Sad to learn of the death of Lou Reed, who has died at the age of 71.
Reed was the frontman for the Velvet Underground, a group famed less for their success at the time than for their subsequent influence; as Brian Eno famously said, whilst their debut album only sold 30,000 copies and reached 197 on the Billboard chart before disappearing, “everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band.” Reed’s instantly-recognisable gravelly tones on the opening Vicious are a slap in the face to the contemporaneous trippy, psychedelic rock of The Doors and Jefferson Airplane. The group took part in multi-media events with Andy Warhol between 1966-67, Exploding Plastic Inevitable, which took place in cities throughout America (Warhol himself having part-financed the band’s debut album).
After the group disbanded in 1970, Reed continued as a solo artist, achieving critical breakthrough with Transformer (co-produced with David Bowie and Mick Ronson), which included Walk on the Wild Side in 1973.
Listen to ‘Hangin’ Round’ at just after ten minutes. Terrific.
No more walks on the wild side…