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Lou Reed - Transformer (1972/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Lou Reed
Title: Transformer
Genre: Rock, Hard Rock, Proto-Punk, Rock & Roll, Glam Rock
Label: © RCA Records
Release Date: 1972/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 37:06
Recorded: August 1972 at Trident Studios, London

Released in 1972, Transformer is Lou Reed's second studio album. It was produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson and was ranked number 194 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

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Lou Reed - The Blue Mask (1982/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Lou Reed
Title: The Blue Mask
Genre: Rock, Hard Rock, Rock & Roll, Glam Rock
Label: © RCA Records
Release Date: 1982/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 41:10
Recorded: October 1981 at RCA Studios, New York City

In 1982, 12 years after he left the Velvet Underground, Lou Reed released The Blue Mask, the first album where he lived up to the potential he displayed in the most groundbreaking of all American rock bands. The Blue Mask was Reed's first album after he overcame a long-standing addiction to alcohol and drugs, and it reveals a renewed focus and dedication to craft -- for the first time in years, Reed had written an entire album's worth of moving, compelling songs, and was performing them with keen skill and genuine emotional commitment. Reed was also playing electric guitar again, and with the edgy genius he summoned up on White Light/White Heat. Just as importantly, he brought Robert Quine on board as his second guitarist, giving Reed a worthy foil who at once brought great musical ideas to the table, and encouraged the bandleader to make the most of his own guitar work. (Reed also got superb support from his rhythm section, bassist extraordinaire Fernando Saunders and ace drummer Doane Perry). As Reed stripped his band back to a muscular two-guitars/bass/drums format, he also shed the faux-decadent "Rock N Roll Animal" persona that had dominated his solo work and wrote clearly and fearlessly of his life, his thoughts, and his fears, performing the songs with supreme authority whether he was playing with quiet subtlety (such as the lovely "My House" or the unnerving "The Gun") or cranked-to-ten fury (the paranoid "Waves of Fear" and the emotionally devastating title cut). Intelligent, passionate, literate, mature, and thoroughly heartfelt, The Blue Mask was everything Reed's fans had been looking for in his work for years, and it's vivid proof that for some rockers, life can begin on the far side of 35. --Mark Deming
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Lou Reed - The Bells (1979/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Lou Reed
Title: The Bells
Genre: Rock, Hard Rock, Rock & Roll, Glam Rock
Label: © RCA Records
Release Date: 1979/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 40:42
Recorded: 1979 at Delta Studios, Wilster, West Germany

After the harrowing triumph of Street Hassle, Lou Reed's The Bells sounded like a bit of a step back; it returned Reed to the more listener-friendly, keyboard-dominated sound of Rock and Roll Heart, the lyrics lacked the caustic self-loathing of songs like "Dirt" or "I Wanna Be Black," and it even featured a four-and-a-half-minute funk workout called "Disco Mystic" (hey, this was 1979). But lyrically, The Bells found Reed moving away from the boho decadence of most of his 1970s work and toward a more compassionate perspective on his characters; "Families" and "All Through the Night" display an empathy and emotional depth Reed didn't often allow himself as a solo artist, and "Stupid Man" and "Looking for Love" rocked hard while making the loneliness of their protagonists felt. And the title cut, with Reed experimenting with a guitar synthesizer and free jazz hero Don Cherry inviting the spirit on trumpet, is both a brave exploration of musical space and a lyrically touching sketch of loss and salvation. An album that's worn well over time, The Bells gains depth with each playing and now sounds like one of Reed's finest solo efforts of the 1970s.
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Lou Reed - Street Hassle (1978/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Lou Reed
Title: Street Hassle
Genre: Rock, Hard Rock, Rock & Roll, Glam Rock
Label: © RCA Records
Release Date: 1978/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 36:39
Recorded: The Record Plant, New York City and live in Munich, Wiesbaden, Ludwigshafen, Germany

