George Starostin's Reviews



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Steve Maffei <> (06.11.99)

Huh. You don't sound like you really meant to give Lou a two. Anyway, I'm enjoying reading these reviews, and Coney Island Baby is definitely up to what you said it was. Transformer, too, I'd give that a 10. Please review some more of his RCA releases. I'd sure like to see what you'd give Metal Machine Music.

Jon <> (17.12.2002)

Meh. He's got an image and some chords, but his poetry? It's like Beat corpse-farts to me.

<> (25.03.2003)

<<Unfortunately, his material began to seriously decline in quality later on, but should that surprise us? Name me a 'dinosaur' who was consistently good in the Eighties... >>

I actually don't know much at all about Lou Reed (I've only got Transformer (and VU + Nico), but that should change soon), but I had to take up your challenge here.  Tom Waits.  He's the only '70s artist I can think of who got dramatically better in the '80s (not that he sucked to begin with, mind you). Speaking of that, I wonder what would have happened if the Beatles hadn't broken up and had survived the '70s. Abbey Road would have never happened, they'd have probably gone the roots-rock direction that Let it Be was pointing at in the early '70s, then turning into either an arena rock act or wishy-washy singer-songwriters. At least we wouldn't have any need for the Eagles in the case of the latter... Lennon would have never been shot, and they'd have probably turned adult contemporary or mild synth-pop in the '80s, eventually replacing Ringo with Phil Collins and George with Steve Winwood, bringing the sap level to an all-time high (only redeemed by Lennon). Then they would have done a halfassed revival in the late '90s and people would like them again. Okay, I'm waaaaay rambling here...

Anyway, I really don't get why Transformer is considered an uber-glam album (along with Ziggy Stardust). Roxy Music's debut came out the same year and kicks both their asses as far as glam-rock is concerned -- even the more normal ballads ooze decadence and theatricality (in the best possible way). Or maybe I'm off-base with the whole glam thing, but Transformer sounds like ordinary rock-n-roll with sexual lyrics. Still damned good, though.

Yann <> (20.12.2003)

about your (quite good) LOU REED reviews, i just wanted to let you know about that greaaaaaaat song 'Dirt' in Street Hassle that this song refers to Dennis Katz which was Lou Reed's manager for some times ... i guess Lou didn't like him very much hu ? That's Lou anyway, no big surprise :)

And about Metal Machine Music, man you're fucking right when you say that "This is not an album to listen to. This is an album to possess, but it's definitely not an album to listen to, unless you want to clear out a party or something." How happy i was when i fount an original pressing of the piece, even knowing what was inside !


Martin <> (07.09.2000)

Yeah! Well, my first Lou Reed CD was a junky "best of" type of collection. Listening to that I really thought that this is the limit (in relevant criteria). Haven heard all the big and great of seventies I thought that Lou was just another dude born in the right time.... But as I bought my first album of VU (Load) and Lou (Lou Reed), I understood that the man is genius or at least stands along side to Ian Anderson and Dylan and Hendrix are just myths raised to heaven. I really like Hendrix and agree that the man was a natural talent, but as I'm ready to say that Hendrix born with guitar in his hand, I'm ready to say that Lou born with unique ability to think and talk, which is not too common, sadly enough. I do not have all releases of Lou Reed, but I'm sure that the one from 72 sets the standard and is a great piece of art.

Neil Eddy <> (15.08.2005)

I think Steve Howe was on the same tracks as Wakeman. Yes were recording in the studio next door and the two got roped into recording with Lou. ...


Simon Hearn <> (08.09.99)

THE ONLY Lou Reed album to own! Class abounds within the grooves of this little beauty. My fave song is 'hangin around' - just a brilliant piece of songwriting. I do have a certain penchant for 'new york telephone conversation' too - should I be worried?! This captures the mood of a time in modern history for me and is that not what great records do? I have to say that even though he was doing this sort of "underground" stuff with the velvet's - is it not bowie's influence as producer (+ mick ronson) that has brought this "gender bending" quality? Bowie's influence also gave the record the success it so richly deserved. This is a sad fact as Reed is a consummate performer, but it took a mega star for him to be noticed fully.

Ben Greenstein <> (01.10.99)

Lou does glam-rock? Doesn't make sense to me, for several reasons. First of all, his stuff is usually kind of folky, and secondly, because he looks stupid in makeup! Look at that picture of him as a woman on the back cover - he's the ugliest transvestite I've ever seen! And I've seen quite a few...

