8. "Baby Face"
Album: Sally Can't Dance
(1974) By 1974, Lou Reed was a full-blown drug addict, having gone from singing about the stuff to actually using it. And instead of just looking the part (he had dyed his hair a sickly blonde), he acted it, too: His on-stage antics had gone from playfully masturbating the microphone during "Walk on the Wild Side" to (allegedly) actually shooting up while performing his old Velvet Underground anthem "Heroin." By the time he re-entered the studio in Spring of 1974 to record Sally Can't Dance
, he couldn't keep it together at all. Only one track featured his guitar and it was one of his sloppiest performances to date. He could barely provide vocals for the album and was too stoned to make any creative decisions. The end result was a grimy-sounding album slathered in loud horns and arena rock guitar licks, targeted at the people who bought his strung-out and overblown live album, released less than a year earlier. Lou Reed himself notoriously hated the album, even as it reached the number 10 spot on the US charts. "This is fantastic - the worse I am, the more it sells. If I wasn't on the record at all next time around, it would probably go number one," he remarked upon its release. But hidden right in the middle of it is "Baby Face," a five-minute slow-burn that makes even its slightest-sounding lyrics ("Jim, livin' with you's not such fun") sound as sinister as a death threat. There are no horns or cheesy backing vocals to be found here - just pure drug-fueled hatred. It was a low point in Lou's career, sure - but boy, was it thrilling. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23uKEKQjsEU