Top 10 Lou Reed Songs

Lou Reed Songs

Photo: By Man Alive! (Lou Reed Uploaded by Yarl) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

From the humble beginnings of the Velvet Underground to his final days collaborating with Metallica, Laurie Anderson, and Antony, Lou Reed wrote and recorded one of the most intriguing and prolific catalogs in the history of rock and roll. The man had a penchant for experimentation and didn’t particularly care what anyone thought of him. That lead to erratic strokes of genius, even if they were sometimes buried in the rubble. Thus, here are the Top 10 Lou Reed Songs from that long career worth revisiting.

(Disclaimer: This addresses Lou Reed as a solo musician and does not include content
from the Velvet Underground. ClassicRockHistory.com is proud to present……

The Top 10 Lou Reed Songs.

# 10 – ‘Talking Book’ (Perfect Night / 1998)

If you’ve never heard of this song, there is most certainly a reason why. Its only official performance by Reed was on his 1998 live record, Perfect Night. The haunting ballad was written for ‘Time Rocker,’ a foreign play Reed composed the music for. The play was never properly recorded, but he did let this gem drop two years later on this live record. It’s everything wonderful about Lou Reed: simplistic, relatable, and emotional.

# 9 – ‘I Wanna Know’ (The Raven / 2003)

Lou Reed was often at his finest when he surrounded himself with equally superb talents. In 2003, he embarked on an incredibly ambitious endeavor with ‘The Raven.’ A collaboration with the Blind Boys of Alabama manifested itself into ‘I Wanna Know,’ one of the Top Ten Lou Reed Songs that perfectly exhibits Reed’s talent as a bluesman. (Both as a vocalist and lyricist.)

# 8 – ‘How Do You Speak to an Angel’ (Growing Up In Public / 1980)

The 80s was for Lou Reed, like it was for many artists of his era, rough and tumble.
Before those hit/miss records, however, he started off the decade with ‘Growing Up In
Public.’ The album is a wonderfully eccentric, amusing, and unsurprisingly frank
journey through Lou Reed wrestling with adulthood. The opening track, ‘How Do You
Speak to an Angel,’ is its most memorable. Who hasn’t had anxiety about speaking to
the prettiest girl in the room? This cataclysmic rocker is so delightfully personable.

# 7 – ‘Walk On the Wild Side’ (Transformer / 1972)

It earned its place in history, and it’s earned its place on this list. ‘Walk on the Wild
Side’ remains the most lasting impression Lou Reed ever made on music. Its bass riff?
Legendary. Its lyrics? Unforgettable. Thus, it is one of his finest tunes. One could argue,
though, that it merely opened a gateway for Reed to break free from the Velvet
Underground. It sent Reed into the stratosphere as a solo artist, and hence, it’ll always
be a great song and one of the most popular Lou Reed songs in his entire catalog.

# 6 – ‘Sad Song’ (Berlin / 1973)

Just as quickly as Lou Reed gained the adoration of the music community, he lost it all
with ‘Berlin,’ his epic large critical flop. Four decades later, it’s considered one of his
best releases. The album, which delves deep into domestic abuse, suicide, depression,
and other terrifying notions, ends with ‘Sad Song.’ This triumph of production is one of
Reed’s most classically beautiful compositions.

# 5 – ‘Coney Island Baby’ (Coney Island Baby / 1976)

After several more bizarre releases post ‘Berlin,’ Lou Reed returned to Velvet Underground stylism for ‘Coney Island Baby.’ The titular tune is a lovely insight to a young Lou Reed, one who just “wants to play football for the coach.” Lou Reed had very troubled teenage years; his sexuality caused his parents to subject him to electroshock therapy. ‘Coney Island Baby’ reveals the softhearted boy underneath that survived the torture.

# 4 – ‘Cremation (Ashes to Ashes)’ (Magic & Loss / 1992)

When one of Lou Reed’s friends was dying of cancer, he penned one of the saddest,
most in-depth commentaries of death ever written. ‘Magic & Loss is a masterpiece in
its entirety, somberly tugging at your heartstrings and soul as Reed approaches death
with his signature wit and cynicism. ‘Cremation (Ashes to Ashes)’ is one of the most
breathtaking compositions on the record, and it also contains some of its best musings
and imagery.

