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Cemetry Gator
Apr 3, 2007

Walgreens Representative


Well, this sucks. I just found out that Lou Reed died.

If you never heard his music, he was the lead man for the Velvet Underground, had a solo career, and made a terrible album with Metallica. His body of work ranged from baroque pop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cWzxJvgWc8
proto-punk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4qp3T476co
ballads: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK4DeMYtumc
straight-up rock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiBvnbntiW8
poo poo-on-a-platter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYtzNl48F60
and a lot of other things. Hell, he even got into the top 20 with a song about transvestites, prostitutes, and drug abusers in 1971: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wNknGIKkoA. And dig that bass line.

He was 71. It sucks when a musical idol died. And frankly, you can't underscore how important he was to modern music. So many musicians were influenced by his work, or influenced by someone who was influenced by him. So pull out your Velvet Underground records, it's time to remember one thing: despite all the complications, you can go out and dance to the rock and roll station.

And it's alright.

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Quantum of Phallus
Dec 27, 2010

Don't worry, this won't hurt a bit. I saw it in a movie.


RIP, such a great dude. Genuinely liked Lulu. His album with John Cale is also top level poo poo. Sad times.

keep punching joe
Jan 22, 2006

Die Satan!

I don't know how you could describe Metal Machine Music as 'poo poo on a platter', it's probably now Lou Reed's most influential solo record, his last good record, and better than the last Velvet Underground album (not including Squeeze).

vv Ah my bad, Metal Machine Music haters just annoy me on a visceral level.

keep punching joe fucked around with this message at Oct 27, 2013 around 18:33

Cemetry Gator
Apr 3, 2007

Walgreens Representative


keep punching joe posted:

I don't know how you could describe Metal Machine Music as 'poo poo on a platter', it's probably now Lou Reed's most influential solo record, his last good record, and better than the last Velvet Underground album (not including Squeeze).

It's a reference to how Lou described the record at one point. He was basically saying how he could hand RCA poo poo on a platter and they would release it. I got the story from the Talking Heads' Once in a Lifetime boxset.

Cemetry Gator fucked around with this message at Oct 27, 2013 around 18:29

Cemetry Gator
Apr 3, 2007

Walgreens Representative


quote != edit

Mike Cartwright
Oct 29, 2011

Al Pacino with a tan


This is an absolute bummer. In my opinion, Lou will go down as one of the all-time greats, a simply beautiful stint with Velvet Underground and possibly an even more amazing solo career. Feel blessed to have seen him live during the full-album tour of Berlin back in 2008, when he toured with a London-based youth choir. Rest in peace, you legend.

(and Satellite of Love is still my favorite song ever)

e: anachronism

Mike Cartwright fucked around with this message at Oct 27, 2013 around 21:04

Cemetry Gator
Apr 3, 2007

Walgreens Representative


So I think we should spend some time talking about his music and his work. There's a GBS thread for his general death, let's spend some time talking about his work.

Velvet Underground and Nico
AKA: the Banana album.

Recorded in 1966, the Velvet Underground and Nico was the product of a long road of development for the band. Lou Reed was a songwriter for Pickwick records, and was rumored to have sung on a Beach Boys sound-alike record. He met up with John Cale, who had similar experimental tendencies, and they formed a band, picking up Sterling Morrison and Mo Tucker along the way. Andy Warhol saw them, liked them, and acted as their manager, helping them secure a record contract. Warhol was also hanging around with Nico, which was why she was on the record. Now, let's talk about the music.

The album was supposed to open with "I'm Waiting for my Man," a song that's obviously about a guy waiting for a drug hit, set to a deceptively simple backing track, that's really just sort of a brutal drone. The song structure is in a blues format, with two lines that set an image, then two quick lines set to chord changes, followed by a simple refrain of "I'm waiting for my man."

However, Tom Wilson felt that the album didn't have a clear single. He wanted them to come up with a sure-fire hit that would serve as a showcase for Nico. Lou Reed wrote "Sunday Morning," a baroque pop song that wouldn't sound out of place from Spanky and the Gang or any other mid 60s group. Even the musical backing track shows a higher level of production than what's found on the record, with lush strings, celesta, and actual production work being done on the song, like reverb (much of the album doesn't really use a lot of effects or anything like that). However, when it came time to do the vocals, Reed insisted that he sing on the song. The result was definitely a commercial record, and had it gotten the right push, it certainly could have been a hit. It had the potential. So, "Sunday Morning" got pushed up to opener status.

