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Lou Reed – The Studio Album Collection 1989-2000 (2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Lou Reed – The Studio Album Collection 1989-2000 (2015)
5 Albums | FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 298:38 minutes | 5,56 GB | Genre: Pop, Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover(s) | © Rhino/Warner Bros.

This official collection includes the albums: New York (1989), Songs for Drella <with John Cale> (1990), Magic and Loss (1992), Set the Twilight Reeling (1996), Ecstasy (2000).

Lou Reed – New York (1989/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 56:47 minutes | 1,21 GB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

New York City figured so prominently in Lou Reed’s music for so long that it’s surprising it took him until 1989 to make an album simply called New York, a set of 14 scenes and sketches that represents the strongest, best-realized set of songs of Reed’s solo career. While Reed’s 1982 comeback, The Blue Mask, sometimes found him reaching for effects, New York’s accumulated details and deft caricatures hit bull’s-eye after bull’s-eye for 57 minutes, and do so with an easy stride and striking lyrical facility. New York also found Reed writing about the larger world rather than personal concerns for a change, and in the beautiful, decaying heart of New York City, he found plenty to talk about – the devastating impact of AIDS in “Halloween Parade,” the vicious circle of child abuse “Endless Cycle,” the plight of the homeless in “Xmas in February” – and even on the songs where he pointedly mounts a soapbox, Reed does so with an intelligence and smart-assed wit that makes him sound opinionated rather than preachy – like a New Yorker. And when Reed does look into his own life, it’s with humor and perception; “Beginning of a Great Adventure” is a hilarious meditation on the possibilities of parenthood, and “Dime Store Mystery” is a moving elegy to his former patron Andy Warhol. Reed also unveiled a new band on this set, and while guitarist Mike Rathke didn’t challenge Reed the way Robert Quine did, Reed wasn’t needing much prodding to play at the peak of his form, and Ron Wasserman proved Reed’s superb taste in bass players had not failed him. Produced with subtle intelligence and a minimum of flash, New York is a masterpiece of literate, adult rock & roll, and the finest album of Reed’s solo career.

Tracklist:
01 – Romeo Had Juliette
02 – Halloween Parade
03 – Dirty Blvd.
04 – Endless Cycle
05 – There Is No Time
06 – Last Great American Whale
07 – Beginning of a Great Adventure
08 – Busload of Faith
09 – Sick of You
10 – Hold On
11 – Good Evening Mr. Waldheim
12 – Xmas in February
13 – Strawman
14 – Dime Store Mystery

Lou Reed & John Cale – Songs For Drella (1990/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 54:51 minutes | 1,13 GB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

John Cale, the co-founder of The Velvet Underground, left the group in 1968 after tensions between himself and Lou Reed became intolerable; neither had much charitable to say about one other after that, and they seemed to share only one significant area of agreement – they both maintained a great respect and admiration for Andy Warhol, the artist whose patronage of the group helped them reach their first significant audience. So it was fitting that after Warhol’s death in 1987, Reed and Cale began working together for the first time since White Light/White Heat on a cycle of songs about the artist’s life and times. Starkly constructed around Cale’s keyboards, Reed’s guitar, and their voices, Songs for Drella is a performance piece about Andy Warhol, his rise to fame, and his troubled years in the limelight. Reed and Cale take turns on vocals, sometimes singing as the character of Andy and elsewhere offering their observations on the man they knew. On a roll after New York, Reed’s songs are strong and pithy, and display a great feel for the character of Andy, and while Cale brought fewer tunes to the table, they’re all superb, especially “Style It Takes” and “A Dream,” a spoken word piece inspired by Warhol’s posthumously published diaries. If Songs for Drella seems modest from a musical standpoint, it’s likely neither Reed nor Cale wanted the music to distract from their story, and here they paint a portrait of Warhol that has far more depth and poignancy than his public image would have led one to expect. It’s a moving and deeply felt tribute to a misunderstood man, and it’s a pleasure to hear these two comrades-in-arms working together again, even if their renewed collaboration was destined to be short-lived.

Tracklist:
01 – Smalltown
02 – Open House
03 – Style it Takes
04 – Work
05 – Trouble with Classicists
06 – Starlight
07 – Faces and Names
08 – Images
09 – Slip Away (A Warning)
10 – It Wasn’t Me
11 – I Believe
12 – Nobody But You
13 – A Dream
14 – Forever Changed
15 – Hello It’s Me

Lou Reed – Magic And Loss (1992/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 58:29 minutes | 1,28 GB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

