Lou Reed: His 10 Best Tracks

Lou Reed It's pretty straightforward: without Lou Reed we wouldn't have had The Velvet Underground, and without The Velvet Underground, we wouldn't have had punk rock. Without punk rock, there would be no post-punk and without post-punk we'd have no alternative rock. Today's musical landscape would be vastly different for not knowing him. When Lou Reed emerged from the Lower East Side of New York in 1964, fresh from his stint as an in-house songwriter for Pickwick Records, he was what the scene had been desperately waiting for. His droning vocals and strange guitar techniques, as well as his provocative, socially open lyricism, was so vastly in contrast to the sound at the time, that he was always going to stand out. He seemed to move against the grain. He was the embodiment of nihilistic, underground cool. Prepared to march firmly to the beat of his own drum, in spite of what critics and the public may have thought of him. No other individual has had such a wide reaching influence on the modern music world. His art driven, non-conforming ethos is present in bands from across the wntire musical spectrum, from The Pixies and R.E.M, to Talking Heads and Television. His pioneering spirit will be sorely missed. With a career spanning five decades, Reed's catalogue of work can be pretty daunting to look at, but here are the top ten songs that I feel capture his life in music...

10. Romeo Had Juliette

'Romeo Had Juliette' shines a light on the sheer brilliance of Reed's lyricism. Setting the scene for Shakespeare's classic by way of New York City's violent, dirty underbelly. 'Manhattan's sinking like a rock into the filthy Hudson, what a shock, they wrote a book about it, they said it was like ancient Rome'. The accompaniment is respective of his later solo career, far removed from the early Velvet Underground Sound; more driven, chaotic. Fitting the theme perfectly.
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Newcastle based filmmaker with a taste for world cinema, loud music, and good beer. Green Bay Packers fan.