Lou Reed is the debut solo studio album by American rock musician Lou Reed, released in May 1972 by RCA Records,[1] two years after he left the Velvet Underground. It was produced by Richard Robinson and Reed and features London session musicians as Reed's backing band, two of whom, Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe, were from the British progressive rock band Yes. Wakeman recalled that during the recording sessions, "the lights had to be out so nobody could see."[2] The album was recorded at Morgan Studios in London, between December 1971 and January 1972.

Lou Reed
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 1972
RecordedDecember 1971 – January 1972
StudioMorgan (Willesden, London)
LabelRCA Victor
  • Richard Robinson
  • Lou Reed
Lou Reed chronology
Lou Reed

With increasing interest in the Velvet Underground, Reed's debut album was highly anticipated, but was a commercial and critical disappointment, reaching only No. 189 on the Billboard 200. It comprises eight new recordings of then-unreleased Velvet Underground songs, and two new songs, "Going Down" and "Berlin" (the latter was re-recorded by Reed as the title track for his 1973 album Berlin).

In 1976, when asked what he thought of the album in retrospect, Reed stated, "It's got some of the best songs I ever wrote, but the production sucks."[3]

Critical reception edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [4]
Chicago Tribune    [5]
Christgau's Record GuideB+[6]
MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide     [7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [8]

The Commercial Appeal wrote that the album "contains some of the frenzy for which his former band was noted, but most of the music is toned down into a more standard rock mold."[9] The Buffalo News determined that Reed's "blunt, almost over-simplified lyrics and the pre-Clapton guitar sound melt into a peculiarly satisfying experience."[10]

The Rolling Stone Album Guide noted the "genteel art-rock treatment" of the songs written during Reed's Velvet Underground years.[8]

Track listing edit

All tracks are written by Lou Reed

Side one
1."I Can't Stand It"2:34
2."Going Down"2:53
3."Walk and Talk It"3:38
4."Lisa Says"5:29
Total length:19:47
Side two
6."I Love You"2:16
7."Wild Child"4:39
8."Love Makes You Feel"3:09
9."Ride into the Sun"3:13
Total length:18:21

Cross-reference edit

Eight tracks from Lou Reed were, at one point, originally performed by the Velvet Underground. These recordings have been released on various compilations and live albums, which have been catalogued below.

Title Original Velvet Underground release Notes
"I Can't Stand It" 1969: The Velvet Underground Live, VU Additional verse on Lou Reed version.
"Walk and Talk It" Peel Slowly and See, Loaded (Fully Loaded Edition) Different lyrics and added musical sections on Lou Reed version. The Velvet Underground version is titled "Walk and Talk".
"Lisa Says" 1969, VU Extended version with different lyrics on Lou Reed version.
"I Love You" Peel Slowly and See, Loaded (Fully Loaded Edition) ---
"Wild Child" --- No Velvet Underground recording has surfaced yet, but the song is known to have been played live in 1970.[11] However, the song was performed by Lou Reed and John Cale at the Bataclan 1972 concert in Paris with Nico, and can be heard on the Velvet Underground bootleg Ultra Rare Tracks Vol. 2, which features Lou Reed playing the song with an acoustic guitar into a tape recorder.
"Love Makes You Feel" Loaded (Fully Loaded Edition) The Velvet Underground version is titled "Love Makes You Feel Ten Foot Tall".
"Ride into the Sun" Another View, What Goes On, Loaded (Fully Loaded Edition), Bootleg Series Volume 1: The Quine Tapes Lou Reed version is similar to the versions found on Loaded (Fully Loaded Edition) and The Quine Tapes. Earlier versions of the song can be found on Another View and What Goes On.
"Ocean" 1969, VU, Loaded (Fully Loaded Edition) The version on Lou Reed is closest to the version found on Loaded (Fully Loaded Edition).

Tour edit

On the album's tour, which lasted two legs between June 9[12] and November 2, 1972,[13][14] Reed was backed by the Tots. The Tots featured no shared personnel with the album and consisted of Vinny Laporta and Eddie Reynolds on guitar, Bobby Resigno on bass guitar, and Scottie Clark on drums. This backing group would also play on the Transformer tour[15] and perform on the live album American Poet (2001).

Date Venue Notes
First Leg
June 9, 1972 Millard Fillmore Room, University of Buffalo, NY
June 10, 1972
July 8, 1972 Festival Hall, London, England Guest spot with David Bowie
July 14, 1972 Scala Cinema, King's Cross, London, England
July 22, 1972 Wimbledon Town Hall, England
July 27, 1972 Polytechnic, Manchester, England
July 28, 1972 Scala Cinema, King's Cross, London, England
July 29, 1972 Friar's Club, Aylesbury, England
July 30, 1972 The Greyhound, Croydon, England
Second Leg
September 27, 1972 Manchester Polytechnic Union, Manchester, England
September 29, 1972 Edmonton Sundown, London, England
September 30, 1972 Amsterdam, the Netherlands
October 6, 1972 St. Andrew's University, Scotland
October 7, 1972 Glasgow University, Glasgow, Scotland
October 13, 1972 Cambridge University, Cambridge, England
October 14, 1972 Leicester University, Leicester, England
October 19, 1972 University Stadium, Liverpool, England
October 20, 1972 Essex University, Essex, England
October 21, 1972 Imperial College, London, England
October 22, 1972 HardRock Concert Theatre, Manchester, England
October 25, 1972 Oxford Polytechnic, Oxford, England
October 26, 1972 Alhambra Rock Theatre, Birmingham, England
October 27, 1972 Leeds Polytechnic, Leeds, England
October 28, 1972 Kingston Polytechnic, Kingston, England
October 29, 1972 Southampton Guildhall, Southampton, England
October 30, 1972 Friar's Club, Civic Hall, Dunstable, England
November 1, 1972 Mile End Sundown, London, England
November 2, 1972 Pheasantry Club, London, England

Personnel edit

Credits are adapted from the Lou Reed liner notes.[16]


Production and artwork

References edit

  1. ^ "The Great Rock Discography". p. 681.
  2. ^ Sweetman, Simon. "The Rick Wakeman Interview". Stuff. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Lou Reed speaks: is this man punk of the year?". The Varsity. March 24, 1976. Retrieved 29 October 2023.
  4. ^ AllMusic review
  5. ^ Kot, Greg (January 12, 1992). "Lou Reed's Recordings: 25 Years of Path-breaking Music". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: R". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 10, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  7. ^ MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Visible Ink Press. 1996. p. 561.
  8. ^ a b The Rolling Stone Album Guide. Random House. 1992. p. 582.
  9. ^ Dawson, Walter (21 May 1972). "Lou Reed". The Commercial Appeal. p. 11.
  10. ^ Anderson, Dale (27 May 1972). "Records". Weekend Pause. The Buffalo News. p. 36.
  11. ^ Olivier Landemaine. "Live performances and rehearsals: 1970" at The Velvet Underground Web Page: Electricity Comes from Other PlaNETs website link
  12. ^ "Lou Reed Gigography - Research Results (1972-73) - The Velvet Forum". velvetforum.com. Retrieved 2022-01-05.
  13. ^ "Lou Reed - Live & Alive 1970". loureed.es. Retrieved 2021-06-20.
  14. ^ "Lou Reed - Live & Alive 1972". loureed.es. Retrieved 2021-06-20.
  15. ^ "Lou Reed Backing Bands". loureed.es. Retrieved 2021-06-20.
  16. ^ Lou Reed (CD booklet). Lou Reed. RCA Records. 1972.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)

External links edit