The next album by one-time Velvet Underground leader Lou Reed will be a
live collection culled from a single performance that the artist himself described as "one take, one night, no bullshit," according to label spokesman Bill Bentley.
Perfect Night, recorded at a London theater last July, will be
released on April 21, eight days before "Lou Reed: A Rock & Roll Heart" airs as part of PBS' "American Masters" documentary series. The 15-song album touches on each segment of Reed's career, stretching from the Velvet Underground classic "I'll Be Your Mirror" up to several new tracks from Reed's as-yet-unrecorded rock-opera collaboration with playwright Robert Wilson, Time Rocker.
"There's a lot of improvisation on this," Bentley said. "The guitars are
acoustic, but it's not really an 'Unplugged' album because the acoustic
guitars, the way Lou has them, they don't sound like acoustic. This guy
built him something called a 'Feed Bucker Box' that eliminates feedback, so
he can really turn them up."
Accompanying Reed on the album are his longtime guitarist Mike Rathke, bass
player Fernando Saunders and drummer Tony Smith. Perfect Night was produced by Reed and includes liner notes that he wrote.
Three of the album's tracks -- "Talking Book," "Into The Divine" and "Why
Do You Talk?" -- are from Time Rocker, the Robert Wilson play based
on H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine," for which Reed wrote 16 songs.
At this point, there are no plans to record the opera in its entirety, Bentley said.
"This thing came up kind-of suddenly," Bentley said. "We knew that the PBS
show was coming up, and we knew that we wanted a Lou Reed record. Lou
mentioned to us that there was this incredible night he had in London, and
they happened to make a DAT tape of it. So he gave us that tape, we
listened to it and thought, 'What a night.' "
Perfect Night's full track-listing includes: "I'll Be Your Mirror,"
"Perfect Day," "The Kids," "Vicious," "Busload of Faith," "Kicks," "Talking
Book," "Into The Divine," "Coney Island Baby," "New Sensations," "Why Do
You Talk?" "Riptide," "The Original Wrapper," "Sex With Your Parents" and
"Dirty Boulevard." [Thurs., Feb. 19, 1998, 9 a.m. PST]