Today’s selection isn’t so much one song, but the gateway to Lou Reed’s entire album, New York, released in 1989. Although it was critically acclaimed at the time, it is sadly ignored by many ‘best of Lou Reed’ lists, and yet it is, from start to finish, arguably his best album since Berlin in the early 70s. A bleakly ironic, yet accurate take on the world, focusing on the sights and sounds of his native city, it is full of killer lines. Dirty Boulevard, for example, focuses on property and poverty. The Beginning of A Great Adventure focuses on Reed himself, and Busload of Faith is a scathing attack on religion. Sick of You is a general moan at how the environment is being destroyed, makes political digs with mention of Mayor Rudy Giuliani and, presciently, the Trump family, as well as being messed about in a relationship.
The straight-talking take-no-shit style of the lyrics is also matched by the simple, bluesy rock’n’roll style of the music, ironically upbeat and cheerful on Sick of You, with drums, electric guitar and upright bass also on much of the album, complementing Reed's deep, velvety tones. If ever we needed a critic of the way the world is conducted it is now, and no one could do it better than the angry, righteous and yet humorous Lou Reed. Rest in peace.
I was up in the morning with the tv blarin'
Brush my teeth sittin' watchin' the news
All the beaches were closed the ocean was a red sea
But there was no one there to part in two
There was no fresh salad because there's hypos in the cabbage
Staten island disappeared at noon
And they say the midwest is in great distress
And NASA blew up the moon.
The ozone layer has no ozone anymore
And you're gonna leave me for the guy next door
I'm sick of you
I'm sick of you.
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