Get this crazy baby off my head!


Lou Reed

Lou Reed - NYC Man The Collection (2 CD) - 2003 - BMG

To one man, everything Lou Reed has ever released is absolutely perfect. And if his interviews are any indication, that one man is Reed himself. His vaunted intellectualism has always afforded him a final, unbreachable line of defense when one of his albums is subjected to criticism-- I mean, who are we to detract from Lou Reed's epic vision? We, the insipid, the shortsighted, could never truly grasp the depth of artistry that goes into even the most seemingly hackneyed tracks from Ecstasy (particularly that of "Like a Possum"), to say nothing of the deep harmonic layering in Metal Machine Music. "If you had a small mind, you'd miss it." You said it, Lou. "I've been rewriting the same song for a long time. Except my bullshit is worth other people's diamonds. And diamonds are a girl's best friend." See, only Lou Reed can criticize Lou Reed; fortunately, he has only the kindest things to say about himself. He's been maligned for not understanding what he does best, and inadvertently playing directly into his weaknesses as a result, but I'm more inclined to think that he just doesn't care what other people believe his perceived strengths to be. It almost makes me wonder why he bothered at all to hand-select and remaster the 31 tunes included on NYC Man, especially when such effort has been made to include material from even (to my "small mind") the worst of his later work. Here, studio versions of numerous mega-classics are replaced with live renditions, often denying listeners even that small pleasure of listening to these tracks with some small degree of studio clarity rather than stripped-down, emotionally dead reprises. About the only unpleasantry he's spared us is sixteen minutes (and one second) of grating feedback-- er, I mean, deeply embedded classical melodies-- to represent Metal Machine Music. Still, like any of the greatest Roman emperors and European monarchs knew, the wrath of the mob is something to be avoided, and so the King of NYC condescends to include basically all the songs that will send still send him to the front of the line when rock's judgment day arrives-- most of which appear as live versions. "Sweet Jane"'s gloriously faded core progression is one of the single most ripped-off blasts in rock and roll; the harrowing epic "Street Hassle" still sets a standard in orchestral rock augmentation that few bands can even dream of approaching. The transcendent helplessness of "Caroline Says", the sultry decadence of "Walk on the Wild Side", the sweet fuck-all of "White Light/White Heat"-- all the songs that have been included on every other Lou Reed compilation are here, too. In some sense, the decision to include live takes of many of these songs would be preferable to offering yet another studio copy of "Heroin", if only Reed's lackluster, "I'd rather be anywhere else" live performances didn't so consistently wither in comparison.To give the man some deserved credit, though, it's hard to produce a "bad" version of a song as genuinely perfect as "I'll Be Your Mirror"; it may be diminished here, but fundamentally, it remains one of the brightest jewels in rock's crown. And so it is for all of Reed's most brilliant moments. The bad news is, there's more here than just his most memorable work. Now, to state that many of Lou's later albums are awful is certainly subjective on some level, but I sincerely doubt there's a person alive (well, aside from Lou) who'd be pleased with any collection that attempted to sum up his career by including any songs at all-- even just one, as this compilation does-- from rock-bottom tragedies like Mistrial, Ecstasy, and The Raven. Unfortunately, after the necessary inclusions, that's about all he can do. So, rather than excise "Rock Minuet", the studio-alternate of "Who Am I", or any of the other relatively uninspired works of his later albums, and focus instead on his equally incredible, but more commonly overlooked 80s work-- or shit, just limited this thing to one disc-- he wildly over-reaches. All possible opportunities for cohesion have been denied here at the expense of the implicit notion that all Reed's work is created equal. It ain't. But you know what? Lou really was a genius (maybe still is). Even if his decisions make much of NYC Man a baffling ordeal, as albums go, the canonical rock and roll might contained in some of his greatest triumphs, even in second-rate form, save this album from the guillotine. Such is the scope of his songwriting skill. This is Lou's career, all of it-- from The Velvets to The Raven-- as it could only make sense to him, 3\xBD decades crammed into less than 3\xBD hours. Take away any sort of chronology and then attempt to find representation from every release he ever crapped out, and all that's left is a strung-out, confusing mess that could have turned out a hell of a lot better than it did. A hell of a lot like Lou, actually. © Eric Carr; June 5, 2003 © 2014 Pitchfork Media Inc. All rights reserved http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/6734-nyc-man-the-collection/

Lou Reed has been the subject of so many idiosyncratic, bewildering compilations that the release of yet another idiosyncratic, bewildering compilation can either inspire amusement or frustration. In the case of 2003's double-disc, 31-track NYC Man: The Collection, it's nearly apoplectic frustration because this is yet another thoroughly botched attempt at a thorough overview that doesn't even function as a representative sampler or introduction -- something that is desperately needed in a discography as lengthy and uneven as his. Perhaps part of the problem is indeed that his discography is inconsistent, and thereby any collection that attempts to take it all in will be uneven, but this is especially wobbly, particularly because it tries to cover everything from the Velvet Underground to 2003's The Raven, all with no chronological sense, flipping from decade to decade without sense for either historical or musical logic. Then, there's the song selection itself: It opens up with an unreleased alternate take of "Who Am I" from The Raven, then often substitutes studio cuts with live performances, including a healthy selection from Live in Italy and Perfect Night: Live in London (only one cut from Rock 'n' Roll Animal, strangely enough). It does contain many big songs -- "Walk on the Wild Side," "Satellite of Love," "Dirty Blvd.," "Coney Island Baby," "Perfect Day," "Street Hassle," "Vicious," plus a host of Velvet Underground songs, both in VU and solo versions -- but the songs that surround these tunes are all over the map. Sometimes they're excellent album track selections, but more of the time, they're not as good as songs that have been left behind, which include such cuts as "I Love You Suzanne," "Sad Song," "I Can't Stand It," "New Sensations," "No Money Down," "Romeo Had Juliette," "Egg Cream," "Doin' the Things That We Want To," "Legendary Hearts," and "What's Good," among others. Perhaps these aren't Reed's best -- and, yes, his "best" will always be a subjective matter -- but they are popular, representative songs that would have fit a solo career overview better than much of what is here. Without them, and with the songs that are here, NYC Man is a muddled mess, containing some of Reed's best, but not enough to justify this as the "ultimate" Lou Reed collection. Yet another bungled Lou collection, then. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/release/nyc-man-the-collection-mr0003030707

