10 Lou Reed Songs Better Than "Walk on the Wild Side"
9. "Sword of Damocles (Externally)"
Album: Magic and Loss (1992) In the early '90s, Lou was on top of the old rock stars dogpile, having released two critically-lauded albums in a row (one about New York and one about Andy Warhol). David Bowie hadn't recorded a good album since 1980 and Bob Dylan's releases were being marked as either "passable" or "dismal." Lou Reed started to appear in magazines wearing glasses without dark lenses and grew a respectable crop of shaggy hair to match. His songwriting had begun to stretch outward: Drugs were still his favorite thing to write about, but he was no longer the person doing them. Like any aging music artist, he was focused more on social change than personal statements. And then a friend died. And another friend died. And their cancer had given him something interesting to sing about. "Sword of Damocles" uses an alternative rock sound in a timeless fashion. The synths are understated and an acoustic guitar is at the forefront, creating a sound unlike anything he had ever done before (or would ever do again). It's a pounding, hypnotic song about chemotherapy that doesn't only sound impassioned - it sounds important. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWm_RzQuWhk