Song of the Day: “Vicious” – Lou Reed

Hot take: Lou Reed was massively influential. Through his work with the Velvet Underground and as a solo artist, it would probably be quicker to name the genres of music Reed didn’t help establish (it’s Afro-Cuban and Christian Rap). Reed’s twitchy urban poetry was the perfect companion to his restless, chugging guitar, and countless followers picked up his rhythm, speeding it up slightly and calling it “punk.” Post VU, Reed’s solo career tended toward art rock and glam, dropping the classic Transformer in 1972 (with David Bowie behind the boards and Mick Ronson doing the arrangement) and the slightly more frustrating but still worth a damn Berlin in 1973. He would ultimately release 20 solo albums after the Velvet Underground, and while they weren’t all “successful” in the way the word is normally used, each was challenging in its own way, and all were uniquely Reed’s work. If Reed were alive today, he’d be celebrating his 76th birthday on 2 March, but alas, he died of liver failure in 2013. Accordingly, let’s all take a moment to think about Lou Reed’s legacy (you should probably already be doing that anyway) by listening to the killer opening track to Transformer. Happy Birthday, Lou. May your man finally arrive.


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