Whoever made the selection for this 2-disc set deserves a medal. Reed’s much maligned albums like Sally Can’t Dance, Rock ‘n Roll Heart and Growing Up In Public are well represented by heir best tracks such as Kill Your Songs (albeit a live version), Temporary Thing and The Last Shot. I am pleased that for once someone ignored the critics and just got a lot of the good songs together. The tracks are not arranged chronologically but that just makes the listening experience all the more interesting. Highlights on Disc One are Street Hassle, I’ll Be Your Mirror and Ecstacy. On Disc Two, the music leads up to a climax with The Bells right in the middle and my other favourites here include the live Heroin, the beautiful and moving Satellite Of Love, Dirty Boulevard, Rock Minuet and of course, the poetic Pale Blue Eyes. It’s great hearing these masterpieces out of the context of their original albums, it certainly makes them stand out more as individual songs. I strongly recommend this album to those who would like to investigate Reed’s wok as well as to the long-time fans. - ***** WISE SELECTION by & © Pieter Uys © 1996-2014, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates http://www.amazon.co.uk/NYC-Man-The-Ultimate-Collection/dp/B00008Y4IU

As Lou Reed proclaimed in the title song of his 1976 classic Coney Island Baby, "different people have peculiar tastes," and it sums him up -- in the course of his career, Lou Reed has been lots of different people, and they've all had peculiar tastes. NYC Man, thirty-one tracks selected by the man himself, shows the many strange faces of Lou Reed: the decadent Chelsea-boy punk poet of the Velvet Underground ("I'm Waiting for the Man," "Heroin"), the Seventies glam-rock ho ("Walk on the Wild Side"), the reluctantly wise gutter sage ("Street Hassle," "The Blue Mask") and the guy who took a ton of drugs ("Berlin"). "Ecstasy," from 2000, proves that Reed's creative powers remain fierce -- even if his recent rock opera about Edgar Allan Poe is a lot to forgive. © ROB SHEFFIELD (Posted: Jun 6, 2003) © 2009 Rolling Stone http://web.archive.org/web/20090217130648/http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/loureed/albums/album/292115/review/5945559/nyc_man_the_collection

NYC Man is a 2-CD anthology of the late legendary Lou Reed's work. Lou covers everything from the Velvet Underground to 2003's The Raven.This collection is not going to please all Lou Reed's fans as inevitably many fan favourites are omitted. However in the main the 2 CD set contains many excellent album track selections. All the songs in this collection were selected, sequenced and remastered by Lou Reed himself, and it's worth taking note of that. Please see album notes and read http://www.discogs.com/Lou-Reed-NYC-Man-The-Ultimate-Collection-1967-2003/release/1422065 for further details. HR by A.O.O.F.C Listen to Lou Reed's "Coney Island Baby" and The Velvet Underground's "White Light / White Heat" album and read more about the great man @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lou_Reed [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: 2 x rar files: CD 1 Pt 1 = 193 Mb, & CD 2 Pt2 = 175 Mb]

CD 1

1 Who Am I? (Tripitina's Song) 5:33
2 Sweet Jane 3:01 *
3 Rock 'N' Roll 4:40 *
4 I'm Waiting For The Man 4:36 *
5 White Light/White Heat 5:00 *
6 Street Hassle 11:00
7 Berlin 3:23
8 Caroline Says II 4:12
9 The Kids 7:49
10 Walk On The Wild Side 4:11
11 Kill Your Sons 4:08
12 Vicious 2:57
13 The Blue Mask 5:02
14 I'll Be Your Mirror 2:46 <>
15 Magic And Loss - The Summation 6:35
16 Ecstasy 4:30

CD 2

1 I Wanna Be Black 6:29
2 Temporary Thing 5:14
3 Shooting Star 3:12
4 Legendary Hearts 3:05
5 Heroin 8:22 *
6 Coney Island Baby 6:36
7 The Last Shot 3:20
8 The Bells 9:20
9 Perfect Day 3:43
10 Sally Can't Dance 2:55
11 Satellite Of Love 3:37
12 NYC Man 4:55
13 Dirty Blvd. 3:30
14 Rock Minuet 6:56
15 Pale Blue Eyes 5:38 *

N.B: * Lou Reed with The Velvet Underground, & <> Lou Reed with The Velvet Underground (w/ Nico)

All tracks composed by Lou Reed except "Magic And Loss - The Summation" composed by Lou Reed & Mike Rathke, & "The Bells" composed by Lou Reed & Marty Fogel