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Remembering Lou Reed

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

Lou Reed dying is a strange one. On the one hand, it was widely known that he'd been seriously ill recently. Plus he wasn't a young man. It's just that, for the majority of music fans, Lou Reed was like your dad. He'd just always been there. In fact, he was pretty much where it'd all started. Why wouldn't he keep going on forever? If industrial quantities of various drugs couldn't fell him in the 60s and 70s, why should anything?

Well, now he's gone and we've lost another icon, another link to that long ago age when rock music was still being forged. We've lost someone who could lay serious claim to influencing just about every band going today. And course, a lot will be written about that, just as it has already been over the decades. With the Velvet Underground and solo, Reed recorded a handful of classics which formed the cornerstone of what rock music can do, what it can say and what it can sound like, and will be cited by generations to come as a crucial influences. That much is beyond doubt.

But of course, we shouldn't wish the Lou Reed Story to become just another bland legend. We don't want reduced down to just 'Perfect Day' and 'Walk on the Wild Side', deathlessly great as those songs are. We want to remember Reed as the wild alchemist, the maverick, the man who could release the crowd-pleasing Sally Can't Dance and Rock 'n' Roll Animal and follow up the career-sabotaging experimental feedback of Metal Machine Music, then confound everyone by writing his sweetest ever love song in 'Coney Island Baby'. From the 60s till the late 80s, you could never pin this man down and that was the way he liked it.

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