Lou Reed doesn’t enjoy a large fan-base. But what he has is worldwide, and ROCK SOLID. After a legendary career, with beginnings rooted in The Velvet Underground, and a great (and greatly varied) solo outing that includes the ambiguous double LP, Metal Machine Music, Lou has done what few performers in his bracket can do. And he’s come out alive.
Recently, he joined forces with Metallica that resulted not only in confused fans from both sides, but also an unusual album (Lulu), that is, at heart, a typical late-edition Lou Reed album backed by an unlikely source. Its reception was mixed, and is still a bit of a controversy among fans of both side although Lou Reed fans are much more likely to embrace it than otherwise.
But what of his previous works? Lou Reed has created such a wide body of albums, every one as strange and as distant from its predecessor and what came after.
From the difficult to acquire (physically) RCA self-titled debut, to the critically enjoyed followup, Transformer, to the brilliant and unsung Berlin, and the remainder of the first-era RCA issues (including the troubled Metal Machine Music), Lou Reed has entertained. Whether or not you stayed with him throughout tells a tale as much about you as it does the mind of Lou Reed.
Lou followed with a fairly impressive Arista collection of albums including the critically acclaimed Street Hassle. Eventually, Lou Reed would land back in the stable of RCA Records, moving on to Sire Records for the safe to say what seems a conclusion of Lou Reed albums (other than 2011’s Lulu collaboration). His unappreciated and indulgent The Raven was released in 2003, ten long years ago.
With such a wide array of Lou Reed albums, many of them solid contenders for best of career assessment, I thought it a good time to inquire of fans which album they appreciated most. Although I have a distinct feeling that Transformer might run away with it, I kind of hope not as I feel Lou was divergent enough to have more people battle for a favorite. For this forum, I think it is safe to list a favored selection should you desire to do so. There’s a lot of years, and a lot of albums to discuss.
What do you think?