Paying a price when there’s no price to pay: worst Lou Reed songs

When cynicism gripped his imagination, Lou Reed could be funny and moving (“Sally Can’t Dance,” the meathanded versions of Velvet Underground tunes on Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal); when cynicism served as muse for exercises in curdled sentimentality (which, after all, is the definition of cynicism), he was a gross singer and guitarist, audibly not giving a shit. Given my affection for his eighties run, I was surprised I winced after relistening to “Heavenly Arms” and “Women.” Why are you trying so hard, Lou? I believe you. The latter in particular is Lou Reed’s “Wrap Her Up.”. When his second marriage collapsed, it was back to paying attention to the newspapers, whose info he garbled (“Good Evening, Mr. Waldheim”) or alchemized into a William F. Buckley column (“No Money Down”).

You won’t find “I Wanna Be Black or “Sex With Your Parents (Motherfucker), Part II” on this list — fascinating throwaways that at least have committed, funny performances at the mike and on guitar. No tracks from the Metallica collaboration either;

1. No Money Down
2. Good Evening, Mr. Waldheim
3. Teach The Gifted Children
4. Heavenly Arms
5. Rock and Roll Heart
6. The Power of Positive Thinking
7. Video Violence
8. Berlin
9. My Red Joystick
10 I Can’t Stand It (solo version)
11. Gassed and Stoked
12. Edgar Allen Poe
13. With You
14. Lady Day
15. White Prism

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