April 3, 2010

Lou Reed

  • Gorillaz - Some Kind of Nature (feat. Lou Reed)
  • The Velvet Underground - I'm Waiting for the Man
  • The Velvet Underground - Heroin
  • The Velvet Underground - Here She Comes Now
  • Lou Reed - Vicious
  • Lou Reed - Street Hassle

Like practically every other person on the planet, I like Gorillaz' new album Plastic Beach. There are a lot of great tracks, but the one that stands out the most to me definitely is Some Kind of Nature featuring Lou Reed. I'm a huge Velvet Underground and Lou Reed fan, and had high expectations to the track ever since I first saw it on early Plastic Beach tracklists. Hearing one of my musical heroes rap for what must be the first time in his long career was simply awesome, and the track is overall really catchy and sweet.

My addiction to Some Kind of Nature has brought me back into one of my Velvet Underground / Lou Reed periods, and I'm constantly listening to them again. Here are some of my favorite Reed tracks of all time:

From The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)
The Velvet Underground - I'm Waiting for the Man
The Velvet Underground - Heroin

In my two favorite tracks on the album, Reed does exactly what made the whole album famous - he very frankly, explicitly and nonchalantly explores themes that until them had been almost non-existant in 'pop' music, such as drug abuse.

From White Light / White Heat (1968)
The Velvet Underground - Here She Comes Now

Here She Comes now, from the Velvet Undergound's second album, is one of my favorite slower and 'nicer' tracks by the band. The beautiful little tune is drastically different from the heavier Waiting for the Man and Heroin, but showcases the same amazing songwriting talent.

From Transformer (1972)
Lou Reed - Vicious

After the Velvet Underground disbanded in the early seventies, Reed made the solo album Transformer, where he explored more accessible pop and glam sides of himself. The album is the most famous for the major hit "Perfect Day", but my personal favorite is the powerful and feisty "Vicious". So full of attitude, and apparently inspired by Andy Warhol, who once told Lou Reed that he 'should make a song about someone vicious'.

From Street Hassle (1978)
Lou Reed - Street Hassle

The title track of Reed's 1978 solo album Street Hassle is a wonderful example of his lyrical talents - essentially an epic 11-minute long poem reading of rough New York underworld social realism poetry set to guitars. The long song is split into three parts - "Waltzing Matilda," "Street Hassle," and "Slipaway", and features Bruce Springsteen on vocals for a short while on the final third part. Amazing and powerful track.


artworknyc said...

growing up in PUBLIC has LOU doing a song called the ORIGINAL WRAPPER...
in rap.

WHERE YOU BEEN...this some kind of nature is not his first foray into rap

Vizitrone said...

Thanks for pointing this out to me, artworknyc! I should have done my research better.

In my defense, though, my copy of Gowing Up in Public does not have the track Original Wrapper - and it seems like that it has the most usual tracklist: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Growing_Up_in_Public

Seems like it's a standalone single, or some sort of bonus track!

Sergeant said...

Happy New Year 2011 !