Still, the album is pretty good. "Vicious" really grew on me after severely annoying me the first four times, and "Walk On The Wild Side" is a classic (don't ask me why, though). "Perfect Day" and "Sattelite Of Love" are both semi-hits, and for good reason. They are simply gorgeous. And the rest of the album is great, too - though I'd rather have more of the orchestrated stuff and less rockers. Still, all good songs. A nine.

Valentin Katz <> (09.12.99)

It's hard to believe that such a good album can be produced by David Bowie, but it is true, I don't know if I'd give this a 10, more like an 8, but 8 is pretty damn good. You have to give Lou some credit, he knows how to write songs that perfectly fit his nasal, teen-age voice, especially on 'Perfect Day', "You Just keep me haaaangginnn' Oooonn". 'Vicious' is a great opener but 'Walk on the Wild Side' has to be the best song on here. Perfect melody, perfect lyrics, perfect singing, essentially, the perfect quiet apocalyptic song.

Didier Dumonteil <> (28.03.2001)

Hailed as Reed's best,one more time beware of would-be peaks.Essentially the album but which Reed achieved commercial success"walk on the wild side" was a huge hit,however it's not Reed's best song and by a very long shot.It was actually a bid for the radios.One can prefer other tracks:there's the nasty "vicious",but better in its live version,the cool and relaxing "perfect day" and the lovely "satellite of love" (as far as this track is concerned,the live version on Lou Reed live deserves to be heard.)

Glenn Wiener <> (27.03.2004)

This is a fine recording by this King of the New York Streets. I just like the imagery and the varying styles. Some good rock n roll numbers like 'Viscious', 'Hangin' Round', and 'Wagon Wheel'. Like the background vocals on the later. But how about those jazz /cabaret numbers? The cool 'Walk On The Wild Side' is loaded with atmosphere. 'Goodnight Ladies' and 'New York Telephone Conversation' are other catchy numbers. 'Perfect Day' is another stylish tune which actually feature Lou Reed in fine voice. Anyway in spite of Lou Reed's laid back vocal style, I just love the imagery on this that I rate this record quite highly. You make some goodpoints.


Ben Greenstein <> (09.08.99)

You're right, George. You are going to get a lot of flack for not really liking this album.

I LOVE this album. It's so perfectly dark and depressing (unlike a lot of phony "gloom-rock" bands like the Cure, who I acually really like) that one can't help but be captured by it's world. Plus, it's got an actual fluid plotline, unlike most "concept" albums I've heard. I mean - you can just look at the album cover and remember things like the characters, the events - find me one other album that can do that! And it doesn't remind me of Cabaret at all - possibly because I've never seen it.

And the songs rule! The entire second side, for one, makes me cry - with "Caroline Says 2" being his most melodic tune ever (though it is a just a better rewrite of the Velvet's "Stephanie Says"). "Lady Day" describes the lovers meeting, but does it in such a dark way - as if Lou knows that she's going to be the end of him somewhere down the line. "Oh, Jim" is cool, and "The Kids" is possibly his most folky tune ever. The one tune that makes me shiver with fear is the oh-so-spooky "The Bed," in which Caroline kills herself. Brrr...

So I love it! A superb album, and with none of that stupid "Vicious" crap. I love Lou, but I hated it when he tried to be "cool," as he did with glam rock. Still, he could occasionally turn out a great album - this and Transformer are both outstanding.

Kris <> (30.01.2001)

just bought this album and i think its fantastically depressing, oh so different from the semi-commercialism of transformer and its easy to see why it put fans of that album off lou. it is one of the most pessimistic albums i've heard and certainly has the potential to wipe the smarmy smile off the face of any current mind-numbing popgroup; play them this and they'd all gladly be queuing up round the block, waiting to use the suicide-booth. incidently, did you know that the crying of the children in 'the kids' were the tears of the producers kids, i don't know the guy. he told them their mom had died and caught the reaction on tape. that sums this album up, i sleep with it under my pillow to scare off the evil spirits.

Didier Dumonteil <> (28.03.2001)

A concept album,it was praised in Europa as the black Sgt Pepper's (?)of the seventies,and generally despised in Reed's native country.Personally,it's my favourite.A gloomy depressing suicide story .Had Reed set the story in Vienna in lieu of Berlin,"Mayerling" would have been  a tailor-made title.Bob Ezrin's production was grandiloquent,but the songs are strong,mainly on side two.

