➤ RIP Lou Reed… Today we lost another legend

Lou Reed, Velvet Underground

Lou Reed on his bare-bones guitar style: “One chord is fine. Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you’re into jazz”

“He was a master” – David Bowie today
on his old friend

➢ Lou Reed, Velvet Underground leader and rock pioneer
who helped shape nearly fifty years of rock music
– Rolling Stone tribute, Oct 27:

After splitting with the Velvets in 1970, Reed traveled to England and, in characteristically paradoxical fashion, recorded a solo debut backed by members of the progressive-rock band Yes. But it was his next album, 1972’s Transformer, produced by Reed-disciple David Bowie, that pushed him beyond cult status into genuine rock stardom. Walk On the Wild Side, a loving yet unsentimental evocation of Warhol’s Factory scene, became a radio hit (despite its allusions to oral sex) and Satellite of Love was covered by U2 and others. Reed spent the Seventies defying expectations almost as a kind of sport. 1973’s Berlin was brutal literary bombast while 1974’s Sally Can’t Dance had soul horns and flashy guitar. In 1975 he released Metal Machine Music, a seething all-noise experiment his label RCA marketed as avant-garde classic music, while 1978’s banter-heavy live album Take No Prisoners was a kind of comedy record in which Reed went on wild tangents and savaged rock critics by name… / Continued at Rolling Stone

“Lou Reed… said that the first Velvet Underground
record sold 30,000 copies in the first five years.
But that was such an important record for
so many people, I think everyone who bought one
started a band!” – Brian Eno, 1982

➢ Alexis Petridis says Reed was capable of writing perfect pop songs – in Monday’s Guardian:

Their 1967 debut The Velvet Underground And Nico is the single most influential album in rock history. Certainly, it’s hard to think of another record that altered the sound and vocabulary of rock so dramatically, that shifted its parameters so far at a stroke. Vast tranches of subsequent pop music exist entirely in its shadow: it’s possible that glam rock, punk, and everything that comes loosely bracketed under the terms indie and alt-rock might have happened without it, but it’s hard to see how…

… the four gruelling songs that make up side two of his 1973 concept album Berlin are quite astonishing expressions of coldness and cruelty… [but] he could write songs that were impossibly moving, that spoke of a tenderness and sensitivity: the lambent, peerless Pale Blue Eyes; Halloween Parade’s heartbreaking lament for New York’s gay community, devastated by Aids; his meditation on death, Magic And Loss… / Continued at Guardian Online

➢ Reed’s own website with his last portrait
taken earlier this month

Click any pic to launch carousel

➢ In this firey Telegraph interview from 2011, Reed and Metallica defended their controversial collaboration album Lulu to Neil McCormick

➢ “Lou Reed is to 1970s New York as the poet Baudelaire was to 1850s Paris” – ft.com

➢ Wide-ranging 1995 conversation between novelist Paul Auster and Lou Reed, who reveals his rarely seen good-humoured side – online at Dazed & Confused

SINGING ABOUT WARHOL ON TRANSFORMER

+++
➢ Punk old-timer Legs McNeil on how, despite acting like a grump, the Velvet Underground front man was beloved – The Daily Beast

➢ “Second only to Bob Dylan in his impact on rock and roll’s development” – Variety

Lou Reed, Mick Rock,photography

Lou Reed and his favourite British photographer Mick Rock in 1975

➢ Lou Reed and Mick Rock were a great double act: The Quietus talks to them about their enduring relationship and a new book of photos, 2013

➢ Mick Rock talks to Galore magazine about the limited edition of Transformer, his photobook of Lou Reed pix from 1972 to 1980 (Genesis Publications)

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