|||||TV On The Radio - Wolf Like Me||]|
I've never actually posted to this community before, which is possibly why I don't mind being burned as a heretic by the Lou Reed lovers out there.
But godammit, it has to be said: John Cale, not Lou Reed, is the Godfather of Punk, and it is he that is responsible for their recognition, not Reed: it was his vision that gave them that sound. Lou Reed is not that great a musician, or singer, and his skills as a lyricist range from the very good to the abysmal. His song writing can be amazing, but - and let's not even bother arguing the point - his solo work is so much less consistent than Cale that it becomes obvious: he is an artist who is inspired by others.
Bowie and Ronson inspired him on Transformer, and Ronson is responsible for the album's most famous hook (you know the one); John Cale inspired him on the first two VU albums and again on 'Songs For Drella', the closest Reed has come to actual beauty in years.
'Helen Of Troy' easily bests 'Loaded' as an album, 'Fear' is far more beautiful than 'Transformer' and dare I say it, 'Paris 1919' is at least comparable to 'the Velvet Underground'? When Reed decided to follow Cale into the experimental, he got lost; he drifted back into the conventional and that is where he has largely remained since. The singer of one of my favourite groups once said, "the middle of the road is for dead animals and dumb Americans". Lou Reed has veered close to both in the music of his latter years.
I'm not a Cale addict who raves about WLWH, I just think that it needs to be said. Lou Reed was half of one of the 20th century's most important bands; his rock sensibilities married to Cale's musicality produced something revolutionary that would eventually shake the increasingly self-indulgent trend of music out of its stupor.
But I'm sorry, Cale needs to be talked about as half of that group. And the quality of his smaller input (VIC, SR, etc.) marks him as, I believe, the more brilliant.