On side one,Reed pays,15 years before U2 , a tribute to Billie Holliday.This track,along with "oh Jim" ,will come to full power when performed live (on rock and roll animal and Lou Reed live)

Side two was called by a critic "antirock":it could be the slowest music ever released."The kids" has a very melodramatic final ,complete with screams.It may impress,but only these who haven't heard Lennon's"mother"."The bed " is much more original,with an eerie mood."I would never have started if I'd known that it would end this way" moans Reed is an almost remote voice,avoiding self-pity and pathos."Sad song " is a bit overlong,but don't think you're gonna find solace here.References to the doomed Mary Stuart are not meant to cheer up the listener.This is the perfect record for brooding (during the first half of the seventies three albums were claimed as the desperate ones:Lennon's plastic ono band which spawned the genre,so to speak,Young's tonight the night and this one.)The genre was to continue with Kevin Coyne and Joy Division's closer,but it vanished into thin air in the eighties:You had to feel happy within your body and your mind.M.Starostin 's curse of the eighties was

Adrian Denning <> (12.12.2001)

I just wanted to say I love this album. It's very dark in mood and sometimes you need something dark to lift yourself out of a dark mood. This album convinced me Lou Reed had considerable merit as a solo artist. It's consitent but also has variety. It almost has everything you could want. Sure, it's not exactly happy! But, I don't mind that too much.

Anthony Stewart <> (22.12.2001)

This is one of the greatest discs ever recorded. I would go as far as to say that it is the only real 'concept album' that I can think of in Rock that worked. How did Sgt Pepper ever become a concept album anyway? And then of course there are those embarrasments by the Who...

Berlin is the darkest and saddest record I know. I have lived that record. It is all about the claustrophobic cabaret that is the Needle Park of Berlin. Berlin WITH THE WALL mind you.

It has an incredible band playing this music and all of them did it practically for free. Jack Bruce was brought in for one tune and insisted on staying for no fee. Same with Winwood. Bob Ezrin, producer, and Lou both had nervous breakdowns at the end of the disc. For Lou this was nothing new. He lived in a nervous breakdown. Like he so aptly describes on another disc in "Kill Your Sons". That is where this tortured performer came from.

No one else could have pulled off an album so painful and beautiful at the same time. They used only Violas, no violins, and flutes, French Horns, to portrait the melancholy vision and preserve it in sound. The accompanying Book, that comes with the disc helps to tell the story of drugs, lost love, lost self, music and hope where there is no more hope. The German word "traurig" sums up the story better than it's English counterpart "sad". It is a collection of songs that speaks of handing over and of a distancing oneself from the happenings around you. In THIS world the way to do that is chemically. There is no way to do it any other way. Suicide is the way out for one of our protagonists. The man left behind will forever be haunted by her. "She looked like Mary Queen of Scots. She seemed very regal to me, guess it shows just how wrong you can be." To me this disc is about losing what is left after you've lost your illusions.


Mark Leier <> (31.12.2001)

I am a 42 year old writer living in the midwest. I first encountered Mr. Reed's opus, Berlin in my twentieth year, and I have been playing it ever since. Which, in itself, tells you something about the recording. Along with a small other bagful of recordings, Berlin remains a staple of songwriting unsurpassed by most everything else out there; it is a vivid existential statement of one man's journey into regions of morbidity most will never have to experience. Thank goodness, too. I know of the problems which plagued the production from the beginning, nevertheless; this is some kind of great literary work which just happens to be put to music. "The Kids" may very well be the saddest song ever recorded; while "Caroline Say's" is a wonderfully heroin influenced ramble through fields of loss, and despondency.

Berlin is the best studio recording Mr. Reed has yet produced. Followed quickly by, The Blue Mask.

Jordan Ruud <> (04.01.2002)

Definitely in my top ten CDs; I listen to it something like twice a week. The only songs on this album I don't really like are "Men of Good Fortune" (lyrics aren't too great) and "The Bed" (it'd work well somewhere else, but not here - though the moaning at the end is damn scary!). I LOVE everything else - the whole album is depressing and beautiful. Lou just shambles along, sounding totally broken on the second half of the album; "The Kids" is the most horrible thing I've heard in a long time, but it just draws you in like nothing else. It's totally emotionless, yet its lack of emotion is what really makes the listener feel the effect - if that makes any sense. The album really does feel something like a Broadway production (the comparison to "Cabaret" is apt), and this aspect of it both distances you from the characters and makes you want to analyze them even more. Andy Warhol wanted to make a movie based on the album, and I would have loved to have seen how that turned out.

