LOU REED ONCE STATED that if you took all his albums and played them back-to-back you’d have the equivalent of his “Great American Novel”. Since his passing in October, MOJO has turned increasingly to Reed’s back catalogue for comfort and succour. We may not necessarily have played all the albums in chronological order (sorry, Lou), and we may have skipped the odd one (never been that keen on Mistrial – sorry, Lou), but the exercise did nothing but emphasize the richness of his recorded work, and revealed gems that we had either forgotten about or that simply sparkle a little bit more with the passage of time. We’ve recorded the route of our sonic pilgrimage in the form of a Spotify playlist (see below).
“Turn Out The Light seemed like an apt closer.”
Your writer felt the need to re-commune with some of the classics, but beyond that, it’s an esoteric and personal choice. The idea of placing Beginning Of A Great Adventure (from 1989’s New York) as the first track just seemed vaguely amusing and very Lou-like. Its opening line – “It might be fun to have a kid that I could kick around” – has lost none of its violent insouciance.
Equally, Turn Out The Light seemed like an apt closer (we could have had New Sensations’ Fly Into The Sun). The tracks in-between are a mixture of personal favourites, odd ditties that grabbed us, and a few obvious moments (can you really leave out Walk On The Wild Side?).
Of course, this playlist also omits any material from Lou’s career in the Velvet Underground. This is deliberate. That said, if the inclusion of his lament to Warhol (Hello, It’s Me, from Songs For Drella, the album he recorded with John Cale in 1989) isn’t your cup of tea, or you’re appalled by the absence of Perfect Day, then we humbly suggest that you… compile yer own.
In the meantime… Lou Reed, we miss you.
Enjoy our Spotify playlist below. And if it ain’t there, refresh the page. That usually works.