With live performances as savage and unruly as his personality was introverted and deadpan, Lou Reed, the once lead singer of The Velvet Underground, developed and brought an avant-garde style to the often contrived methodology of rock music.
Besides his vast influential musical prowess, Reed’s most well known for penning lyrical sensations unconventional enough to catch the attention of an equally eccentric artist, Andy Warhol. The pop artist, who found himself at the height of his career in the 60s, gave Reed and The Velvet Underground not only their first chance to take role as producers on an album, but to take that role on one of the greatest albums of all time, Andy Warhol’s Velvet Underground featuring Nico.
Reed broke musical ground when he publicly began singing about personal, questionable, experiences; a territory that other artists were unwilling to embrace. His songs are fueled by drug use and the blight that he experienced on the streets of New York, a biting lyrical and musical trait that, at the time, left a bad taste in the mouth’s of the square masses.
Even though The Velvet Underground was deemed a commercially unsuccessful group during their own time, a cult following developed and has only continued to grow over the years. As well-known producer Brian Eno stated “While first Velvet Underground album may have sold only 30,000 copies in its early years, everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band.”
After The Velvet Underground disbanded Reed fostered his own solo career that has spanned over forty years. The legacy that Reed accomplished will only continue to live on through every musical oddball out there.
-Taylor Wojick, Contributing Writer