"Femme Fatale," the third track, was more in the vain of "Sunday Morning." A tender ballad, this time sung by Nico. There's something haunting in the song. Part of it is the production. One of the guitars has a harsh, high tone that really cuts through on headphones.

"Venus in Furs" is about sadomasochism. Another haunting drone, with violin slashes that cut through the mix. It's also a showcase for Mo's primitive style of drumming. It's simple, but it really compliments the song. This is one of the earliest Velvet songs that Lou wrote. "Run Run Run" is a bit of a garage rock number, similar in style to "I'm Waiting for my Man" in the sense that you have a droning background.

"All Tomorrow's Parties" is the second song Nico sings lead on. There's something really mysterious about this song, from the saturated backing track, atonal guitar picking over the backing track, and Nico's double-tracked vocals, and the song goes on for about 6 minutes. The song was sliced in half for a single release as an a-side, which seems rather weird since while it's awesome, it's certainly not really a "hit" song. There's also an alternate version with a single track vocal that was used for the first CD release. It was meant to be a surprise for fans by the person producing it, but the record company highlighted that it was an alternate mix.

"Heroin" was another song Lou wrote at Pickwick. While there certainly have been rock songs about drugs from beforehand, this is one of the earliest explicit examples to get pushed out by a major label. The song is also one of their most dynamic. It starts off quiet and slow, and then builds up in intensity and speed, then releasing, before building up again. The lyrics are very stark and there's not a lot of metaphors or euphemisms. It's really powerful, and definitely a harsh listen.

"There She Goes Again" is a straight-ahead rock song. About getting head from a prostitute. REM did a cover of this. Some accuse the Smiths of stealing the little musical opening to "There is a Light that Never Goes Out" from this song, but Marr went back to the Velvet's source for that one.

"I'll Be Your Mirror" is the final song Nico sings lead on. It's another quite ballad, and could have been another single for the band (it was a b-side). They had a lot of trouble trying to get Nico to sing this right. She was singing it very stridently, and the band wanted her to sing it tenderly and lovingly. So, after doing a few takes, she broke down in tears and Lou said "Just do it one more time, and if you don't get it, we'll just stop doing the song." Well, it apparently worked.

"Black Angel's Death Song" is one of the least commercial song on the album. Built around a droning viola, fast guitar strummings, Reed sings a song about the death album, with the verses punctuated by Cale's hissing. Lyrically, it reminds me of Dylan's more surrealistic work early on. The last song, "European Son" has about a minute of vocals in the beginning, and then six minutes of banging about on a guitar atonally with a lot of feedback. It's what I use to introduce people to the band.

The album is available in mono and stereo versions. There's not really a ton of huge differences between the two, though the mono does a better job of getting the intent of the mixes through clearer. Like "European Son" sounds a lot more conventional in stereo in the opening, since the bass line is buried, and the lead guitar part over the verses is a lot cleaner. The stereo version isn't terrible, but if you can hear the mono mix, you should try it out.

bobkatt013
Oct 8, 2006

Ever have one of those day?

Lets not forget he is also responsible for this crime against humanity
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxiAe3ULuxI

Glare Seethe
May 15, 2004


This is definitely a bummer. I just recently went through a "Berlin" period where I was listening to that album almost every day for like three weeks. Much has been said about how depressing it is, but that's not something that comes across very immediately - or it doesn't to me, at least. It's only after listening to it consistently over a period that it starts to inflict a sort of crushing despair on you. Eventually it made me feel like I'd been tossed into the same pit of misery that Caroline was in and had been wallowing in it for three weeks, gradually spiraling downwards. Putting on a different album felt like I was climbing out.

The bass coming in at 5:10 in "The Kids" ruins me every time.

Quantum of Phallus posted:

His album with John Cale is also top level poo poo. Sad times.

And this too. Such a great album.

Another Person
Oct 20, 2010


Dude made more than a few of my favourite songs which often moved around with each other on my all time list.

The album White Light/White Heat is amazing and its level of inspiration is underplayed, I feel. Songs like this, where you are equally disgusted on an initial listen as you are intrigued, is an art form that some day I wish to equal.

crankdatbatman
Dec 18, 2007

12th Mane

I love the Velvet Underground. I was introduced to them in college by listening to Heroin and it blew my mind. White Light/White Heat sealed the deal. I'm not a huge fan of Loaded, but the other three albums are perfect in their own right (personally I feel WL/WH is a little underrated). Really sad to hear him go, and I've been listening to my VU/Lou Reed collection since I heard the news.