E <> (13.05.2002)

Hot off the heels of the album that would come to define his solo career, the glam rock masterpiece Transformer, Lou Reed did not decide to rest on his laurels; rather, he decided to make his most ambitious statement to this point, the first concept album of his career, Berlin. Weaving a Cabaret-like story of lovers in war-time Germany, the significance of the album is confirmed in the guest artists it attracted: future King Crimson member Tony Levin and Cream member Jack Bruce on bass, BJ Wilson of Procol Harum on drums, Traffic's Steve Winwood on organ, and many more. This star power truly expressed that this was a project of greater depth and scope than any that Lou Reed had previously undertaken, and a bold new step in Reed's career.

As part of this progression, Reed had to begin anew. The vaults of Velvet Underground outtakes already exhausted, he draws from his past just once, with the dramatically retooled title track taken from his eponymous solo debut. Likewise, there's the obligatory "(insert woman's name) Says," a chronic habit of nomenclature dating back to his VU days. But otherwise, Berlin is a new venture for Reed, and the first of his solo career in which he truly steps out of the VU shadow.

Melodically inferior to its predecessor, Berlin gets by primarily on atmosphere; unsurprisingly, the themes that emerge in these atmospherics are ones that typified his VU albums: decadence, ennui, melancholia, introspection, numbness and despair. Lyrically Reed is also in top form, and while he is occasionally simplistic and pretentious ('Men of Good Fortune'), the overwhelming sincerity of the songs bring them through.

That's another main asset of the album; it all comes off as incredibly earnest and heart felt, almost transparent emotionally, and that helps make the album emotionally available and moving. In fact, the entire album feels like one wave of emotions, and while it never reaches a point of true catharsis, it remains one of the more moving experiences in rock music.

This isn't to say that there are no catchy moments on the album; 'Lady Day', the one song from the album to be assimilated into Reed's live play list, features an infectious refrain, and while the structures of many of the songs are quite primitive, this also lends a general accessibility to them.

Ultimately, it's a question of whether you give in to the story and emotional tapestry of Berlin; if you fail to, the album will merely pass you by with only a modicum of rewards for the listener. But if you're open to the experience, you'll find Berlin a highly engaging and affecting listen, and a unique page in the annals of rock.

Olaf van rangelrooij <> (05.09.2002)

berlin is one of those albums that seperates the spirits. Maybe there is one detail of all the facts known about the recording of the thing that is worth realising. The song 'the kids'; with the famous crying of children, is a real recording. It are in fact, the children of producer Bob Ezrin, who he told a few momnts before recording the, about the fact that their mother 'would never return again'. Bob was of course, not telling the truth, but Reed had suggested that he needed real crying children, and so Bob, who was high on horse, went home to record his own children...after recording berlin he spent three monts in sanatorium, maybe not enough for somebody who chrushes something so harmless in the young lives of children......Berlin is one of the best album known to me.

Tyler Mills <> (18.08.2004)

I would have an extremely hard time naming my top 10 favorite albums of all time. Surely something by the velvets would be there and probably something by Led Zeppelin would be there, but Berlin is one album that I can definitely say would make it.

First and foremost it should be said that this album isn't one to listen to while sitting around with some friends or while in the car on the way to work. To really be able to get the feeling for Berlin one should turn the lights down low, catch a buzz in one's own preferred fashion, put the headphones on, and listen to it with absolutely no distractions. You have to let yourself get caught up in the whole of the album, storyline, music and all.

As it has already been stated a million times, this album is about pain, sadness, loneliness and hurt in general. It is a tragic drama set to music instead of a movie or book. Yet somehow at the end in "Sad Song" the listener feels set free from the sadness of the whole album and feels relieved after the whole experience is over. This is a close race for my favorite Lou Reed album as it runs against New York. Also, you got the best song wrong. It isn't "Men of Good Fortune", its "Oh Jim". The blaring saxaphone section is awesome and lyrically it is extremely harsh. He really makes it clear with the way he delivers the line "beat her black and blue and, get it straight" that for Jim, physically abusing his wife makes him feel good. The only harsher song may be "The Bed" just because it talks about Caroline slitting her wrists, but "Oh Jim" is more intriguing. The entire album is unbelievably good.


