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Lou Reed – New York (Deluxe Edition) (1989/2020) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Lou Reed – New York (Deluxe Edition) (1989/2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 02:54:25 minutes | 3,54 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Rhino – Warner Records

Lou Reed’s 1989 album New York will be given its first remastering in a massive deluxe edition by Rhino, out September 25th.

New York: Deluxe Edition includes three CDs, a two-LP set and a DVD, encased in a hardcover book with liner notes by David Fricke and essays by archivist Don Fleming. It was produced by Laurie Anderson, Fleming, Bill Ingot, Jason Stern and late producer Hal Willner.

The deluxe set consists of 26 unreleased recordings. The first CD makes up the remastered album, the second CD consists of live versions and the final disc contains unreleased early versions of the album’s tracks — including a “work tape” and rough mix of the single “Dirty Blvd,” the Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane” and the Transformer track “Walk on the Wild Side.”

The set also includes “The New York Album” concert video, released on DVD for the first time. It features Reed’s set at the Theatre St. Denis in Montreal and includes an audio-only interview with the late musician.

Lou Reed, for Gen X at least, was the weird, slightly estranged uncle who could recite French poetry from memory while doing knife tricks with a personalized switchblade. When he came around, things could be exciting and a little uncomfortable, and even though you’ve never really known him very well, his legend loomed large. New York changed that. It was the first Lou Reed album that Gen X could justifiably claim as their own; released in early 1989, it was really more of a ’90s album as it definitively put the ’80s in the rearview. The bite of Lou Reed’s lyrics was nothing new of course, but the generation coming of age in the late ’80s had never had a new Lou album to attach themselves to; New York was released three years after the old-fart-trying-new-things vibes of Mistrial and more than eight years after The Blue Mask, the last Reed album to completely abandon “contemporary” sounds in favor of back-to-basics musicianship, crisp production, and strong, unforgiving lyrics that spoke directly to the spiritual affinities of a cynical generation.

From the first notes of “Romeo Had Juliette,” Reed’s sonic mission was clear: By stripping his band down to two guitars, an electric upright bass, and a simple drum kit (played by co-producer Fred Maher and occasionally augmented with percussion by Mo Tucker), the attention was to be focused on the lyrics. Delivering a clear-eyed assessment of how devastating the ’80s had been to the city he was so closely associated with, the lyrics on New York drop the listener into a city that is ravaged by AIDS, proto-gentrification, rampant inequality, and the “Statue of Bigotry,” but still in touch with its expansive, egalitarian, no-B.S. heart. While today’s ears may flinch at some of the lyrics (“spic” and “homeboys” particularly bristle), ears then flinched too. Reed knew what he was doing by writing plain-spoken and deceptively straightforward verses; by not mincing words and speaking like a “real” New Yorker (as if he had a choice), his astute observational skills and unassailable connection to the city give him both personal and poetic license to tell the intricate, intimate, and intense stories throughout New York.

It’s debatable whether New York actually needed a remastering—its sharp-edged mix was perfectly suited to a late ’80s CD master and already was given plenty of air to breathe by the spare arrangements—but this new mastering does open up the album a bit more, mitigating some of the CD-era sheen while not muting any of Reed’s slicing guitar work. The unreleased tracks are a similarly mixed bag, as the material is in various states of completion. “Dirty Blvd,” for instance is presented in both a “work tape” that is little more than a riff memo as well as a “rough mix” that presents a meatier, more substantial version than the final album version that manages to somehow put Reed’s voice even more in the listener’s face. Meanwhile, non-LP track “The Room” is a disappointing, all-guitar instrumental piece that’s out of context on such a lyrical album; it winds up sounding like leftover material used in the dissonant coda of “There Is No Time.” The live material sounds like one of the all-New York sets that Reed performed around this time, but it is in fact culled from multiple concerts. While completists may balk at this, the final result is a quite strong collection of live performances. – Jason Ferguson

Tracklist

1. Lou Reed – Romeo Had Juliette (2020 Remaster)
2. Lou Reed – Halloween Parade (2020 Remaster)
3. Lou Reed – Dirty Blvd. (2020 Remaster)
4. Lou Reed – Endless Cycle (2020 Remaster)
5. Lou Reed – There Is No Time (2020 Remaster)
6. Lou Reed – Last Great American Whale (2020 Remaster)
7. Lou Reed – Beginning of a Great Adventure (2020 Remaster)
8. Lou Reed – Busload of Faith (2020 Remaster)
9. Lou Reed – Sick of You (2020 Remaster)
10. Lou Reed – Hold On (2020 Remaster)
11. Lou Reed – Good Evening Mr. Waldeheim (2020 Remaster)
12. Lou Reed – Xmas in February (2020 Remaster)
13. Lou Reed – Strawman (2020 Remaster)
14. Lou Reed – Dime Store Mystery (2020 Remaster)
15. Lou Reed – Romeo Had Juliette (Live at Warner Theatre, Washington, DC, 3/14/1989) (Live at Warner Theatre, Washington, DC 3/14/1989)
16. Lou Reed – Halloween Parade (Live at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore, MD, 3/16/1989)
17. Lou Reed – Dirty Blvd. (Live at Wembley Arena, London, UK, 7/14/1989) (Live at Wembley Arena, London, UK, 7/14/89)
18. Lou Reed – Endless Cycle (Live at the Warner Theatre, Washington, DC, 3/14/1989)
19. Lou Reed – There Is No Time (Live at The Mosque, Richmond, VA, 8/8/1989)
20. Lou Reed – Last Great American Whale (Live at The Mosque, Richmond, VA, 8/8/1989)
21. Lou Reed – Beginning of a Great Adventure (Live at Wembley Arena, London, UK, 7/4/1989)
22. Lou Reed – Busload of Faith (Live at the Falconer Theatre, Copenhagen, Denmark, 6/9/1989)
23. Lou Reed – Sick of You (Live at the Tower Theatre, Upper Darby, PA, 3/17/1989)
24. Lou Reed – Hold On (Live at the Mosque, Richmond, VA, 8/8/1989)
25. Lou Reed – Good Evening Mr. Waldheim (Live at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore, MD, 3/16/1989)
26. Lou Reed – Xmas in February (Live at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore, MD, 3/16/1989)
27. Lou Reed – Strawman (Live at Wembley Arena, London, UK, 7/4/1989)
28. Lou Reed – Dime Store Mystery (Live at the Mosque, Richmond, VA, 8/8/1989)
29. Lou Reed – Romeo Had Juliette (Single Version)
30. Lou Reed – Dirty Blvd. (Work Tape)
31. Lou Reed – Dirty Blvd. (Rough Mix)
32. Lou Reed – Endless Cycle (Work Tape)
33. Lou Reed – Last Great American Whale (Work Tape)
34. Lou Reed – Beginning of a Great Adventure (Rough Mix)
35. Lou Reed – Busload of Faith (Acoustic Version)
36. Lou Reed – Sick of You (Work Tape)
37. Lou Reed – Sick of You (Rough Mix)
38. Lou Reed – Hold On (Rough Mix)
39. Lou Reed – Strawman (Rough Mix)
40. Lou Reed – The Room
41. Lou Reed – Sweet Jane (Live Encore at The Mosque, Richmond, VA, 8/8/1989)
42. Lou Reed – Walk on the Wild Side (Live Encore at The Mosque, Richmond, VA, 8/8/1989)

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