lou reed: five of the best aritz branton   As aphorisms have it, somebody who’s everybody’s friend is nobody’s real friend at all; people who say they don’t think about politics are right-wing; anyone who says that Persuasion is the best book in English doesn’t read much in English; if someone tells you Lou Reed’s best song is Walk on the Wild Side, they don’t know Lou Reed’s work very well. So why get to know Lou Reed’s work? Here are five reasons: 1/
White Light White Heat. They spent just two days recording this record, and it shows: it’s a crude record, a group record, it seems spontaneous but it’s also highly original. Crude, loud, experimental and incredibly beautiful. It expresses chaos. The Gift’s dark short story; Here She Comes Now’s lyricism; Sister Ray’s, well, everything! Play Sister Ray at full volume first thing in the morning and enjoy the day.

Berlin. Piano, voices, guitars and an orchestra. Nostalgia, tragedy, missing your town, your lover, your youth... More than one city is painted in this record; there are more than the three main characters; many different situations and feelings. The epic Lady Day; Caroline Says II’s sadness and beauty; Sad Song. The end of the symphony: >.

The Blue Mask. With a band once more, with Fernando Saunders and Robert Quine amongst others. He sings to us about close friends, his wife and himself: it’s serious and, at times, funny. “Average guy, I’m just your average guy: you wouldn’t know me if you met me face to face.” My House creates a special atmosphere; The Heroine comes straight at you; Heavenly Arms’s love.

New York. Guitars which sound like bells; different types of music. Social criticism: he shows us exploitation, drug dealers, hypocritical politicians and religion. Dirty Blvd.’s story and choir; in Sick of You he’s had enough; Dime Store Mystery’s atonal beauty: >.

Berlin. Thirty-five years later he played the whole record again at several concerts and Julian Schnabel filmed the New York show. Many of the original musicians played: the wonderful guitar player Steve Hunter, for instance. Schnabel’s images and direction are just perfect. The band plays a very faithful version of the record but, at the same time, it’s a fresh-sounding concert, spontaneous. There are solos and improvisations; the orchestra does great work; the choir is beautiful. And don’t miss Anthony Hegarty’s Candy Says. A miracle.

Yes, Lou Reed did write that song we mentioned at the start, but much more too. Enjoy and share. Five of the best, and good for Lou Reed!