Auberon Suger <> (18.01.2001)

It's an interesting way to say it that the "nostalgic public" was disappointed and the "contemporary public" was filled with awe. It's very hard to imagine a public that was nostalgic for VU in 1973. I think we need to recall that none of their albums sold much and the hippies didn't like them because they were too dissonant, and the younger kids hated them because they didn't have the sonic power or drive that only teenagers can appreciate. But this album hit the progressive radio public like a thunderstorm and there was a huge love affair with loud and long guitar solos back then. Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner were spellbinding and these tunes were some of the most exciting things on the underground radio at the time. It only lasted about a year though. The Allman Brothers at Fillmore East easily stole the guitar extravaganza crown, and by 1974, people were absolutely sick of long guitar solos and also of blues-based music by then. Disco was a welcome relief (for some -- I always hated it), and even the Beach Boys Endless Summer was applauded as an innovation at the time. It's hard to imagine Reed as the Rock & Roll animal -- a few steps away from Kiss.

On a divergent note, while I have the time to explain some rock & roll history to the youngsters ... there were three New York City bands at the time that made a big impact: The New York Dolls, Blue Oyster Cult, and Kiss. Lou Reed, of course, was the consummate New Yorker, and this album could be easily matched with BOC's first, and also with the Dolls. The people who were listening to Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, John Denver and Seals & Crofts (as almost everyone was) hated this guitar bombast, but the young kids loved it. It was definitely a glam show -- right alongside of Bryan Ferry and Mott the Hoople. George's term "monumental" is a good one -- yes, it was a great spectacle.

The most difficult thing for rock & roll to achieve is a majestic sound (even though countless bands try) and this record approaches it sometimes.

Duane Zarakov <> (04.02.2001)

Just one thing wrong with this album, but it's a big-deal thing - Lou doesn't play guitar. Thumbs down.

Didier Dumonteil <> (28.03.2001)

Certainly dated nowadays but two tracks have worn well:"lady day" with its awesome vocal and its almost procolesque feel (did you notice that BJ Wilson had played on the Berlin" album?) and "white light white heat" that seems revivified in a heavy metal treatment.Lou Reed live ,the follow-up (tapes from the same concert,1975),had strong versions of "vicious" and "oh jim"

Anthony Stewart <> (29.05.2002)

This disc was recorded in Lou's mainstream Rock period. When he really wanted to be one of the Superstars. He got himself an ace band Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner on guitars and Prakshi on a very busy bumblebee Bass buzzing down midfield. The songs are given the 70's Arena treatment. On most of them it works, plus there are several spots to showcase the talents of the band. The long Intro which has become a classic in it's own right is phenomenal going straight into the classic riff of "Sweet Jane". No problems here. Next is the only weak point of the disc (I am doing the short version): "Heroin". Now a song as true and real and brutal as "Heroin" just can not be played with a Boz Scaggs arrangement. Simple as that. The dynamics are there. But where Maureen Tucker's steady throb signaled 'Danger Danger'! We now have a Basic backbeat and some Studio musician tom Tom work. The guitars are great but too clean for this song. This tune is supposed to ache and scream. Lou saves it with those ethereal lyrics and a deadpan delivery. "White Light White Heat" features Prakshi on Bass supergrande. Man that boy rocks. "Lady Day" IMHO beats the studio version from "Berlin". Fabulous! We end with "Rock'n Roll". I am not sure about the breakdown jam at the end. One day I like it, the next I hate it. It gives every bandmember a spotlight. Lou was really goosing for the mainstream on that one.



Anthony Stewart <> (22.12.2001)

Lou was in such bad shape at that point of his career that it was virtually impossible to get him into the studio to do the vocals. The songs are just throwaways, in Lou's words. But "Kill Your Sons" is a very potent, autobiographical song. It is his best selling disc to date if anyone can believe that. It is also his worst.

I revere the ground Lou walks on. But this disc is a spit in the face. Still Lou at his worst is better than 999% of the rest out there. But I HATE "Billy" and "Bow wow wow" or whatever that shit is on "Animal Language". "Sally Can't Dance" is a groovy dance track with cool Horns and funny lyrics. Lou woke up for 5 minutes to jot down some clever lyrics that other artists would work a lifetime to never achieve. You just have to take this disc within the context of Lou's life. He was f*cked up during that period and put out a lousy disc.


Tyler Mills <> (24.08.2004)

I'm glad to see that you didn't bash Sally Can't Dance like most others are so quick to do. It is by no means Lou Reed's greatest album, and I don't like the fact that he doesn’t play guitar except for like one song, but I still do enjoy this album. "Ride Sally Ride" is a catchy somewhat funky song (not nearly as funky as "Sally Can't Dance"), "Babyface" is really smooth and chilled out, "Good Taste" is an interesting, somewhat funny while somewhat self-mocking slow song, and the songs between these aren’t bad either. I was worried when I bought this album because I thought I might get a real dud that would disappoint me in Lou Reed. Overall it is catchy and mostly fun to listen to. Also, the most personal song is "Kill Your Sons", but the best song is "Ride Sally Ride". That ones just so much fun to listen to.


