List of the Day - Archives

Lou Reed, Birthday Observed

List Of The Day

Lou Reed's birthday is March 2, which since it falls on a Sunday means it will be celebrated on Monday, March 3. He is 105. All government offices will be open to observe this great day. Stop by and celebrate at your leisure. We here at List Of The Day will do so by picking out five wonderful Lou Reed moments from his solo career. You see, he was also once in a lovely group called the Velvet Underground where he had to share his acclaim with others. Then in the 1970s he got weird for awhile.

Metal Machine Music: The greatest album of all-time? Depends on what you mean by "the." It's four sides of pure sonic assault and I still have the 8-track! Which since each side was timed out to 16:01 means nothing had to be edited out or compromised. Bring it to parties for when you want people to leave.

Berlin: Some people think the kids crying on the song appropriately called "The Kids" is going too far. But c'mon, relax. It's a concept album about how much better life would be if we all lived in Berlin and Lou Reed was in charge of monetary policy. We'd all get a free stereo and a dozen donuts just for entering the annual raffle. Life would be sweet and this album tells you why.

Take No Prisoners: Long before Last Comic Standing there was this album. Two LPs of Lou Reed talking his way through his songs. Wait, you say that sounds like all his actual albums? Well, I mean here he literally talks through them, as in talks over them, while the band is wondering how they're going to know they're finished.

Street Hassle: One of his more focused albums, since Reed had (had? he's not dead yet, folks!) the tendency to put a lot of throwaway material on his albums. Here, he stuck to making an epic out of the title track and working from there with tunes that he'd had kicking around for some time and was just waiting for the right moment, which apparently meant waiting for an album where he looked pretty cool in his sunglasses on the cover.

The Blue Mask: Two words: Robert Quine. Yes, the now sadly deceased guitarist once gave Reed's music a real shot in the arm. And not the kind of shot Reed was accustomed to, either. But a real fiery blast that made even the dullest Reed insight or the flattest Reed vocal secondary to the fact that he had one crazy instrumentalist looking to take him out back and beat the crap out of him. Motivation people. No stoppin' it.

View Comments