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The search feature never works for me, and I don't remember a thread on this, so here goes. Anyone else into Lou Reed, or The Velvet Underground? I've recently stolen the best of TVU, Rock n Roll Animal from my dad. They both got me hooked. Just based on those, and looking at how early they came, you can see how influencial they were in shaping rock music. I listen to it and just get the feeling like Reed's work really showed rock what it could do. I then listened to Transformer, which was amazing. Now I'm listening to New York, and love that in the liner notes he writes that it is meant to be listened to in one sitting and absorbed like a book or a movie. And the songs are all so well written. So, Lou Reed owns in my mind, and I made this thread. As far as I can tell, he is like an earlier version of Daniel Johnston, in the way that he influenced so many great artists. I think it was Brian Eno who said that The Velvet Underground only sold a few thousand albums, but everyone who bought one started a band. He is also the only person I know of who actually went through with the rock myth of releasing an album of just distortion, just to fuck with his record company. Anyway, anyone else all up in this?

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preach on. i love the velvets and lou solo. he has that unimpeachable rock cool, without it seeming posey or put on.

easily one of my top 5 favourite artists of all time.

though, somehow, rock & roll animal never did it for me.

perhaps i should revisit it.

but at the time i got it, it just wasn't brittle sounding enough.

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eric, in retrospect i probably would've agreed with you on most of what you've written here, but after slowly having been exploring the VU catalogue as well as reed's i'd have to say that his early solo stuff is a bit overrated.


transformer is solid, but it should not be understated that it took the hands of david bowie and mick ronson to really get reed at the top of his game again. also, i'm a bit bothered by the fact that reed seems to be exploiting his more "raunchy" side here because he knows it'll get a rise out of people. in VU, particularly on songs like "heroin" or "i'm waiting for the man," he was unrelenting with his observations of drug use and sexuality, but it had a rawness to it. because transformer is so "glam" it's hard to tell when he's being sincere or not, as well as his lyrics about drugs and sex don't have the same kind of impact because they're not coupled with equally-as-compelling music.


rock n roll animal is a great, albeit, short live set that manages to reinterpret the old VU songs into very energetic, stadium-suitable numbers. it rocks hard, and does it very well. my one complaint though is that it's sad to see reed play a set of primarily VU material in 1974, by which point he had already released 3 solo albums. it's like he's admitting to us that he knows his own work is mediocre in comparison to his songwriting in VU.


that said, loaded and the velvet underground & nico are the best examples of his songwriting during that period, and i feel like white light/white heat is the best VU album. it's the most complete; the one where they all gel so very well and don't have warhol looking over their shoulders constantly. nor do they have to "give" songs to nico.

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