Michael Egan <> (04.08.2002)

I actually have this, I actually listened to it all the way through, and I actually liked it. I don't know why - there's something about all those squeals and squelches and mechanical drones and fast mini-melodies I found interesting. Which isn't to say I've listened to it again. Someday soon, I'll get the urge and I'll probably like it again. For an album that's nothing but God-awful atonal noise, it's pretty good. It's certainly more of an artistic statement than my wife's vacuum cleaner although I had a Buick that was much more expressive and heartfelt ...

Note to those who read reader's comments for additional viewpoints on an album - odds are near 100% you'll really hate every second of this ...

Steve Potocin <> (01.12.2002)

When I saw this was actually reviewed, I started laughing, picturing you listening to it! Decades ago I shelled out about 5 bucks, put it on the turntable, and got out my umbrella, cause it's raining shit! I like Lou Reed, but this is a bigger turd than the Shaggs record,and if you review that don't say you have not been warned!

Pedro Andino <> (30.05.2003)


Kiel Pidgeon <> (26.06.2003)

"Best song: METAL MACHINE MUSIC PART 3. Why part 3? Because if you've reached part 3 and you're still alive, you can take on the Devil."

That's the best Quote ever George.  I dunno how anyone makes it past the first two minutes of side one, I can't even imagine writing a review on this thing.  Nowhere has the term 'music' been used more loosely than here.

Nicolas LaBonte <> (27.11.2003)

You may be ready to take on the Devil, but even if you listen to MMM for 24-hours straight, and then follow it up by playing THRaKaTTaK, Calling All Stations, Camouflage and all the other albums which you regard as atrocious at the same time at full volume into a single pair of headphones pressed into your ears as far as they can go, you still won't be prepared to listen to an album like Celebrity by 'N Sync (unfortunately for me, this comes from experience). GIVE ME METAL MACHINE MUSIC OVER BADLY DONE R&B SCHLOCK ANY DAY OF THE WEEK!

Michael H. <> (20.06.2005)

Before anyone goes one step further, this is appropriate for this occasion.

@ By this time, all Lou Reed fans-old and new-know this album exists. {explaine why people pay a lot of money for out-of-print vinyl copies, 8 tracks, Quadraphonic mixes, and Quad 8 tracks from used record stores, internet sellers, ect…}

 # When “grunge” hit, an article in a magazine (sidebar) named this album as an ‘influence’ on the music scene (including Yoko Ono) at the time (and bands from before the term was coined) and its offshoots.

% There is a nice little book called “Worst Rock and Roll records of all time” and this album is #2.

() This also explaines and goes with some of Pink Floyd Frank Zappa’s ‘early’ material-then there is mainstream bands that have a track on there studio albums consisting of nothing but ‘sounds’, like Jefferson Airplane “A Small Package Of Value Will Come To You Shortly”   “Chushingura”, Black Sabbath “FX”, and even Ringo Starr’s “Spooky Weirdness”. Just to name a few (there is too much research to name them all)

 = Are people forgetting John Lennon Yoko Ono Two Virgins, Life with the Lions, Wedding Album and not to mention Yoko Ono solo (its not all ‘screaming”) or even Beatles “Revolution #9” or George Harrison Electronic Sound?

 Looooooooong before we even heard of this ‘stuff’, there is other new music being made: Ever heard of John Cage (not John Cale of the Velvet Underground!!! Check out John Cale “Loop” which is available for download on the internet.) or even Karlheinz Stockhausen?

 Have you ever heard of this musical style called “Musique concrete” (French; literally, "concrete music"), been around for a long time, and for more information check out: It was invented in 1948 by Pierre Schaeffer.

As time went on, other styles of music were invented and justified: Industrial, Space, Electronic, Extreme, Experimental, Ambient, Avant-Garde, 20th century Classical, “Jazz”, Noise, Improvisation, “Sound Art”, ect…

 Has one ever heard of THE RESIDENTS (they are reviewed in here) or even THROBBING GRISTLE (I dare George to review there material) not to mention BRIAN ENO, COIL, FAUST, CAN, EinstürzendeNeubauten, or even Amon Düül II (all those bands are on this webpage, and try FRIPP ENO NO PUSSYFOOTING, EVENING STAR and Brian Eno THE SHUTOV ASSEMBLY Thank you STEVE F DELNERO ART CONTROL, contact me for more info, he sells and specializes in this type of music!!!)

