For many today is an unexpectedly sad day. Lou Reed, 71 years old, passes on today. Andrew Wylie, literary agent to Lou Reed announced today that he was no longer with us, likely due to a liver transplant he had earlier in the year.
For those not familiar with the musical legend Lou Reed, he was the vocalist, guitarist and head songwriter for the cult favorite 1960’s band The Velvet Underground. At the time the band was a commercial failure but as years past they became a cult hit and one of the more influential bands from the era. In 1972 Lou Reed began what would be a very long and prosperous solo career.
While apart of The Velvet Underground, Lou Reed and his band put out five studio albums however they put out a number of live and compilation albums over the years. Being as influential as he was, Lou Reed went on to work with a huge number of artists while continuing his own solo career. Metallica put out an album in 2011 with Lou Reed called Lulu that contained 10 tracks, all of which the lyrics had been written by Lou Reed. The album is a lengthy 87 minutes in total.
Rolling Stone felt strongly about the icon and wrote a tribute to him saying, “as a restlessly inventive solo artist, from the Seventies into the 2010s, he was chameleonic, thorny and unpredictable, challenging his fans at every turn.” Rolling Stone has named The Velvet Underground’s debut album “The Velvet Underground & Nico” the 13th greatest album of all time.
Many tracks from The Velvet Underground are still know today, some most recognizable tracks are Sweet Jane, Heroin, and Sunday Morning. Some of Lou Reed’s most notable solo tracks are Satellite of Love, Walk on the Wild Side, and Perfect Day. Lou Reed was used to making appearances in bands or movies as himself. He was such an important music icon that many wished to work with him. The last album he made an appearance on was Synthetica by the band Metric. The specific track he worked on is called Wonderlust.
Today many give thanks and mourn the passing of an individual that played an important role in many lives. Music is a powerful art, one that touches many deeply. Lou Reed once told a journalist, “I’ve always believed that there’s an amazing number of things you can do through a rock ‘n’ roll song.” Of course Lou Reed knew that what he was doing would touch people, he also wrote “You do this because you like it, you think what you’re making is beautiful. And if you think it’s beautiful, maybe they think it’s beautiful.” True words indeed. As we say goodbye to this soul let us also keep his wife Laurie Anderson in mind who commented on the passing of her husband saying “He was as great an artist as it’s possible to be in my opinion.” Rest in peace Lou.
Written By: Garrett Jutte