"The career of Lou Reed defied capsule summarization. Like David Bowie (whom Reed directly inspired in many ways), he
made over his image many times, mutating from theatrical glam rocker to strung-out junkie to avant-garde noiseman to
straight rock & roller to your average guy. Few would deny Reed's immense importance and considerable achievements.
As has often been written, he expanded the vocabulary of rock & roll lyrics into the previously forbidden territory of kinky
sex, drug use (and abuse), decadence, transvestites, homosexuality, and suicidal depression. As has been pointed out
less often, he remained committed to using rock & roll as a forum for literary, mature expression throughout his artistic life,
without growing lyrically soft or musically complacent. By and large, he took on these challenging duties with
uncompromising honesty and a high degree of realism. For these reasons, he was often cited as punk's most important
ancestor. It's often overlooked, though, that he was equally skilled at celebrating romantic joy, and rock & roll itself, as he
was at depicting harrowing urban realities. With the exception of Neil Young, no other star who rose to fame in the '60s
continued to push himself so diligently into creating work that was, and remains, meaningful and contemporary.Although
Reed achieved his greatest success as a solo artist, his most enduring accomplishments were as the leader of the Velvet
Underground in the '60s. If Reed had never made any solo records, his work as the principal lead singer and songwriter for
the Velvets would have still ensured his stature as one of the greatest rock visionaries of all time.
out 08 OCTOBER 2021...
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