Home Read Classic Album Review: Lou Reed | American Poet

Classic Album Review: Lou Reed | American Poet

The Velvet Underground leader serves up a hit-filled set on this ’70s live recording.


This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


How many songs has Lou Reed written? Actually, never mind. It doesn’t matter.

No matter what Lou does, 99% of his fans would pick the same tracks to put on their fantasy Best Of Lou CD: Heroin, I’m Waiting for the Man, White Light/White Heat, Sweet Jane, Satellite of Love, Walk On The Wild Side, Rock & Roll. Unsurprisingly, all of them turn up on the set list on American Poet, a fiery live album recorded for N.Y. radio shortly after Lou issued his flawless Transformer disc in ’72. The sound is decent if nothing to write home about, but the performances are passionate and charged enough to more than make up for it. As a bonus, there’s a hilarious mid-set interview featuring Lou at his acid-tongued best. (“Where’s Dougie Yule?” the interviewer inquires of Lou’s much-hated VU successor and nemesis. “Dead, I hope,” snipes Lou.) Sure, Reed’s made a half-dozen live albums already. But 99% of Lou’s fans will want to own this one too.