Lou Reed – Lou Reed

ARTIST: Lou Reed 220px-Lour72
TITLE: Lou Reed
YEAR RELEASED: 1972
CHART ACTION: #189
SINGLES: I Can’t Stand It, Walk and Talk It
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Wild Child is probably the best known.
LINEUP: Lou Reed with UK session help including Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Velvet Underground leader’s first solo album is mostly leftover tracks from that group, but the production choices mar the songs at times.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The first Lou Reed solo album was anticipated by some, as the Velvet Underground was getting some critical acclaim (finally) in 1971 or so. While the record has some moments (“Wild Child”,”Ocean”, “Ride into the Sun”) overall it seems lackluster.

The first side of the album, especially, suffers from the addition of backing vocals that are more out there than what the songs called for. Maybe I’m used to the VU versions of “I Can’t Stand It” or “Lisa Says”, but the backing vocals and arrangements seem a bit intrusive to the songs.

Eight of the ten tracks were Velvet Underground outtakes or songs that never were recorded by played live. The songs are good, I just think they could have been arranged better.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The two ‘new’ tracks (not VU leftovers) were “Going Down” and “Berlin”. The latter would be re-recorded as part of the Berlin album the next year.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: B: Side two is much better, and “Wild Child” and “Ocean” are the saviors of the album.

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