Lou Reed  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Lewis Allan "Lou" Reed (March 2, 1942 – October 27, 2013) was an American rock musician and songwriter. After being guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter of the Velvet Underground, his solo career spanned several decades. The Velvet Underground were a commercial failure in the late 1960s, but the group has gained a considerable cult following in the years since its demise and has gone on to become one of the most widely cited and influential bands of the era.

Reed first found prominence as the guitarist and principal singer-songwriter of The Velvet Underground (1965 - 1973). The band gained relatively little notice during its life, but is considered by some to be the seed from which much alternative rock music sprang. As the Velvets’ principal songwriter, Reed wrote about subjects such as sadism and masochism ("Venus in Furs"), transvestites ("Sister Ray"), heroin addiction ("Heroin", and "I'm Waiting for the Man"), and transsexuals undergoing lobotomies ("Lady Godiva's Operation"). As a guitarist, he made use of distortion, volume-driven feedback, and nonstandard tunings.

Reed began a long and eclectic solo career in 1971. He had a hit the following year with "Walk on the Wild Side", though for more than a decade he seemed to willfully evade mainstream commercial success. One of rock's most volatile personalities, Reed's work as a solo artist has frustrated critics wishing for a return of the Velvet Underground. The most notable example is 1975's infamous double LP of recorded feedback loops, Metal Machine Music, upon which Reed later commented, "no one is supposed to be able to do a thing like that and survive." By the late 1980s, however, Reed had won wide recognition as an elder statesman of rock.

Discography

With the Velvet Underground

As a solo artist




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Lou Reed" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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