The rise of the punk/new wave movement in the late '70s proved just how pervasive Lou Reed's influence had been through the past decade, but it also gave him some stiff competition, as suddenly Reed was no longer the only poet of the New York streets. 1978's Street Hassle was Reed's first album after punk had gained public currency, and Reed appeared to have taken the minimal approach of punk to heart. With the exception of Metal Machine Music, Street Hassle was Reed's rawest set of the 1970s; partly recorded live, with arrangements stripped to the bone, Street Hassle was dark, deep, and ominous, a 180-degree turn from the polished neo-glam of Transformer. Lyrically, Street Hassle found Reed looking deep into himself, and not liking what he saw. Opening with an uncharitable parody of "Sweet Jane," Street Hassle found Reed acknowledging just how much a self-parody he'd become in the 1970s, and just how much he hated himself for it, on songs like "Dirt" and "Shooting Star." Street Hassle was Reed's most creatively ambitious album since Berlin, and it sounded revelatory on first release in 1978. Sadly, time has magnified its flaws; the Lenny Bruce-inspired "I Wanna Be Black" sounds like a bad idea today, and the murk of the album's binaural mix isn't especially flattering to anyone. But the album's best moments are genuinely exciting, and the title cut, a three-movement poetic tone poem about life on the New York streets, is one of the most audacious and deeply moving moments of Reed's solo career. Raw, wounded, and unapologetically difficult, Street Hassle isn't the masterpiece Reed was shooting for, but it's still among the most powerful and compelling albums he released during the 1970s, and too personal and affecting to ignore.
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Lou Reed - Sally Can't Dance (1974/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Lou Reed
Title: Sally Can't Dance
Genre: Rock, Hard Rock, Proto-Punk, Rock & Roll, Glam Rock
Label: © RCA Records
Release Date: 1974/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 32:57
Recorded: 18 March - 26 April 1974 at Electric Lady Studios, Greenwich Village

On the live album Rock N Roll Animal, Lou Reed showed he'd learned how to give his audience what they wanted, and do it well. Sally Can't Dance, on the other hand, was the polar opposite, a remarkably cynical album that pandered to the lowest common denominator of the market that had bought Transformer and Rock N Roll Animal, and didn't even do it with much flair. Reed's performances here are limited to vocals, except for some sloppy acoustic guitar on one track (this from the man who helped reinvent electric guitar with the Velvet Underground), and the sodden, overblown arrangements sink most of these tunes before they get past the first chorus; much of the time, Reed sounds like an afterthought on his own album. And while Reed's best songwriting ranks with the best rock of his generation, Sally Can't Dance is cluttered with throwaways that reach for the boho decadence of Transformer and come up empty (with special recognition going to the bizarre and truly puzzling "Animal Language"). Side two does offer two worthwhile songs: "Kill Your Sons," a powerful and deeply personal remembrance of Reed's bouts with shock treatment and brutal psychotherapy, which he would revisit in a much stronger performance on 1984's Live in Italy, and "Billy," a witty and surprisingly poignant remembrance of an old friend and how their paths in life diverged. But otherwise, Sally Can't Dance has the distinction of being the worst studio album of Reed's career; Metal Machine Music may have been a lot more annoying, but at least he was trying on that one.
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Lou Reed - Rock 'n' Roll Animal (1974/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Lou Reed
Title: Rock 'n' Roll Animal
Genre: Rock, Hard Rock, Proto-Punk, Rock & Roll, Glam Rock
Label: © RCA Records
Release Date: 1974/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 40:23
Recorded: December 21, 1973, Howard Stein's Academy of Music, New York

Rock 'n' Roll Animal was recorded at a live show on December 21, 1973 at Howard Stein's Academy of Music in New York City. Produced by Steve Katz and Lou Reed, the performance featured several Velvet Underground songs re-arranged into a powerful hard rock set. The album peaked at #45 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart in 1974.
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Lou Reed - Rock and Roll Heart (1976/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Lou Reed
Title: Rock and Roll Heart
Genre: Rock, Hard Rock, Rock & Roll
Label: © RCA Records
Release Date: 1976/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 37:48
Recorded: 1976, The Record Plant, New York

Rock and Roll Heart is the seventh album by Lou Reed, released in 1976. It was his first album for Arista Records (now a sister label to his previous label RCA Records, via Sony BMG) after record mogul Clive Davis reportedly rescued him from bankruptcy. "A Sheltered Life" dates back to 1967, when the Velvet Underground recorded a demo of it (available on Peel Slowly and See). The Velvet Underground also performed "Follow the Leader", and a live recording of it was released on The Quine Tapes.