# 3 – ‘NYC Man’ (Set The Twilight Reeling / 1996)

‘NYC Man’ is the spiritual successor to ‘Walk on the Wild Side.’ With its excellent bass
riffing and carefree lyricism, the track showcases Lou Reed in his element: New York
City. “Blink your eyes and I’ll be gone,” he croons over a track of self-acceptance. After
the wholly depressing Magic & Loss and Songs For Drella albums, ‘Set The Twilight
Reeling’ is a very special return to life and its oddities for Reed.

# 2 – ‘Halloween Parade’ (New York / 1989)

It’s immeasurably difficult to choose a track from ‘New York’ that isn’t amongst Lou
Reed’s finest songs. The album decisively ended Reed’s tumultuous decade with one of
his most terrific, insightful, and well-executed records since the Velvet Underground.
‘Halloween Parade’ is one of the most special tracks on the album. It’s imaginative
nature is joyfully brilliant.

# 1 – Street Hassle (Street Hassle / 1978)

How does one describe ‘Street Hassle’? It remains Lou Reed’s purest, most outstanding work for a variety of reasons. This three-part rock opera boasts Reed’s staggeringly good lyrical ability at its best, and though certainly not safe for work, it is compellingly poetic. Its composition is also one of, if not, Reed’s most marvelous. ‘Street Hassle’ is the closest Lou Reed ever got to capturing his genius in one take.

Top 10 Lou Reed Songsarticle published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022

Classicrockhistory.com claims ownership of all its original content and Intellectual property under United States Copyright laws and those of all other foreign countries. No one person, business, or organization is allowed to re-publish any of our original content anywhere on the web or in print without our permission. All photos used are either public domain creative commons photos or licensed officially from Shutterstock under license with ClassicRockHistory.com. All photo credits have been placed at the end of the article.

DMCA.com Protection Status

DON’T MISS A BEAT

Be the first to know when a new article is published

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

One Response

  1. Avatar Anonymous May 28, 2023

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Phil Collins Songs
Phil Collins’ Best Song From Each Of His Solo Albums
The Eagles Best Songs
The Eagles Best Song From Each Of Their Studio Albums
Jackson Browne Songs
Jackson Browne’s Best Song From Each Of His Studio Albums
Imagine Dragons Songs
Top 10 Imagine Dragons Songs
Bryan Adams Albums
Top 10 Bryan Adams Albums
Doors Albums
The Doors Albums Ranked
Rod Stewart Albums
Top 10 Rod Stewart Albums
Rock Supergroups that released only one studio album
15 Rock Supergroups That Released Only One Studio Album
The Rolling Stones At Metlife Stadium 2024
The Rolling Stones 24 Tour Rocks MetLife Stadium Review 5-23-24
Aaron Leigh of Y&T
2024 M3 Rock Festival Day 2 Concert Review
2024 M3 Rock Festival Day 1 Concert Review
2024 M3 Rock Festival Day 1 Concert Review
Peter Frampton
Frampton, Foreigner, Ozzy, & Dave Matthews Band Voted Into Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame
Steve Morse Interview: 10 Albums That Changed My Life
Steve Morse Interview: 10 Albums That Changed My Life
An Interview With Geezer Butler Of Black Sabbath
An Interview With Geezer Butler Of Black Sabbath
Nathan Salsburg Interview
Singer/Songwriter Nathan Salsburg on His New Record, ‘All Gist’
An Interview With Kirk Fletcher Talking Guitars And Amps
An Interview With Kirk Fletcher Talking Guitars And Amps
The Chambers Brothers Albums
Complete List Of The Chambers Brothers Albums And Songs
Los Lonely Boys Albums
Complete List Of Los Lonely Boys Albums And Songs
Mudcrutch Albums
Complete List Of Mudcrutch Albums And Discography
American Authors Albums
Complete List Of American Authors Albums And Discography
9 Bands That Never Replaced Departed Members
Music CDs Comeback
Why Music CDs Have No Chance Of Making A Comeback
Classic Rock Bands Still Together But Overdue For A New Album
Classic Rock Bands Still Together But Overdue For A New Album
When Glam Bands Went Grunge In The 1990s
When Glam Bands Went Grunge In The 1990s
Billy Idol Rebel Yell 40th Anniversary Vinyl Review
Taylor Swift Albums And Discography
Complete List Of Taylor Swift Albums And Discography
Carly Simon Hotcakes Album Review
Carly Simon’s HOTCAKES Album Still Sizzles After 50 Years
11 Tracks Of Whack Album Review
Walter Becker – 11 Tracks of Whack Album Review