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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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Lou Reed - Legendary Hearts (1983/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Lou Reed
Title: Legendary Hearts
Genre: Rock, Hard Rock, Rock & Roll, Glam Rock
Label: © RCA Records
Release Date: 1983/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 38:16
Recorded: 1982 at RCA Studios in New York City

If Legendary Hearts seemed like a disappointment in 1983, that was largely because the year before Lou Reed had released The Blue Mask, one of the finest albums of his career, and Legendary Hearts just wasn't quite as good. But pull it off the shelf today, give it a listen, and Legendary Hearts easily shuts down nearly anything Reed released in the 1970s; if it's a less obvious masterpiece than The Blue Mask, it makes clear that Reed was once again in firm command of his strengths, and making the most of them in the studio. Guitarist Robert Quine and bassist Fernando Saunders were both back on board from The Blue Mask, and they reaffirmed their status as the linchpins of the strongest band of Reed's solo career, and drummer Fred Maher rocked harder (and with fewer frills) than Doane Perry. The bracing cross-talk of Reed's and Quine's guitars had lost nothing in the year separating the two albums, and if Reed didn't seem to be aiming quite as high as a songwriter this time out, most of the tracks were every bit as intelligent and soul-searching as The Blue Mask's lineup; if there were a few moments of comic relief, like "Don't Talk to Me About Work" and "Pow Wow," no one could argue that Reed hadn't earned a few laughs after songs like "Make Up Mind," "The Last Shot," and "Betrayed." On Legendary Hearts, Reed was writing great songs, playing them with enthusiasm and imagination, and singing them with all his heart and soul, and if it wasn't his best album, it was more than good enough to confirm that the brilliance of The Blue Mask was no fluke, and that Reed had reestablished himself as one of the most important artists in American rock.
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Lou Reed - Growing Up In Public (1980/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Lou Reed
Title: Growing Up In Public
Genre: Rock, Hard Rock, Rock & Roll, Glam Rock
Label: © RCA Records
Release Date: 1980/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 36:41
Recorded: 1980, Air Studios, Montserrat

Growing Up in Public was a transitional album for Lou Reed; it was his last set with his long-running road band (dominated by keyboardist Michael Fonfara), and while the fleshed-out arrangements are of a piece with Reed's work on Rock & Roll Heart and The Bells, the lyrics of the best songs anticipate the directly personal, emotionally naked songwriting that marked the two extraordinary albums that would follow, The Blue Mask and Legendary Hearts. "How Do You Speak to an Angel," "My Old Man," and "Standing on Ceremony" deal with Reed's family issues with a direct force he hadn't summoned since "Kill Your Sons" (we'll leave it to others to debate their accuracy), and "So Alone" and "Keep Away" both offer a trenchant but heart-rending look at modern relationships. And "The Power of Positive Drinking" is amusing, but rather surprising coming from a guy who would give up alcohol and drugs a year after this was released. Growing Up in Public didn't get much notice on its initial release, but all these years later it sounds like a dry run for what was to be the most creatively fruitful period of Lou Reed's solo career.
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Lou Reed - Coney Island Baby (1975/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Lou Reed
Title: Coney Island Baby
Genre: Rock, Hard Rock, Rock & Roll
Label: © RCA Records
Release Date: 1975/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 35:28
Recorded: 18–28 October 1975, Mediasound, New York

Coney Island Baby is the sixth solo album by Lou Reed, released in January 1976. It is also the title of a song on that album. The name presumably refers to the Excellents' 1962 doo wop song of the same name, and/or a 1924 Les Appleton barbershop music song of the same name. The album features the song "She's My Best Friend", which was originally recorded by Reed's band The Velvet Underground in 1969. The Velvet Underground version of the song was included on the 1985 compilation album VU. The 30th anniversary re-issue of Coney Island Baby includes bonus tracks featuring Reed's Velvet Underground bandmate Doug Yule.
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Lou Reed - Berlin (1973/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Lou Reed
Title: Berlin
Genre: Rock, Hard Rock, Rock & Roll, Glam Rock
Label: © RCA Records
Release Date: 1973/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 49:31
Recorded: Morgan Studios, London; Record Plant Studios, New York

Berlin was released in 1973 and is Lou Reed's third solo album. It was ranked #344 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time in 2003. The album is formatted as a tragic rock opera and features heavy orchestral arrangements. The Rolling Stone Record Guide described the album as "grandiose, decadent", and finally "one of the most depressing records ever made, and oddly beautiful in its own awful way."
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