Live: Take No Prisoners

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Live: Take No Prisoners
Live album by Lou Reed
Released November 1978
Recorded May 17–21, 1978
Venue The Bottom Line, New York City
Genre Rock
Length 98:27
Label Arista
Producer Lou Reed
Lou Reed chronology
Street Hassle
(1978)Street Hassle1978
Live: Take No Prisoners
The Bells
(1979)The Bells1979

Live: Take No Prisoners is a 1978 live album by Lou Reed, recorded during May 1978 at The Bottom Line in New York.

The album contains adlibs by Lou Reed during and between songs, among them a detailed story of the origin of "Walk on the Wild Side," and a rant against rock music critics, particularly Robert Christgau.[1]


Live: Take No Prisoners was recorded during the series of albums where Reed employed the use of a binaural recording setup, using a dummy head with microphones in each ear. The back cover of the album notes: "Produced by Lou Reed for Sister Ray Enterprises LTD. This is a binaural sound recording."

Bruce Springsteen, who acted as an uncredited vocalist on the studio version of the song "Street Hassle", was in the crowd during the recording of the live album. During the performance of "Walk on the Wild Side" featured on Take No Prisoners, Reed addresses the musician is in the crowd, saying, "Hi Bruce. Springsteen is alright, by the way. He gets my seal of approval. I think he's groovy."[2]


The illustrations on the cover were officially credited to Brent Bailer[3][4] but Spanish illustrator Nazario won in 2000 a legal battle after which it was determined that the original drawing had been done by him, for the cover of a magazine in the seventies. RCA was forced to pay Nazario 4 million pesetas (around 24,000 euros/$27,000 USD). Nazario has said that if Lou Reed had ever asked him for permission to use his drawing, he would probably have given it for free.[5]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Lou Reed

CD One:

  1. "Sweet Jane" – 10:44
  2. "I Wanna Be Black" – 6:27
  3. "Satellite of Love" – 7:06
  4. "Pale Blue Eyes" – 7:36
  5. "Berlin" – 6:13
  6. "I'm Waiting for the Man" – 13:59

CD Two:

  1. "Coney Island Baby" – 8:37
  2. "Street Hassle" – 13:15
  3. "Walk on the Wild Side" – 16:54
  4. "Leave Me Alone" – 7:29


Comedian, writer and host of The Best Show radio program Tom Scharpling has noted that he feels Take No Prisoners is perhaps the only "perfect Lou Reed record."[6]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[7]
Chicago Tribune 2/4 stars[8]
Robert Christgau C+[9]


  • Lou Reed - vocals, guitar, Roland guitar synthesizer
  • Stuart Heinrich - guitar, background vocals
  • Marty Fogel - electric saxophone
  • Michael Fonfara - Yamaha electric piano
  • Ellard "Moose" Boles - bass, background vocals
  • Michael Suchorsky - drums
  • Angel Howell - tambourine, background vocals
  • Chrissy Faith - background vocals
  • Mixed and engineered by Manfred Schunke at Delta Studio, Wilster, Germany
  • Audience engineer - Gregg Caruso, Jay W. Krugman, Julie Last
  • Assistant engineer - René Tinner
  • Mastered by Ted Jensen of Sterling Sound, NYC