Lou Reed

Lou Reed

A Life

Book - 2017 | First edition.
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The essential biography of one of music's most influential icons: Lou Reed. As lead singer and songwriter for the Velvet Underground and a renowned solo artist, Lou Reed invented alternative rock. His music, at once a source of transcendent beauty and coruscating noise, violated all definitions of genre while speaking to millions of fans and inspiring generations of musicians. But while his iconic status may be fixed, the man himself was anything but. Lou Reed's life was a transformer's odyssey. Eternally restless and endlessly hungry for new experiences, Reed reinvented his persona, his sound, even his sexuality time and again. A man of contradictions and extremes, he was fiercely independent yet afraid of being alone, artistically fearless yet deeply paranoid, eager for commercial success yet disdainful of his own triumphs. Channeling his jagged energy and literary sensibility into classic songs like "Walk on the Wild Side" and "Sweet Jane" and radically experimental albums alike, Reed remained desperately true to his artistic vision, wherever it led him. Now, just a few years after Reed's death, Rolling Stone writer Anthony DeCurtis, who knew Reed and interviewed him extensively, tells the provocative story of his complex and chameleonic life. With unparalleled access to dozens of Reed's friends, family, and collaborators, DeCurtis tracks Reed's five-decade career through the accounts of those who knew him and through Reed's most revealing testimony, his music. We travel deep into his defiantly subterranean world, enter the studio as the Velvet Underground record their groundbreaking work, and revel in Reed's relationships with such legendary figures as Andy Warhol, David Bowie, and Laurie Anderson. Gritty, intimate, and unflinching, Lou Reed is an illuminating tribute to one of the most incendiary artists of our time.
Publisher: New York :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2017.
Edition: First edition.
Branch Call Number: 781.66 REE
Characteristics: viii, 519 pages, [16] pages of plates :,illustrations (some colour) ;,25 cm.
Notes: Includes bibliographical references (pages [474]-504) and index.


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Sep 10, 2020

"My week beats your year."
A well-researched, nuanced look at one of the most influential and polarizing musical figures in rock, written by Anthony DeCurtis of "Rolling Stone." DeCurtis is clearly a fan and was, apparently, one of the few rock writers the notoriously prickly Reed could stand. The fan and the journalist tend led to an unresolved tension in the book. No one disputes Reed's contribution to music; he basically invented punk with the Velvet Underground, he opened up songwriting to heretofore taboo subjects, and very band that plays guitars, wears black, and sulks owes something to him. Yet, by all accounts, he could a difficult and belligerent person, both personally and musically. He pushed the brilliant multi-instrumentalist John Cale out of the Velvets, he was heavy into drugs and booze, and he had ego for days. DeCurits doesn't shy away from that, but he's usually looking for a way to justify the bad behavior, which is a flaw. And he overlooks the importance of "Trainspotting" and "Velvet Goldmine" (the films and their soundtracks) connecting Reed with a younger audience. I would've called this book "Whole Lotta Lou."
"It's all the streets you walked not so long ago."

OPL_DavidD Oct 10, 2018

Covers the triumphs and falls of one of the most complicated careers for one of the most complicated figures in rock music. This book does not only cover his innovations, but his failings, including his troubled relationships with his romantic partners and his musical collaborators. Humanizes a legend by not only showing his good side.

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