Monday, 20 July 2009

Lou Reed - Street Hassle (1978)

A friend of mine had a battered old cassette version of this album and we used to sit around and listen to it a lot when I was in my mid to late teens, it's the only Lou Reed solo record that ever really meant anything to me. The album kicks off with a live version of Gimmie Some Good Times, sarcastic and bored he sounds like he's lost the ability to distinguish between the good times and bad, it sets the tone perfectly. The raw, minimal punk sound of much of the album suits Lou's dark heart and cynical sensibilities, but on the beautiful, moving title song the album really transcends...this is a sordid New York story, brutal and tragic, shot through with passion and honesty and understanding of human weakness. Listening to the album is like eavesdropping on a conversation between partners in an abusive relationship, the partners being Lou and New York City...he knows the place is bad for him, but he just can't bring himself to leave.

Track list:

01. Gimmie Some Good Times
02. Dirt
03. Street Hassle
--a. Waltzing Matilda
--b. Street Hassle
--c. Slipaway
04. I Wanna Be Black
05. Real Good Time Together
06. Shooting Star
07. Leave Me Alone
08. Wait

Get it HERE.


Robbie said...

Your blog just gets better and better. I can't believe you had that whole Ernesto Djedje album. I've been looking for that for ages.

Have you heard Spacemen 3's "Ode to Street Hassle" ?

Mr Tear said...

Thanks Robbie, your comment is much appreciated and I'm glad you found some tunes you were after.
I love the Spacemen 3 track and I'm so pleased they didn't try to do a straight cover version

ALTCERF said...

Much obliged, Mr Tear! Been listening to The Velvets 3rd a lot this weekend & Street Hassle will be my follow-up. Thanks again;)

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