Lou Reed - guitar, keyboards
Fernando Saunders - bass
J.T. Lewis - drums
Eddie Martinez - guitar
Rick Bell - sax
Woody Smallwood - keyboards, trumpet
Lou Reed has always been in the upper stratosphere when it comes to most music critics, but in reality he has had as many misses as he has had hits, at least in terms of his universal artistic success. This show, recorded in 1986 when he was promoting his poorly accepted Mistrial album, is actually a strong representation of Lou Reed as a viable live performer. After an illustrious, but commercially disappointing career as the songwriter, guitarist and vocalist for the early cutting edge band, The Velvet Underground, Reed dissolved the group after 1970's Loaded release, which was the album that could have given them a real commercial crossover.
Reed emerged on RCA as a solo artist, but the initial LP was a bust. He was then signed to David Bowie's management, Mainman, and placed under the direction of Bowie and guitarist Mick Ronson, during the height of the Ziggy Stardust- glitter era. The result was the Bowie/Ronson-produced album, Transformer, Reed's most successful album, and the only one to give him multiple hits: "Walk On The Wild Side;" "Vicious" and "Satellite of Love" (later made into a hit once again by U2).
After the success of Transformer, Reed, like Bowie, went through many years of changing his visual image and his musical style. (He went from glitter-god to leather-clad rocker to heroin-chic fashion plate, changing with every record). Though he made many brilliant records (1973's ode to despair and suicide, Berlin, will always be his finest), Reed never again had the same commercial success he experienced while working with Bowie.
This recording from the King Biscuit archives comes more than 15 years after he began working on Transformer, but in many ways, his music has never really drifted too far from the dark introspection of his Velvet Underground days.