Transformer, Lou Reed's most enduringly popular album, is described with varying labels: it's often called a glam rock album, a proto-punk album, a commercial breakthrough for Lou Reed, and an album about being gay. And yet, it doesn't neatly fit into any of these descriptors. Buried underneath the radio-friendly exterior lie coded confessions of the subversive, wounded intelligence that gives this album its staying power as a work of art. Here Lou Reed managed to make a fun, accessible rock'n'roll record that is also a troubled meditation on the ambiguities-sexual, musical and otherwise-that defined his public persona and helped make him one of the most fascinating and influential figures in rock history. Through close listening and personal reflections, songwriter Ezra Furman explores Reed's and Transformer's unstable identities, and the secrets the songs challenge us to uncover.
Lou Reed emerges from the pages of Victor Bockris's internationally acclaimed biography as a brilliant lyrical innovator. It is as a writer that Reed has been able to traverse the various terrains of his career decade by decade. And it is from his position as a writer that he stands alongside his peers, Bob Dylan and Neil Young.
Lou Reed died in 2013. This is the critically acclaimed biography of the songwriter, Velvet Underground member and musician. Rock 'n' roll was Lou Reed's life. From recording one of the most critically acclaimed albums of all time with THE VELVET UNDERGROUND & NICO (1967), to heavy drug abuse and performing in front of the Pope, Lou Reed's story is one of great peaks and deep lows. Forever dedicated to his art, he became one of modern music's most legendary and seismic figures. Although a controversial, outspoken and undoubtedly misunderstood musician, Lou Reed's influence on popular culture cannot be overstated. He brought avant-garde to the mainstream with the Velvet Underground and his solo work was pronounced a revelation. Hit albums such as TRANSFORMER, SALLY CAN'T DANCE and BERLIN have cemented his name in the rock pantheon. A testament to his strength of character and true spirit, he was a creative and performer until the end, playing benefit gigs, featuring on new releases and, most poignantly, declaring that he was looking forward to 'being on stage performing, and writing more songs to connect with your hearts and spirits and the universe well into the future.' A true icon of rock 'n' roll - his legacy will live on in this book.
The essential biography of one of music's most influential icons: Lou Reed As lead singer and songwriter for the Velvet Underground and a renowned solo artist, Lou Reed invented alternative rock. His music, at once a source of transcendent beauty and coruscating noise, violated all definitions of genre while speaking to millions of fans and inspiring generations of musicians. But while his iconic status may be fixed, the man himself was anything but. Lou Reed's life was a transformer's odyssey. Eternally restless and endlessly hungry for new experiences, Reed reinvented his persona, his sound, even his sexuality time and again. A man of contradictions and extremes, he was fiercely independent yet afraid of being alone, artistically fearless yet deeply paranoid, eager for commercial success yet disdainful of his own triumphs. Channeling his jagged energy and literary sensibility into classic songs - like "Walk on the Wild Side" and "Sweet Jane" - and radically experimental albums alike, Reed remained desperately true to his artistic vision, wherever it led him. Now, just a few years after Reed's death, Rolling Stone writer Anthony DeCurtis, who knew Reed and interviewed him extensively, tells the provocative story of his complex and chameleonic life. With unparalleled access to dozens of Reed's friends, family, and collaborators, DeCurtis tracks Reed's five-decade career through the accounts of those who knew him and through Reed's most revealing testimony, his music. We travel deep into his defiantly subterranean world, enter the studio as the Velvet Underground record their groundbreaking work, and revel in Reed's relationships with such legendary figures as Andy Warhol, David Bowie, and Laurie Anderson. Gritty, intimate, and unflinching, Lou Reed is an illuminating tribute to one of the most incendiary artists of our time.
No artist offered a more incisive and accurate portrait of the troubled landscape of the 1970s than David Bowie. Cultural historian Peter Doggett explores the rich heritage of Bowie's most productive and inspired decade, and traces the way in which his music reflected and influenced the world around him. From 'Space Oddity', his dark vision of mankind's voyage into the unknown terrain of space, to the Scary Monsters album, Doggett examines in detail Bowie's audacious creation of an 'alien' rock star, Ziggy Stardust, and his increasingly perilous explorations of the nature of identity and the meaning of fame. Mixing brilliant musical critique with biographical insight and acute cultural analysis, The Man Who Sold The World is a unique study of a major artist and his times.
Andy Warhol is usually remembered as the artist who said that he wanted to be a machine, and that no one need ever look further than the surface when evaluating him or his art. Arguing against this carefully crafted pop image, Reva Wolf shows that Warhol was in fact deeply emotionally engaged with the people around him and that this was reflected in his art. Wolf investigates the underground culture of poets, artists, and filmmakers who interacted with Warhol regularly. She claims that Warhol understood the literary imagination of his generation and that recognizing Warhol's literary activities is essential to understanding his art. Drawing on a wealth of unpublished material, including interviews, personal and public archives, tape recordings, documentary photographs, and works of art, Wolf offers dramatic evidence that Warhol's interactions with writers functioned like an extended conversation and details how this process impacted his work. This highly original and fascinating study gives us fresh insight into Warhol's art as practice and reformulates the myth that surrounds this popular American artist.