With 1982’s The Blue Mask, Lou Reed began approaching more mature and challenging themes in his music, and in 1992, Reed decided it was time to tackle the Most Serious Theme of All – Death. Reed lost two close friends to cancer within the space of a year, and the experience informed Magic and Loss, a set of 14 songs about loss, illness, and mortality. It would have been easy for a project like this to sound morbid, but Reed avoids that; the emotions that dominate these songs are fear and helplessness in the face of a disease (and a fate) not fully understood, and Reed’s songs struggle to balance these anxieties with bravery, humor, and an understanding of the notion that death is an inevitable part of life – that you can’t have the magic without the loss. It’s obvious that Reed worked on this material with great care, and Magic and Loss contains some of his most intelligent and emotionally intense work as a lyricist. However, Reed hits many of the same themes over and over again, and while Reed and his accompanists – guitarist Mike Rathke, bassist Rob Wasserman, and percussionist Michael Blair – approach the music with skill and impeccable chops, many of these songs are a bit samey; the album’s most memorable tunes are the ones that pull it out of its mid-tempo rut, like the grooving “What’s Good” and the guitar workout “Gassed and Stoked.” Magic and Loss is an intensely heartfelt piece of music, possessing a taste and subtlety one might never have expected from Reed, but its good taste almost works against it; it’s a sincere bit of public mourning, but perhaps a more rousing wake might have been a more meaningful tribute to the departed.

Tracklist:
01 – Dorita – The Spirit
02 – What’s Good – The Thesis
03 – Power and Glory – The Situation
04 – Magician – Internally
05 – Sword of Damocles – Externally
06 – Goodby Mass – In a Chapel Bodily Termination
07 – Cremation – Ashes to Ashes
08 – Dreamin’ – Escape
09 – No Chance – Regret
10 – Warrior King – Revenge
11 – Harry’s Circumcision – Reverie Gone Astray
12 – Gassed and Stoked – Loss
13 – Power and Glory Part II – Magic – Transformation
14 – Magic and Loss – The Summation

Lou Reed – Set The Twilight Reeling (1996/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 16 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 50:55 minutes | 293 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

After contemplating the decline of New York City, the passing of his mentor Andy Warhol, his place in (perhaps) the greatest American rock band of all time, and the very nature of life and death, in 1996 Lou Reed finally began to consider a really important subject – where to get a good chocolate egg cream. “Egg Cream” kicked off Set the Twilight Reeling, and for many fans it was a kick to hear Reed cranking up his amps and having some fun again, but much of the rest of the album turned out not to be as lightweight as the opener would have led you to expect. On Set the Twilight Reeling, Reed is preoccupied with relationships, as he tries to figure if he wants a long-term commitment (“Trade In”), if he’s better off as a lone wolf (“NYC Man”), if he’s in love (“The Proposition”), or if he just wants to fool around (“Hookywooky”). Reed rocks a lot harder here than on the two albums that preceded it (and plays plenty of great crunchy guitar), but much of the album is set in a mellow mid-tempo groove that’s casual and comfortable but not especially compelling. And while “Sex With Your Parents (Motherfucker), Pt. II” is an amusing attack on conservative politicians, his logic isn’t exactly clear. Longtime fans are no doubt grateful that Reed’s relatively unfocused and unsubstantial albums these days are such a vast improvement over his fallow period in the 1970s, but for the most part Set the Twilight Reeling sounds like a standard issue 1990s Lou Reed album – smart, well-crafted, with plenty of guitar, but nothing terribly special, either.

Tracklist:
01 – Egg Cream
02 – NYC Man
03 – Finish Line
04 – Trade In
05 – Hang On to Your Emotions
06 – Sex with Your Parents (Motherfucker) Part II
07 – Hookywooky
08 – The Proposition
09 – Adventurer
10 – Riptide
11 – Set the Twilight Reeling

Lou Reed – Ecstasy (2000/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 77:35 minutes | 1,65 GB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

Never let it be said that Lou Reed has lost the ability to surprise his audience; who would have thought that at the age of 58, on his first album of the new millennium, Reed would offer us an 18-minute guitar distortion workout with lyrics abut kinky sex, dangerous drugs, and (here’s the surprise) imagining what it would be like to be a possum? For the most part, Ecstasy finds Reed obsessed with love and sex, though (as you might expect) his take on romance is hardly rosy (“Paranoia Key of E,” “Mad,” and “Tatters” all document a relationship at the point of collapse, while “Baton Rouge” is an eccentric but moving elegy for a love that didn’t last) and Eros is usually messy (“White Prism”), obsessive (“Ecstasy”), or unhealthy and perverse (“Rock Minuet”). Reed genuinely seems to be stretching towards new lyrical and musical ground here, but while some of his experiments work, several pointedly do not, with the epic “Like a Possum” only the album’s most spectacular miscalculation. Still, Reed and producer Hal Wilner take some chances with the arrangements that pay off, particularly the subtle horn charts that dot several songs, and Reed’s superb rhythm section (Fernando Saunders on bass and Tony “Thunder” Smith on drums) gives these songs a rock-solid foundation for the leader’s guitar workouts. As Reed and his band hit fifth gear on the album’s rousing closer, “Big Sky,” he once again proves that even his uneven works include a few songs you’ll certainly want to have in your collection – as long as they’re not about possums.

Tracklist:
01 – Paranoia Key of E
02 – Mystic Child
03 – Mad
04 – Ecstasy
05 – Modern Dance
06 – Tatters
07 – Future Farmers of America
08 – Turning Time Around
09 – White Prism
10 – Rock Minuet
11 – Baton Rouge
12 – Like a Possum
13 – Rouge
14 – Big Sky

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