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Lou Reed - NYC Man The Ultimate Collection

  by John Clarkson

published: 24 / 5 / 2003

Lou Reed - NYC Man The Ultimate Collection
Label: Select Label
Format: CD


Timely, frequently surprising reappraisal of Lou Reed's lengthy career, with tracks chosen and remastered by Reed himself

The world probably doesn't need another Lou Reed compilation at the moment. Over the course of the last decade, there have been a dozen or so such things, some concentrating on Reed's time in the Velvet Underground, some on his now thirty year long solo career, and others still on both of them. This double CD, however, differs from most, as Reed has chosen and remastered all the tracks on it himself. Despite his assertion on its sleeve that "anybody who's a fan of me or the Velvet Underground will be delighted to hear what this stuff sounds like-the way it's supposed to sound", the differences between the older versions of these songs and these new versions are neglible, consisting of minor extensions on running times, and occasional additions of extra guitar notes here and there. Where this album stands out, however, is in Reed's selection of songs. All the hallmarks of Reed's career and previous compilations are there-'Walk on the Wide Side' and 'Perfect Day' from 'Transformer' ; 'I'm Waiting for the Man' from 'The Velvet Underground and Nico' ; 'Pale Blue Eyes' from 'The Velvet Undergeound', and 'Rock 'n' Roll' from 'Loaded'. There are, however, some genuine surprises and obscurities as well. There is a thunderous version of 'Heroin' plucked from 1984's little known 'Live in Italy' album, while 'I'll Be Your Mirror', rather than being the Nico sung version from 1967, features Reed at his most world weary, and is taken from 1998's almost equally oblique 'Perfect Night : Live in London'. Elsewhere there are other gems as well such as the beautiful, enigmatic title track from 1979's 'The Bells' ; the mock blues of 'Temporary Thing' from 1976's 'Rock 'n' Roll Heart' and 1982's feedback-ridden paean to masochism, 'The Blue Mask'. Reed took a not entirely unfair critical mauling earlier this year for his latest album 'The Raven', a misunderstood but musically mediocre rock opera about Edgar Allan Poe. While there is nothing new here for affeciendoes, 'NYC Man' somewhat restores the balance, and serves as a timely reminder of just how good Reed really is.

Track Listing:-
1 Who Am I
2 Sweet Jane
3 Rock And Roll
4 I'm Waiting For The Man
5 White Light/White Heat (Live)
6 Street Hassle
7 Berlin
8 Caroline Says I
9 The Kids
10 Walk On The Wild Side
11 Kill Your Sons (Live)
12 Vicious
13 The Blue Mask
14 I'll Be Your Mirror (Live)
15 Magic And Loss
16 Ecstasy
17 I Wanna Be Black (Live Edit)
18 Temporary Thing
19 Shooting Star
20 Legendary Hearts
21 Heroin (Live)
22 Coney Island Baby
23 The Last Shot
24 The Bells
25 Perfect Day
26 Sally Can't Dance
27 Satellite Of Love
28 Nyc Man
29 Dirty Boulevard
30 Rock Minuet
31 Pale Blue Eyes

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