If you’ve been following Dave’s Strange World, you’ll know how much I revere Reed’s legendary/infamous live album “Take No Prisoners.” Many dismiss “Prisoners” as a stand-up comedy album because Reed takes the opportunity to occasionally p–s on his enemies in vicious verbal asides. This is not one of those moments.
This version of “Satellite of Live” is far from slick, but it’s certainly heartfelt. His backing band is stunning and the background singers are beyond awesome. The finale, which starts 4:35 into the song is absolutely incredible and should be played at maximum volume.
An almost 17-minute live version of “Walk on the Wild Side” where Reed takes various breaks to talk about the genesis of this rock classic, along with other topics that are on his mind or get on his nerves (i.e. rock critics). A really funny and interesting analysis by an artist of his work.
Reed’s bone-chilling live version of his classic mini-rock opera “Street Hassle” from 1978. The “Take No Prisoners” album is legendary among Reed fans as being a stand-up comedy album because Reed gets back at some of the critics that have bothered him. However, I don’t think this is the “camp” masterpiece some people think it is. I believe it may be his best solo album. His band is phenomenal, the playing is powerful, the backup singers are terrific, and Reed, as f–ked up as he sounds, gives it his all. This version of “Street Hassle” is particularly memorable, especially the middle section where Reed takes on the character of the callous dope dealer talking to a client about getting rid of someone he brought over who OD’d. The way Reed spits out the lines is frightening and makes one believe he could have been a hell of an actor if he had gone down that road as an artist. The guitar playing during the last third will make the hairs on your neck stand up. A severely underrated masterpiece, even though Reed sounds really troubled and f–ked up on most of the songs. Oh, and the binaural sound that Reed embraced at that time (and had the album recorded with) sounds absolutely smashing on CD.
Lyrics that stop me in my tracks every time: “You know, some people got no choice … And they can never find a voice to talk with that they can even call their own … So the first thing that they see that allows them the right to be … Why they follow it, you know, it’s called bad luck.”