From Street Hassle to the Wild Side: Your Essential Lou Reed Playlist

One of rock’s most influential songwriters and guitarists, Lou Reed sadly passed away this weekend on Long Island. In memoriam, here are 10 essential Lou Reed tunes absolutely everyone needs to know.
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Velvet Underground

With The Velvet Underground.

4. “Street Hassle”

It’s long, but it’s definitely worth a listen. Said Lou on the live album Animal Serenade about it, “I wanted to write a song that had a great monologue set to rock. Something that could have been written by William Burroughs, Hubert Selby, John Rechy, Tennessee WIlliams, Nelson Algren, maybe a little Raymond Chandler. You mix it all up and you have ‘Street Hassle.’” Fun fact: That monologue? It’s spoken by an uncredited Bruce Springsteen.

5. “Pale Blue Eyes”

Considered to be one of Lou’s finest ballads, this one appeared on The Velvet Underground’s third studio album, self-titled and released in 1969.

6. “I’m Waiting for the Man”

One of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, “I’m Waiting for the Man” tells the story for a guy traveling to Harlem to buy $26 worth of heroin. The song was originally released in 1967 on The Velvet Underground & Nico; more recently, Lou remarked, “Everything about that song holds true, except for the price.”

7. “Vicious”

Another one from Lou’s solo album Transformer, “Vicious” is perhaps most remembered for the lyric “Vicious / You hit me with a flower”—a phrase Lou took from a conversation he once had with Andy Warhol.

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One thought on “From Street Hassle to the Wild Side: Your Essential Lou Reed Playlist

  1. john says:

    great article thanks…………………………;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

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