Lou Reed | Artist

Lou Reed | Artist

Tags: Era_1970s, Genre_Art_Rock, Genre_Punk, Origin_USA, Type_Artist

Lou Reed was an American musician, singer and songwriter born 1942 in Brooklyn, New York. He was the lead guitarist, singer and principal songwriter with the Velvet Underground after which he had a successful solo career spanning five decades. Having played guitar and sung in doo-wop groups in high school, Reed studied poetry at Syracuse University under Delmore Schwartz, and served as a radio DJ hosting a late-night Avant-garde program while at college. After graduating from Syracuse, he went to work for low-budget record company Pickwick Records in New York City, where he met fellow session player John Cale. Together with Sterling Morrison and Angus MacLise, Reed and Cale formed the Velvet Underground in 1965. After building a reputation on the avant garde music scene they gained the attention of Andy Warhol, who became the band's manager. When Cale departed the band after their second album, Velvet Underground effectively became Reed's backing band, with Reed as vocalist, rhythm guitarist and primary songwriter, as well as it's iconic front-man, projecting the band's louche, arty-druggy, anti-establishment and sexually ambiguous image. After leaving the VU, Reed would go on to a much more commercially successful solo career, releasing twenty studio albums. His second, Transformer (1972), produced by David Bowie and arranged by Mick Ronson, brought him mainstream recognition. Transformer is a rock masterpiece containing the hit song "Walk on the Wild Side". This one song with its autobiographical subject matter summed up Reed's life and muse in a succinct 4.12 minutes of cool lounge-jazz, with signature bass-work by veteran Herbie Flowers. Reed's third solo album was the superb Berlin from the following year. Of all his albums, this emotionally gut-wrenching masterpiece demonstrates Reed's credentials as a songwriter and performer who could produce timeless and powerful works created from his own real-life experiences. After the catharsis of Berlin, Reed moved to more mainstream rock-n-roll based material. Outstanding later albums include Rock n Roll Animal (1974), Coney Island Baby (1975), Street Hassle (1978), The Blue Mask (1982), New York (1989), and Magic and Loss (1992). Reed also collaborated with John Cale on the excellent Songs for Drella (1990) in memory of Andy Warhol. Perhaps Reed's most controversial work was the 1975 double album Metal Machine Music, which is an hour of modulated feedback and guitar effects. Described by Rolling Stone as the "tubular groaning of a galactic refrigerator", many critics saw it as a gesture of contempt, an attempt to break his contract with RCA or to alienate his "pop" fans. Reed claimed that the album was a genuine artistic effort inspired by the drone music of La Monte Young. Reed also contributed music to two theatrical interpretations of 19th-century writers, one of which he developed into an album titled The Raven. He married his third wife Laurie Anderson in 2008, and recorded the collaboration album Lulu with Metallica. He died in 2013 of liver disease. Reed has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice: as a member of the Velvet Underground in 1996 and as a solo act in 2015.

Artist Website: loureed.com

Featured Albums: Lou Reed

Related Artists: Velvet Underground, John Cale, Reed & Cale, Laurie Anderson

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