but you can’t always trust your mother…

There are only so many cities that deserve a song never mind an album. New York however probably deserves the whole double album treatment and is there a better songwriter than Lou Reed to do that.

I’ve never really got the whole Lou Reed myth thing. Yeah he knocked out a few good songs. His first band influenced the world. He immortalized bananas and the sleazier side of the soft underbelly of the world which may very well be the same thing.

The best albums from the 80s sound like they were recorded in the 70s and New York is one of them. No bigger than life drums massive gospel choirs swooning in the background or over achieving lead vocals. In fact many times it sounds like demo’s.

John Mellencamp said it sounded like it was mixed by a grade schooler or something like that. At the end of the day rock ‘n’ roll should be basic, uncouth, angry, barely in control and occasionally borderline psychotic. It shouldn’t be polite and sanitized. So maybe more grade schoolers should mix more records.

As Lou says on the cover “you can’t beat two guitars bass and drums.” And it’s true.

Lou’s vocals are laid back conversational and his guitar is dirty and raw and all in the left speaker,and the cymbals are kept to a minimum as we all know cymbals eat guitars. The lyrics are searing. Self righteous at times and honest to a perspective that is Lous.

I have a longer story about this album that involves all sorts of meanderings and convoluted moments of indecision and revelations leading to a moment sitting on the beach staring west into the darkness and dreaming of America and New York.

I’m still not the greatest fan of Lou Reed. I don’t have a desire to own everything which for a bit of a completist is unusual but the bits I like are effectively whole albums. He’s either on or missing the mark as far as I am concerned.

It seems 1989 was the year the old guard made a come back. Young, Dylan and Reed all made career saving albums in 1989 that are still relevant today. Lou’s may be the most coherent statement though.

Oh yeah the reissue is clear vinyl and who can resist that.

5 thoughts on “but you can’t always trust your mother…

  1. I was fairly hooked on New Sensations, so in my mind Reed already made his comeback before New York. I saw that tour. He played the album straight through and then came out for an encore and played walk on the wild side. I was so pissed.

  2. I love this LP, love it love it love it. Halloween Parade is possibly my favourite track on this one, its gloriously sad. You picked the best line out for your title too.

    One day I will complete my magnum opus ‘New Brighton’, covering the whole of this LP in a comedy Wirral accent.

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