Also, I'm listening to Metal Machine Music for the first time via that link in the OP. It's not as bad as people say it is, I could see it being a total blast listening to while stoned.

Anatharon
Aug 6, 2010



I never listened to Velvet Underground but Transformer was a sweet album.

The Singing Chav
May 21, 2007



Holy poo poo, today kind of sucks now. RIP in peace, Lou. Music wouldn't be (and won't be) the same without you.

Did That on Television
Nov 7, 2004
lemonparties with wippersnapper

i'm just glad he got to hear yeezus before he died

Khanstant
Apr 5, 2007


I kind of already thought he was dead the way people talk about him.

BigFactory
Sep 17, 2002


For an ex junkie to make it to 71 is I guess about as much as you can hope for. Still miss the guy. This thread is seriously dismissing his early 80's output, too. Legendary Hearts is a great record.

prefect
Sep 11, 2001

No one, Woodhouse.
No one.


BigFactory posted:

For an ex junkie to make it to 71 is I guess about as much as you can hope for. Still miss the guy. This thread is seriously dismissing his early 80's output, too. Legendary Hearts is a great record.

I love "New York". (Late '80s instead of early, but that's enough of an excuse for a great song.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7z3TPwOT31g

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

prefect posted:

I love "New York". (Late '80s instead of early, but that's enough of an excuse for a great song.

New York is a great album - the lyrics are a bit dated now, but it's a top-notch representation of the city at the time. The Blue Mask is a great, creepy album. Songs For 'Drella(with John Cale) has some great stuff on it, as does Magic And Loss.

People who write Lou's post-glam output off as 'crap' are missing out - yeah, some of sucks, but all artists that don't stagnate as they age will have some awful failures.

I feel terrible about his passing, but I hope it spurs the record companies to re-release a lot of his catalog that's out-of-print.

Earwicker
Jan 6, 2003



In terms of his later work I've always been partial to "What's Good" from the Until the End of the World soundtrack, later released on Magic and Loss

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jTkTukfjZM

Seems very appropriate these days

His death would of course always be sad but it seems especially so because I very recently read an article by Laurie Anderson about his seemingly miraculous recovery from a major surgery (liver transplant I guess) and it was such a hopeful article


Earwicker fucked around with this message at Oct 28, 2013 around 14:19

comes along bort
Sep 12, 2012



Roark
Dec 1, 2009

Archer! Come out to playyyyy!

This was a real blow to the gut. The Velvet Underground got me into punk, and punk got me into metal. Rock'n'Roll Animal was one of the first albums that I remember listening to in high school and thinking, "Oh poo poo, this is heavy."

At the very least, I hope this spurs people into giving his stuff another listen, and the labels into doing some re-releases/remasters of his back catalog. Some of it is harder to track down than it should be.

Did That on Television
Nov 7, 2004
lemonparties with wippersnapper

honour him by issuing the closet mix of the velvet underground on compact disc

chime_on
Jul 27, 2001


Did That on Television posted:

honour him by issuing the closet mix of the velvet underground on compact disc

It has been available on compact disc for over 18 years.

Pablo Gigante
Apr 16, 2002

Bienvenido a la semana laboral


Did That on Television posted:

honour him by issuing the closet mix of the velvet underground on compact disc
Buy the "Peel Slowly and See" box set, which you should really own anyway.

Don We Now
Apr 18, 2005

For those of you who don't habla espanola, "El Poptart" is Spanish for.... The Poptart.



how loving hardcore was this for 19-loving-68?!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mI-YiaWDgB4

i mean the beatles were still stuck on 'la-la-la-i love you' by now weren't they?!

BigFactory
Sep 17, 2002


Don We Now posted:

how loving hardcore was this for 19-loving-68?!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mI-YiaWDgB4

i mean the beatles were still stuck on 'la-la-la-i love you' by now weren't they?!

If you like the storytelling and creative studio techniques of The Gift, there's a band called The Beatles I think you might really enjoy. Particularly their 1965-1967 output.

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Happy Hippo
Aug 8, 2004

The Something Awful Forums > The Finer Arts > Batman's Shameful Secret > BSS Derailed Thread: Spider-Island


Don We Now posted:

how loving hardcore was this for 19-loving-68?!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mI-YiaWDgB4

i mean the beatles were still stuck on 'la-la-la-i love you' by now weren't they?!

No, man. No.

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