Articles Tagged: Lou Reed

Certain Songs #982: Lou Reed – “Dime Store Mystery”

Album: New York
Year: 1989

If in “Doin’ The Things That We Want To,” Lou Reed referenced the films that his buddy Martin Scorcese made about New York, then it’s weirdy ironic that he closed his album about New York with a song about a film Marty made about a time and place far far away.

That film, of course, is The Last Temptation of Christ, Scorcese’s film that featured a controversial sequence where Jesus comes down from the cross and experiences an alternative reality as a normal man. You know, like that episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where Picard gets hit by an energy beam from a probe and lives out the life of a guy named Kamin, but much less blasphemous.

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Certain Songs #981: Lou Reed – “Romeo Had Juliette”

Album: New York
Year: 1989

It seems like every great 1960s artist who survived into the 1980s had their “1980s” album. The record where the temptation to be contemporary ends up outweighing their normal instincts to hoe their own rows.

So Bob Dylan had Empire Burlesque and Neil Young had Landing on Water, and Lou Reed — who had a better overall 1980s than the other two combined — had 1986’s Mistrial, which after the three great records that preceded it, shoulda been called “Misfire.”

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Certain Songs #980: Lou Reed – “Doin’ The Things That We Want To”

Album: New Sensations
Year: 1984

My favorite of all of Lou Reed’s solo songs, the utterly gorgeous “Doin’ The Things That We Want To” is a pean to artistic freedom that also slyly name-drops some of his famous friends in other mediums.

But it’s also more than that, which is insane, because artistic freedom is pretty much one of the two defining characteristics of Lou Reed, because in the ongoing repetition of variations of the title, I think he gets at a deeper truth about fandom and its relationship to the muse.

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Certain Songs #979: Lou Reed – “New Sensations”

Album: New Sensations
Year: 1984

Fading in like a motorcycle coming over the crest of a distant hill, “New Sensations” feels like one of the most important songs of Lou Reed’s solo career.

Or at least it is to me. I’m not normally a lyrics guy, but when a song has as great of a set of lyrics as “New Sensations” does, it’s almost impossible for me — even 21-year-old-me in 1984 — not to notice. The message, to me, was that you’re never to old to experience new sensations.

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Certain Songs #978: Lou Reed – “I Love You, Suzanne”

Album: New Sensations
Year: 1984

It probably seems counter-intuitive that at some point in 1984, the number one album on College Radio was the 13th solo album by a man who was 20 years older than his target audience. It me. But that was the weird confluence of events that surrounded the brief second cultural ascension of Lou Reed.

It was, of course, infamously signified by the “Hey, don’t settle for walking” Honda scooter commercial, but it manifested itself in other ways, as well: the V.U. and Another View outtakes albums, his participation on the Sun City album and the Conspiracy of Hope tour, appearances in various soundtracks like Perfect to Rock and Rule, and of course, this shameless attempt at manufacturing another massive hit single.

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