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Musician

Lou Reed

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Singer, songwriter and guitarist Lou Reed was born on March 2, 1942, in Brooklyn, New York. In 1965, he co-founded the Velvet Underground, a rock band managed by Andy Warhol. Reed went solo in the 1970s, scoring a hit with the song "Walk on the Wild Side" and releasing more than 16 albums, including Coney Island Baby and Berlin. He died on October 27, 2013, at age 71. Early Life Lou Reed was born Lewis Allan Reed at Beth El Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, on March 2, 1942. He spent most of his childhood in Long Island, where he grew up in a Jewish family. Reed took an early interest in music and played guitar in several bands during his high school years. During this period, he underwent electroshock therapy intended to cure him of his bisexuality. The Velvet Underground Reed and Cale recruited Reed's college acquaintances, guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker, to join a band they called the Velvet Underground. The group soon caught the attention of artist Andy Warhol, who incorporated them into his regular parties and introduced them to the New York art scene. Warhol claimed some ownership of the band, compelling them to take on European model Nico as a singer on their debut album. Despite their resistance, the first Velvet Underground album, called The Velvet Underground & Nico, is considered one of the most influential in rock history. Some of Reed's songs, including "Heroin," addressed his growing drug use. The volatile combination of personalities within the band could not coexist peacefully for long. By the time the band recorded their next album, White Light/White Heat, both Nico and Warhol were no longer participants. Cale and Reed clashed, driving Cale from the band. The Velvet Underground released two more albums with more pop-oriented tracks by Reed, including "Sweet Jane." In 1970, Reed left the band, retiring to his parents' home on Long Island. Solo Career Lou Reed briefly worked at his father's tax accounting firm before signing a solo recording contract with RCA Records. His first album, Lou Reed, contained re-recorded versions of unreleased Velvet Underground songs, and was not a commercial or critical success. In 1972, Reed released Transformer. Co-produced by David Bowie, the album contained the hit single "Walk on the Wild Side," which paid tribute to the hustlers and transvestites Reed had met through Andy Warhol, and the song "Perfect Day." The record is widely considered to be the pinnacle of Reed's solo career. Following Transformer, Reed recorded a number of albums with wildly differing styles and cultivated an antagonistic and erratic persona. Reed graduated from Syracuse University, where he studied writing and film. After college, he moved to New York City and began writing songs for Pickwick Records. In 1964, Reed scored a minor hit with the parody single "The Ostrich." Pickwick hired a band, including future Velvet Underground bandmate John Cale, to back Reed's vocals. The two became friends, collaborators and roommates.

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Article: Extended Analysis

The First Generation 1965-1974

Read "The First Generation 1965-1974" reviewed by John Kelman


What do guitarists Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Jon Mark, Harvey Mandel and Freddy Robinson, reed/woodwind multi-instrumentalists John Almond, Ray Warleigh, Alan Skidmore, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Red Holloway and Ernie Watts, bassists John McVie, Jack Bruce, Andy Fraser, Tony Reeves, Stephen Thompson and Larry Taylor, drummers Mick Fleetwood, Keef Hartley, Aynsley Dunbar, Jon Hiseman and Collin ...

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Article: Album Review

Wes Montgomery: The NDR Hamburg Studio Recordings

Read "The NDR Hamburg Studio Recordings" reviewed by Chris May


Recorded in spring 1965, during Wes Montgomery's sole European tour, The NDR Hamburg Studio Recordings presents the guitarist as part of an all-star international octet assembled for a one-off appearance on German television station NDR. The programme was part of a series presenting musicians who did not regularly work together in informal “rehearsal" performances. Montgomery's tour, ...

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Article: Blues Deluxe

Fall 2020

Read "Fall 2020" reviewed by Doug Collette


Blues Deluxe is a regular column comprised of pithy takes on recent blues and roots-music releases of note. It spotlights titles in those genres that might otherwise go unnoticed under the cultural radar. Heathcote Hill “the stories we are told" 311 Music 2020 Roots-music artists too often sacrifice ...

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Article: Catching Up With

Marc Urselli: Between Bolan and Willner, tradition and innovation

Read "Marc Urselli: Between Bolan and Willner, tradition and innovation" reviewed by Emmanuel Di Tommaso


The wait is over. The much anticipated Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan & T-Rex has been released by BMG after a number of vicissitudes, not least the COVID-19 pandemic, which took the album's producer Hal Willner, on April 7, 2020, one day after his 64th birthday. Angelheaded Hipster was his swan song. ...

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Article: Catching Up With

Marc Urselli: tra Bolan e Willner, tradizione e innovazione

Read "Marc Urselli: tra Bolan e Willner, tradizione e innovazione" reviewed by Emmanuel Di Tommaso


L'attesa è finita. Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan & T-Rex è stato pubblicato dalla BMG dopo una lunga serie di vicissitudini, ultima delle quali la pandemia di Covid-19, che si è portata via il produttore dell'album Hal Willner, il 7 aprile 2020, un giorno dopo il suo 64esimo compleanno. Angelheaded Hipster è ...

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Article: Under the Radar

The Archive of Contemporary Music

Read "The Archive of Contemporary Music" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


In Lower Manhattan, sits a musical gold mine. It's the motherlode of recorded music though the small, brightly colored sign above a grey steel door provides only a cryptic clue. The dusty window display of rare 78 RPM records, broken into erratic pie charts serves as a vestige of the past and a cautionary tale about ...

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Article: Album Review

Marc Jordan: Both Sides

Read "Both Sides" reviewed by Edward Blanco


American-born Canadian singer and songwriter Marc Jordan, who covers a wide range of genres, including jazz, unveils his first album since 2013 with one of his finest recordings to date on the soft and breezy balladic Both Sides. Containing lush romantic jazz arrangements of contemporary standards and recorded with the Prague Symphony Orchestra featuring trumpeter Randy ...

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Article: Live Review

SPHERES at Nublu 151

Read "SPHERES at Nublu 151" reviewed by Peter Jurew


SPHERES Nublu 151 New York, NY July 8 and August 6, 2019 SPHERES is a jazz collective recently started by keyboardist Jamie Saft and electric guitarist Chuck Hammer playing monthly gigs at Nublu, a loft-club showcase for new music in jny: New York City's East Village. Taking inspiration as well as ...

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Article: Live Review

The 2019 Tibet House U.S. Benefit Concert

Read "The 2019 Tibet House U.S. Benefit Concert" reviewed by Mike Perciaccante


The 2019 Tibet House U.S. Benefit Concert Carnegie Hall New York, NY February 7, 2019On Thursday, February 7, 2019, New York City's Carnegie Hall was alive with the essence of Tibet as it hosted the 2019 Tibet House U.S. Benefit Concert featuring an all-star lineup of artists. Philip ...


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