Lou Reed 1942-2013

Lou Reed, the singer-songwriter-guitarist who influenced rock and roll for generations, passed away on October 27th.
Lou Reed rose to fame as the lead singer of the Velvet Underground, whose four albums -- The Velvet Underground, The Velvet Underground and Nico, White Light/White Heat, and Loaded -- were both poetic and gritty, dealing with everything from drug use ("I'm Waiting for the Man") to sado-masochism ("Venus in Furs") while still celebrating the simple joy of music ("Rock & Roll").  After leaving the band, Reed enjoyed substantial success as a solo artist, creating "Walk on the Wild Side" and "Perfect Day."

Lou Reed managed to elevate song lyrics into poetry while dealing with the weird, seedy, or dangerous elements of society in a very objective manner.  His music -- with the Velvet Underground and afterwards -- affected everything from glam rock to punk to alternative music.   Brian Eno said that while The Velvet Underground & Nico only sold 30,000 copies in its first years, "Everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band."  Lou Reed showed that the combination of writing, guitar, social awareness and distinctive vocals could accomplish.  He will be missed.

Jim Lynch
(who ranks The Velvet Underground & Nico as one of his top 10 albums)


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