Remembering Lou Reed – New York Album

Oct 28

Lou ReedAmerican singer-songwriter and punk pioneer Lou Reed died yesterday (2013-10-27) at the age of 71 from liver-related complications.

Although he will be most remembered from his time with the highly influential Velvet Underground, it was Reed’s 1989 solo album New York that most influenced and amazed me.

To me, Lou Reed’s New York album didn’t just sum up New York at the end of the ’80s – it summed up the entire decade.

It blew me away the first time I heard it and remains a personal favorite.

While I’ve simmered down over the years, I once had a seething hate-hate relationship with the 1980s and spent way too much energy criticizing that Wasteland of a decade.


And, yes, it was a Wasteland.


When you look at any artist – whatever the genre, whatever the discipline – whose work spanned more than one decade and included the 1980s, the best and most meaningful art was never produced in the ’80s (the only exception I’m aware of is U2’s Joshua Tree album).


No one ever peaked in the ’80s.


There’s a reason why Bruce Springsteen stopped singing Born in the USA a long time ago, why no one ever watches the 1987 Oscar-nominated film Children of a Lesser God, and why we’ve all pretty much forgotten that Bulgarian maniac artist Christo wrapping islands in pink plastic.


A Wasteland is the antithesis of a Renaissance and what we end up with if we fail to conjure, coax, and cultivate a Renaissance.


I’ve since made my peace with the 1980s and can pretty much listen to any music from the period (except Madonna, Michael Jackson, Van Halen, The Smiths, and especially The B-52s).


Still, it’s important to remain vigilant, children . . . because I’ve seen firsthand what happens when we don’t. 🙁


You can listen to Lou Reed’s New York album below:



  1. I’ve never listened to this album, Brad, so thanks very much for introducing me to it. Just listened to the first few tracks and can see why it blew you away 🙂
    Susan Neal recently posted…15 Beliefs To Supercharge Your Writing CareerMy Profile

  2. OK, one more artist I have NEVER heard of 🙁 If I didn’t know better, Brad, I’d think that all you ever do is sit around and listen to music! You are nearly 20 years younger than me, and I swear, you know more about music and have a larger music library thank my whole family put together. Now that I have my speakers hooked back up (Surefire borrowed them for awhile because she was having problems with hers), I will try to get up to speed on your recent Renaissance Now offerings and let you know what I think.

  3. Glad to hear you’ve got sound again.

    Mostly I sit around and type all day and just wish I had time to sit around and listen to music. 😉
    Brad Castro recently posted…Remembering Lou Reed – New York AlbumMy Profile

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