Joseph Arthur: Lou: The Songs of Lou Reed

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When an artist the stature of Lou Reed passes (as he did on October 27, 2013, at the age of 71), it is inevitable that people will reflect back on their experiences with that artist. For most of us, that means reflecting on their body of work, breaking out a favorite album (maybe Transformer or New York) or song (“Walk on the Wild Side,” for example) & celebrating a great work of art. For the privileged few there can be memories of encountering that artist in person, whether seeing them in concert or, if they are lucky, a chance interaction on the street or at a party or something like that. And in the most rare of circumstances a fellow artist can turn their personal memories into a work of art themselves.


Such is the case with Joseph Arthur, who turned his melancholy at losing Reed (both a personal friend as well as an idol and mentor) into an emotional celebration of Reed’s music. Lou: The Songs of Lou Reed features Arthur’s stripped-down versions of some of Reed’s best known songs, both from his solo and Velvet Underground days, as well as some lesser known gems. The connection between the two artists is obvious on even the most cursory of listens, with a certain (and appropriate) amount of reverence and delicacy devoted to the performances. But Arthur magically brings his own distinctive shadings to the master’s tunes, with the same marvelous craftsmanship as with his own acclaimed work. It’s a powerful meeting of the minds between two true artists and proof of the ability of music to live forever & even transcend this mortal coil.

-Eric J. Lawrence

Track List:

1. Walk On The Wild Side
2. Sword Of Damocies
3. Stephanie Says
4. Heroin
5. NYC Man
6. Satellite Of Love
7. Dirty Blvd.
8. Pale Blue Eyes
9. Magic And Loss
10. Men Of Good Fortune
11. Wild Child
12. Coney Island Baby

Photo by Danny Clinch, courtesy of the artist