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Lou Reed - New Sensations (1984/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Lou Reed
Title: New Sensations
Genre: Rock, Pop Rock, New Wave, Glam Rock
Label: © RCA Records
Release Date: 1984/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 42:55
Recorded: Skyline Studios, New York City

Lou Reed never struck anyone as one of the happiest guys in rock & roll, so some fans were taken aback when his 1984 album New Sensations kicked off with "I Love You, Suzanne," a catchy up-tempo rocker that sounded a lot like a pop tune. After reaffirming his status as one of rock's greatest poets with The Blue Mask and Legendary Hearts, what was Reed doing here? Lou was having a great time, and his pleasure was infectious -- New Sensations is a set of straight-ahead rock & roll that ranks with the most purely enjoyable albums of Lou's career. Reed opted not to work with guitarist Robert Quine this time out, instead overdubbing rhythm lines over his own leads, and if the guitars don't cut quite as deep, they're still wiry and in the pocket throughout, and the rhythm section of Fernando Saunders and Fred Maher rocks hard with a tough, sinewy groove. And while much of New Sensations finds Reed in a surprisingly optimistic mood, this isn't "Don't Worry, Be Happy" by any stretch of the imagination. On "Endlessly Jealous," "My Friend George," and "Fly Into the Sun," Reed makes it clear that happiness can be a hard-won commodity, and when Reed embraces life's pleasures on "Turn to Me" and "New Sensations," he does so with a fierce joy that's realistic, unblinking, and deeply felt, like a man whose signed on for the full ride and is going to enjoy the good times while they last. Like Coney Island Baby, New Sensations showed that Reed had a lot more warmth and humanity than he was given credit for, and made clear that he could "write happy" when he felt like, with all the impact of his "serious" material.
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Lou Reed - Mistrial (1986/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Lou Reed
Title: Mistrial
Genre: Rock, Pop Rock, New Wave, Glam Rock
Label: © RCA Records
Release Date: 1986/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 39:14
Recorded: 1986
The Power Station, New York City

Between 1982 and 1984, Lou Reed put together the best band of his solo career, recorded three superb albums, and left behind a fine live double after two rapturously received world tours -- not a bad track record from a guy who had been so inconsistent throughout the 1970s. One might well have argued that Lou was due for a disappointment, and Mistrial certainly filled that bill. On Mistrial, Reed opted to handle both lead and rhythm guitar parts as he had on New Sensations, but with a few shades less precision, and while Fernando Saunders once again did yeoman work as a bassist, as a co-producer he didn't fill out Reed's sound especially well. The decision to use a drum machine on most of these tracks gives the album a stiff feeling, and a texture that captures what was least fortunate about '80s rock, but most importantly Reed didn't have an album's worth of top-shelf songs on tap. "No Money Down" and "Tell It to Your Heart" are smart and funny sketches on the difficult art of romance, while "Mama's Got a Lover" is an unexpectedly sweet character study and "The Original Wrapper" is a game stab at hip-hop from a 44-year-old white guy. But "Outside" and "Spit It Out" are just filler, and "Video Violence" is a pretty strange attack on the media from a guy who tried to bring the mindset of William S. Burroughs and Hubert Selby, Jr. to rock & roll. Mistrial wasn't one of Reed's worst albums (it's hard to imagine Sally Can't Dance ever being deprived of that honor), but it certainly lowered his batting average as he seemed to be on a hot streak -- as if his longtime fans needed to be reminded that he was fallible.
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Lou Reed - Lou Reed (1972/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Lou Reed
Title: Lou Reed
Genre: Rock, Hard Rock, Rock & Roll, Glam Rock
Label: © RCA Records
Release Date: 1972/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 38:46
Recorded: December 1971 - January 1972, Morgan Studios, London

Nearly 30 years after it came out, Lou Reed's solo debut suggests that neither Reed nor his new record company were quite sure about what to do with him in 1972. It would be years before the cult of the Velvet Underground became big enough to mean anything commercially, leaving Lou pretty much back where he started from in the public eye after five years of hard work, and he seemed to be searching for a different musical direction on this set without quite deciding what it would be; while the best tunes are admirably lean, no-frills rock & roll, there are also several featuring tricked-up arrangements that don't suit the material terribly well (at no other time in history would anyone believe that Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman would be a good choice as backing musicians for the guy who wrote "Sister Ray"). Lou also didn't appear to have done much songwriting since he left the Velvets in 1970; with the exception of the hilariously catty "Wild Child" and "Berlin," a song Reed would revisit a few years later, nearly every significant song on Lou Reed dated back to his tenure with the Velvet Underground, though it would be years before that band's recordings of "I Can't Stand It," "Lisa Says," or "Ocean" would surface. On its own terms, Lou Reed isn't a bad album, but it isn't a terribly interesting one either, and since superior performances of most of these songs are available elsewhere, it stands today more as a historical curiosity than anything else.
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