Mar 222010

Is anyone else reminded of The Prisoner as this bad boy gets underway?

Lou’s movements here split the difference between his 1974-era speed-jive and his more recent work in Tai Chi.

What do you think, is this Reed’s best promotional video or are you a “My Red Joystick” guy?


  18 Responses to “Lou Reed…The Way His Videos Were Meant to Be Seen!”

  1. hrrundivbakshi

    Oh, for fuck’s sake. See, this is what I’m talking about. The ONLY reason anybody ever cared enough about this song to, a.) record it; b.) make a video about it; and c.) write an arch RTH post about the writing and filming of it is *because Lou Reed is involved.” Come ON, people! This is, like, homeless crazy-guy quality music!

  2. Mr. Moderator

    I regret not completing the Velvet Intervention with you, hrrundi. I think we fell one day short of our intended therapy. Without getting what’s great about Lou Reed you miss all the levels of badness that he can deliver. In fact, I’d say no other artist could have delivered a song as squirm-inducing as “Women.” There’s an art to this stuff that’s worth your consideration.

  3. HVB,

    I generally agree with you, but would argue that the GREAT bassline makes that whole song worthwhile.

  4. The Velvet Underground have been part of my Rock and Roll Trinity since high school, so I dutifully bought some Lou solo stuff (Coney Island Baby, Street Hassle, and I think Transformer). With the exception of Satellite of Love and maybe two or three other songs, his solo career is abysmal.

    I think he’s spent the past 40 years taking advantage of people who either lament the fact that they weren’t around for the Velvets or are embarrassed that they weren’t paying attention. How else do you explain the crap-to-success ratio? I refuse to believe that it’s because of the songs.

    Seriously, the emperor has no clothes.

  5. Here is my question for Mr. Mod: Are there things to appreciate in Lou Reed’s solo career besides the weird rubbernecking slo-mo car crash stuff you’re always telling us to focus on? I am trying to come up with a term that I think encapsulates what you like about this stuff, along with “Kokomo” and “Uptown Girl.” How does Real-Time Alpha-Male Failure sound?

    I’ve heard about that “Women” song, but never heard it till now. I’m pretty sure it’s an intentional joke.

  6. hrrundivbakshi

    cdm… WE REACH!

    Thanks for your candor and insight,


  7. Mr. Moderator

    Oats, first of all, that’s a Glossary-worthy – no, Glossary-NECESSARY – term you’ve cooked up to describe this aspect of my taste. I highly recommend you take some time to write up the official Glossary entry and give others like me a name for this affliction.

    Despite the fact that he’s turned out tremendous loads of craps, including BAD-bad crap (as opposed to the good-bad crap that I often feature in this running series), I honestly do love a lot of solo Lou Reed. Starting with individual songs, has there ever been a cooler AM radio hit than “Walk on the Wild Side”? That’s his one perfect solo song.

    I LOVE The Blue Mask, embarrassing songs and all. I love the sound of the album. The themes of the album mean a lot to me. “Waves of Fear,” “Underneath the Bottles,” the title track, and “Our House” make me feel like cranking up the stereo and opening windows.

    There’s ample crap throughout his career, but so often I find even the crap to be more revealing than a lot of artists’ more polished works. I am highly attracted to people revealing things about themselves. Why do you think I do this blog?

    As horrendously embarrassing as “Women” is, there’s a part of me that likes and admires it. Reed has that album I don’t particularly like, Growing Up in Public – “Women” could have been the centerpiece of an album entitled Jerking Off in Public. It’s such a creepy song, joke or not, and I’m thankful that someone had it in him to write it and bring it into the world. Only John Lennon could have come up with something so not-fit-for-public consumption, but his sense of craft would have made the song itself not so awkward and easier to stomach.

    The song “Coney Island Baby,” especially the live intro on Take No Prisoners: right on! “Men of Good Fortune”: indeed! Almost the entire Berlin album, especially “Sad Song”: pull the shades and allow me to wallow!

    For me, a lot of his stuff cuts to difficult emotions I felt growing up and still feel today. The way The Who so well captured a lot of teenage boy experiences many of us felt, I think Reed was often able to capture dysfunctional, middle-class, urban family stuff. I truly appreciate the ham-handed ways in which he tends to treat his subject matter, because sometimes the troubles of life need immediate attention and expression. There’s not always a dignified, poetic way to express some of the stuff I’ve felt and that I feel the best – and worst! – Reed songs can express. At his best – and worst – he’s like a rock ‘n roll Travis Bickle.

  8. I think you mean Rupert Pupkin.

  9. Mr. Moderator

    Both, cdm, and they’re both among my favorite necessary, cathartic movie characters.

  10. I’m fairly certain I stand alone in my appreciation of his New York album though I would appreciate some company.

  11. sammymaudlin

    I’m OK with New York. Enough that I’ll hang with you thru cocktails but’ll probably need to head out before dinner. Unless we’re talking fries and onion rings. Then maybe.

    I was even OK with Set the Twilight Reeling until he started singing about “sex with your parents”. Dude, uncalled for. Dude.

  12. hrrundivbakshi

    C-frank — you and others may be surprised to learn that I actually kind of like that “New York” album. And here’s a fun fact: Townsman mockcarr’s hot cousin Shannon — who he never introdused me to like he promised, the turd — engineered it!

  13. Mr. Moderator

    I’m not surprised that’s the one Lou Reed album you can stomach, Hrrundi, but I loves you anyway!

  14. misterioso

    chickenfrank, as Bowie says, You’re not alone! I thought New York was Great when it came out. Ok, I don’t feel that it is great anymore, most of what made it great then (totally current and relevant, torn from today’s headlines!) work against it now. But as a snapshot of a time and place, I think it is just fine and still enjoyable on those terms.

    It is one of 3 or 4 solo Lou records I can manage to care about every once in while.

  15. Far out! She actually captured the way his songs were meant to sound.

  16. I like New York too. I’d say it’s his best sounding solo record. While I like the Blue Mask era band, I’m not entirely down with the processed sounding fretless. Fernando Saunders plays well but that sound can really grate. Wasserman’s bass on New York has a nice thick natural sound in the mix.

  17. mockcarr

    I think my cousin’s story was that he had gone through pretty much every other available engineer at Electric Lady, and she had been around to assist at the weird times he was recording, and became the one left he didn’t hate. Being able to deal with a big baby like Reed was undoubtedly good practice for her, since she’s an ob/gyn now.

  18. mockcarr

    Also, the last time I heard from her, she was wondering whether she was becoming “that weird aunt” since she was considering sending a bunch of Dylan tracks to her nephew who was getting into acoustic guitar last year.

    There is a fine tradition of weird aunts on my dad’s side of the family.

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