Coming Soon: Big Box Set of Lou Reed’s Solo Recordings

I’d long wondered when we’d see a box set of Lou Reed’s solo recordings on RCA and Arista. Even before his death, I had thought it was time. It turns out that he was working on remastered versions of all his solo records and finished the project shortly before he died three years ago. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK)

If you want all of his recordings, you can also get the much less expensive The Sire Years: Complete Albums Box. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) It’s got the ten discs he recorded with Sire after leaving RCA/Arista.

Lou reed

On 16 discs, this set will contain all his solo records, studio albums, and the live recording Take No Prisoners. Not everything is great; heck, it’s got Metal Machine Music, and I defy anyone to listen to that more than once. But it’s also got his seminal albums Lou Reed, Transformer, Berlin, Rock ‘n Roll Animal, and Street Hassle. The later albums weren’t all great, but The Blue Mask was excellent, and some of the songs on the following albums were very good (though some weren’t).

Here’s what’s in the set:

  1. Lou Reed (April 1972)
  2. Transformer (November 1972)
  3. Berlin (July 1973)
  4. Rock n Roll Animal (live February 1974)
  5. Sally Can’t Dance (August 1974)
  6. Metal Machine Music (July 1975)
  7. Coney Island Baby (December 1975)
  8. Rock and Roll Heart (October 1976)
  9. Street Hassle (February 1978)
  10. Lou Reed Live Take No Prisoners (2 CDs November 1978)
  11. The Bells (April 1979)
  12. Growing Up in Public (April 1980)
  13. The Blue Mask (February 1982)
  14. Legendary Hearts (March 1983)
  15. New Sensations (April 1984)
  16. Mistrial (June 1986)

For $160 or £99, this is a bargain. It’s got some extra stuff, such as a hard-bound book, some photos, and a poster. But it’s the music that counts. Can’t pass this one up. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK)

4 thoughts on “Coming Soon: Big Box Set of Lou Reed’s Solo Recordings

  1. “The Blue Mask” and “Legendary Hearts” hold up IMHO to any of the ’70s stuff; having Robert Quine on guitar was a brilliant choice, as was the stripped-down, no overdub production. Too bad that “Live In Italy” from 1983 isn’t in the set; it’s a really terrific live set with the “Legendary Hearts” band.

    • The only time I saw Lou Reed live was on the Blue Mask tour, at the Bottom Line. Quine was masterful, as were Saunders and Perry. It was a perfect band for that music.

  2. “The Blue Mask” and “Legendary Hearts” hold up IMHO to any of the ’70s stuff; having Robert Quine on guitar was a brilliant choice, as was the stripped-down, no overdub production. Too bad that “Live In Italy” from 1983 isn’t in the set; it’s a really terrific live set with the “Legendary Hearts” band.

    • The only time I saw Lou Reed live was on the Blue Mask tour, at the Bottom Line. Quine was masterful, as were Saunders and Perry. It was a perfect band for that music.

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