To many educated rock music aficionados, Lou Reed is the godfather of everything good about today's music scene, standing alongside Bob Dylan and The Beatles in terms of influence and importance. But to the casual listener, he's nothing more thansunglasses, leather pants and "Walk on the Wild Side," his only top ten hit and his only song anybody seems to remember. Obviously, an artist as acclaimed as Reed has to be more than a one-hit wonder (even if that one-hit wonder has one of the most memorable wordless choruses of all time). In a solo career spanning more than 40 years, he's released more than 20 studio albums, and only one of them is a double LP of tuneless guitar feedback - the rest of them are full of actual songs! And a lot of those songs are just as worthy as "Walk on the Wild Side." Don't believe me? Venture ahead and judge for yourself.
10. "Rock and Roll Heart"
Album: Rock and Roll Heart (1976)
I've been struggling for years to decide whether or not I should feel bad for being in love with "Rock and Roll Heart." The title alone should act as a warning label: Anybody who tells you they have a "rock and roll heart" probably enjoys the sound of breaking bones and likes to use pool cues in an inappropriate manner. Heck, anybody with a sense of shame wouldn't be caught dead listening to something that sounds like this: it's a rollicking pop song, garnished with Elton John piano and a shimmering church organ with Lou in the front, growling his way through some of his cheesiest lyrics ever. "I guess I'm just dumb, 'cause I knows I ain't smart," he tells us, "but deep down inside, I got a rock and roll heart!" Right, Lou. Right. But it's the stupid honesty that gives the song its late-night beer-guzzling power. It's the idea that Lou Reed sang this with a straight face that gives it its surprising emotional strength. So, no - I'm not embarrassed. This is a great song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHE11zEp618