Archive | Aug 29, 2017

Certain Songs #977: Lou Reed – “The Blue Mask”

Album: The Blue Mask
Year: 1982

“The Blue Mask” begins with an ending.

At first you hear Robert Quine’s guitar screaming like the thing that scares a banshee, then Lou’s guitar shouting back in the other speaker, while drummer Doane Perry keeps trying to crash the song to an ending before it even begins, as if to say “you really aren’t prepared for this, so here’s your chance to leave.”

But Fernando Saunders is having none of that wimpy-ass bullshit, and so he plays a straightforward, strangled boogieish bassline — forsaking his usual magic for sheer power — and Lou says “aha!” and riffs right along with it, and “The Blue Mask” is off, and what’s underneath it is revealed.