 Oh, here is a great comparison: CONTACT ME FOR JOHN CAGE CARTRIDGE MUSIC (or try getting a John Cage tribute album) it’s a great example.

Also, this is ‘justified’ as art (College courses, where do you think I get stuff from?) but here is a good example:

Wanna really get the following-> “The closest anybody ever actually came to recording that proverbial "album of fart noises"…TRY THIS ON FOR SIZE: Dieter Schnebel. Atemzüge (1970-71) für mehrere Stimmorgane und Reproduktionsgeräte. Choralvorspiele I/II (1966/68-69) für Orgel, Nebeninstrumente und Tonband. RECORD LABEL: Wergo p1976. One song on this album takes up a full side of a record, and this one song all it consists of is nothing but mouth breathing noises!!!

So now a days, people get these groups together and put there own spin on there own way: How about Smell Quim, Emil Beaulieau, Aube, or even The Haters (from California)

The Haters have this cd out called “Mind The Gap”, it has 3 tracks of the amplified sounds of records being stapled together!!! Try the record label Vinyl Communications P.O. BOX 8623. Chula Vista, CA. 91912.

 Here is another webpage to check out:

By the way, The Vinyl and CD sound a bit different, but get the re-issued CD version. It has liner notes explaining everything about METAL MACHINE MUSIC the whole thing, so its worth it.


HEY Try the following: if you have a DVD player that you can change the ‘key’ of the DVD’s and CD’s you are playing, (this ‘key’ mechanism changes the tone of all the sound you hear, I am not sure if all DVD players have it) Listen to MMM and just change the key, its amazing and refreshing.

 Oh, the QUAD pressings are nothing but the MMM tapes played backwards in the other channels.

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (17.08.2006)

Pedro Andino's comment is just about the funniest thing I've seen this year, I've only just stopped laughing and I'm sore. Lou Reed said something about the album that's almost as funny though~"Anyone that gets through to side four is dumber than I am !" If it's any consolation there are loads of Beatle songs I love that John Lennon was scathingly dismissive of~but what does an artist know ? Some folk genuinely enjoy the pranks and excesses of work the artist doesn't view with any seriousness. But at the end of the day, the artist can't control the likes or dislikes of the punter/consumer. And no, it's not just intellectual snob nobs trying to show how clever and insightful they are by digging this album that do like aspects of it. Some of it is actually quite engaging. If you listen to it, because there are feedbacking notes involved, certain little patterns {if not exactly melodies} can be discerned even though they're obviously not intended that way. There's something quite refreshing about noise in small doses. And therein lies the key, 64 minutes is not small doses ! If this whole album could have been condensed into a five, why, even a ten minute track, it would be endlessly listenable for me. I can just picture myself blazing down the motorway at 100 whoops, 70 MPH blaring MMM nice and loud and screaming yeah ! yeah ! Weeeuuuooowww !! But not for 64 minutes......And on that level it's atrocious, background drivel. I like the start of Deep Purple's SPEED KING and the noise at the end of HARD LOVIN' MAN and the centre of Pink Floyd's ECHOES and Led Zeppelin's WHOLE LOTTA LOVE and other noisefests.....but for an hour ? I like some free jazz but much of it amounts to mindless {actually that's not true; it's mindful} screeching and honking that really goes nowhere as far as I'm concerned, that's why I stopped collecting the stuff. So while I can appreciate Lou's concept, whatever it is {after all, feedback has been a major feature of guitar players' arsenal for longer than I've been alive}, a double album was just taking it a bit too far. It's interesting in places though. But then, so is the aftermath of a train wreck, if you happen to be that way inclined.


Didier Dumonteil <> (02.03.2001)

Coney Island baby is a very laid-back album.Lou Reed has always been a doowop fan,particularly of Dion and the Belmonts.In the V.U. days this  influence could be heard from the third album on.On loaded,"I found a reason " is pure doo wop.And" Coney Island Baby "is a doo-wop classic : an  Excellents track,you can found it on the doo wop box ,CD4.LR's song is not a cover,mind you.But the spirit is here:this track ,along with "Charlie's girl","a gift "(don't mistake with "THE gift") is an updated "golden fifties of Five Satins,Dion,Velvets(not underground),Excellents et all sound."She's my best friend",on the other hand ,has  a beautiful guitar solo,even if it doesn't fit the bill,as far the atmosphere is concerned..

