear Lou actually play his music, you're better off with Rock N Roll Animal or Live in Italy. But then again, as Lou himself points out, "What's wrong with cheap dirty jokes? I never said I was tasteful."

Customer Reviews

Radio Brooklyn!

Lou live is a force of nature, an element in itself. all is right in the world when this album plays.
All the classic songs, with an electric and volatile atmosphere that makes me wish, so desperately, i had been alive to experience it first hand.
The songs themselves, you'll find, aren't in the compact traditional style but a fluid notion. This is more of Lou set to a melody than an album of songs yet it is impressively entertaining and mesmerising. Lou snarks and jokes, wit sharp as ever with the best quip being directed at a heckler thinking they might challenge him "if you write as good as you talk nobody reads you"
If you love Lou, and want to hear him in action i reccommend this album. If your looking for his songs i'd look for a studio album such as Transformer or Coney Island Baby.

Biography

Born: 02 March 1942 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The career of Lou Reed defied capsule summarization. Like David Bowie (whom Reed directly inspired in many ways), he made over his image many times, mutating from theatrical glam rocker to strung-out junkie to avant-garde noiseman to straight rock & roller to your average guy. Few would deny Reed's immense importance and considerable achievements. As has often been written, he expanded the vocabulary of rock & roll lyrics into the previously forbidden territory of kinky sex, drug use (and abuse),...
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