Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mix CD: The Essential Lou Reed

Lou Reed is kind of a douche in real life. In this picture Lou Reed has some of the worst hair ever. However he still is Lou Reed. He still fronted a band that one could argue as the most influential band in Rock & Roll over the last half century. Still the guy has released a good share of crap. Apart from Transformer it's hard to pinpoint his essential albums, as people tend to be really polarized in opinion about his many other records. Still it's pretty safe to say that Berlin, Coney Island Baby, and New York are his other biggies.

Though with many artists if you neglect an album of theirs that is not particularly good overall, you may be neglecting a song or two that you'll be missing out on. See "Sally Can't Dance" for an example. Well what I'm getting to here is that I've created an essential Lou Reed mix. Now I'm not a huge Lou fan or anything, and to be perfectly honest I'm only especially familiar with Transformer and Berlin. So when I went out on this project I had to do a little research, both looking at previous Best of Lou mixes and charts to see what songs are the most beloved. Out of all the commercial compilations I found Wild Child to be the best, though it was a bit too heavy on Berlin. Not a bad thing in spirit, but when you're trying to give a career overview and include more than half of the songs on a single album you're not looking wide enough. Plus it's Berlin- putting most of the album's songs out of context and out of order is a bit ridiclous. On my mix I cut it down to 4- a lot but I couldn't bear to lose any of them. Also in terms of the Wild Child mix I got a kick out of how they included a minute and a half excerpt of Metal Machine Music. I had to go along with including that.

Here's the tracklist and link:

The Essential Lou Reed

1. Vicious
2. Satellite of Love
3. Walk on the Wild Side
4. Perfect Day
5. White Light-White Heat
6. How Do You Think It Feels
7. Carolina Says II
8. Berlin
9. Lady Day
10. Sad Song
11. Sally Can't Dance
12. Metal Machine Music (excerpt)
13. Coney Island Baby
14. Street Hassle
15. The Blue Mask
16. Legendary Hearts
17. I Love You Suzanne
18. Dirty Blvd.

I wish I could have included more from New York, but ran out of room. Street Hassle takes up a lot of space, but man on man is that a good one. I went along with the original compilation's inclusion of White Light/White Heat to represent Rock 'N Roll Animal due to space restrictions. I'm a bigger fan of the alternate arrangements of Sweet Jane and Herion, but unfortunately those were too long. The White Light arrangement though is pretty cool for taking it in a way different direction than the original. And though a lititle on the lame side, I had to include I Love You Suzanne.

The Essential John Cale is coming soon....

Lou Reed albums @


Neener said...

I love your blog, please keep posting!

Anonymous said...

lou reed is one of heros.
despite the shittier music he's produced. he has some amazing music with a lot of feel to it.

Sad Nomad said...

I stumbled upon this list.

I am a Reed fanatic, so there's plenty of stuff I consider essential that others would not, but -- I always recommend that people check out the live version of Coney Island Baby from Take No Prisoners. It's totally different, and loud as Hell.

Parnass said...

Lou Reed is definitely one of the best guitar players in the recent history. Amazing! At some point he seemed like a poor old viagra online addict, but still his talent was remarkable.