Anthony Stewart <> (22.12.2001)

Just LOVE this disc. It is so "happy". Seems like Lou wanted to make a disc in the vein of Dion. Get some doo wop going. "Charley's Girl", "Ooo(Lou) Baby" and "Crazy Feeling" are merry singalongs. He recuts the old VU number "She's My Best Friend" with great success. Love the BU Vocals. "Gift" is wonderful. Beautiful music. Very simple, ironic lyrics. Typical Lou; the constant observer..."Kicks" is the only tune on here that reminds us briefly but very potently of the real monster that is always just a shot away under Lou's friendly veneer. The title track sounds like something of a diary entry, complete with a heartfelt, mumbled declaration(?), apolopgy(?) to Rachel, Lou's companion at the time. 9.


Anthony Stewart <> (22.12.2001)

I can not believe no one has posted on this one. That one came out at the height of NYC's Punk period. And went over great. Patti Smith was playing "Real Good Time Together" at 'CBGB's' in no time. The mini opera of the title track took over columns of the "Village Voice" and the "Soho Weekly News" week upon week. It was a GREAT disc. Timed perfectly. NYC that summer was all abuzz. We heard nothing but Some Girls and Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, Police and LOU REED on FM Radio. Ah, the good ole days...Hearing "I wanna be black" on FM Radio was a treat. The lyrics are very funny. If you don't have a sense of humor about these things then too bad for yuppie-you.

Great record.


Henrik Larsen <> (22.03.2002)

In the Street Hassle review you wrote: " this three part suite has definite Waits overtones (I'd almost say Springsteen overtones, but my tongue's too thick!)"

Actually Springsteen appears on this song (end of part 2)!

chris <> (01.10.2002)

its the start of part 3 springsteen appears, i hate the guy. thats not the point though is it??? waits started the 'waltzing matilda' ting


Didier Dumonteil <> (18.02.2001)

ALong with berlin,i think it's reed's best.The title track alone would justify my choice.with 'disco mystic','i wanna boogie with you' and 'city lights' which alludes to Chaplin,it's really a worthwhile record,even for me who prefer,by far ,his mate J.Cale.

Jordan Ruud <> (04.01.2002)

Yep, this one's great, totally underrated. It's best listened to as a whole; song by song, it's not that great. But by the end of the album, you're feeling this wonderful dreamy jazzy narcosis, and then the title track sends you off a bit uncomfortable. And you've gotta love that binaural sound!

<> (14.12.2003)

Let's get this out of the way for starters: I like a lot of Lou Reed's records. But this is a dog. The vocals are a preview of that daft singsong voice he affected which largely ruined the Velvet Underground reunion tour in the early 1990s, the songs ain't much cop either. And old Lou evidently wasn't that crazy about it either - I saw him in 1979 when he was touring this album, he played for well over two hours and did loads of stuff from lots of his albums, but only played the title track from this one. And he sure as hell wasn't doing any songs off it on any subsequent tours. A major disappointment given how good its predecessor (Street Hassle) was. Proof that Lou Reed solo is one of the most inconsistent artists on the planet. But just when you think he's totally lost it he'll do something great like New York. Don't waste your money on this record.


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Anthony Stewart <> (22.12.2001)

Great critical acclaim. Hailed as one of the best discs of the year by the critics. It all came down to Lou's short, way too short, lived partnership with Robert Quine, guitarrist, extraordinaire! they battled. For two discs. It must have been similar to the old days with having a john Cale in the band again for Lou. But Lou does not tolerate rivals. Although they bring out the best in him. After Legendary Hearts he unceremoniusly dumped Quine.

The Blue Mask has some incredible songs on it. Lou had trimmed down, come off his Growing Up In Public, overweight, drunk persona. Put out a dangerous disc again. With the the titletrack, "The Gun" and "The Day JFK Died", a potent disc.



Philip P. Obbard <> (10.12.99)

Cale does vocals on "A Dream", not Reed. Also, the lines are all taken from Warhol's diaries, reassembled for effect by Reed. I grew to really like this track - definitely the major opus of the album. I could do without "Faces and Names" and "Images", though.

Didier Dumonteil <> (28.03.2001)

Credited to Reed and Cale,the former gets the lion's share but Cale has the highlight :"style it takes" a paean to their first group.


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