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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best & the worst of Lou
The lilting rocker Gimme Some Good Times opens the album with a series of sarcastic comments and a compelling melody line that becomes ever more gripping as Lou wails out the poetry of cynicism and despair, equating pleasure and pain, in his most world-weary voice ever. The mood becomes even darker on Dirt, where the acerbic lyrics incorporate snatches of the song I...
Published on 19 Sep 2002 by Pieter Uys

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lou Reed's Good But Not Great Album
I believe Street Hassle is a good album which is often guilty of masquerading as a great one.

Maybe the influence of punk around this time forced Lou to take stock of his musical direction because in many ways Street Hassle does sound like an album that's maybe a little too pre-conceived with the intention of making a grand statement. Lou's great strength for...
Published on 5 Aug 2006 by Jervis


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best & the worst of Lou, 19 Sep 2002
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Street Hassle (Audio CD)
The lilting rocker Gimme Some Good Times opens the album with a series of sarcastic comments and a compelling melody line that becomes ever more gripping as Lou wails out the poetry of cynicism and despair, equating pleasure and pain, in his most world-weary voice ever. The mood becomes even darker on Dirt, where the acerbic lyrics incorporate snatches of the song I Fought The Law by Bobby Fuller, before it is given a humorous twist by the girl choir chanting "Sweet, sweet, uptown dirt" in a typical Motown way, all of this over the band's loose and intentionally messy playing.

These brilliant tracks are followed by the masterpiece of a title track, a movement in three parts sketching a tragic situation and its resultant emotions in some of Reed's most poetic lyrics. Part one: Waltzing Matilda introduces the girl meets boy scenario in Reed's monotone over ominous cello. This is followed by a moment of silence and then Genya Ravan's ghostly chant of impending doom gives way to Reed the observer of an erotic encounter, a drug death and the complications arising from it.

Most chilling is the brutal & indifferent attitude of the host when confronted by the death on his property; this second part ends in Bruce Springsteen's melancholy monologue where he twists his own famous lyric to "Tramps like us, we were born to pay." The final movement, Slipaway, has a more human Reed lamenting the loss of life and love in a moving & tender way: `Love has gone away/Took the rings off my fingers/And there's nothing left to say.' Wow, this is strong, emotionally harrowing stuff.

I regret to report that the rest of this 1978 album (with the possible exception of the satirical I Wanna Be Black with its funky beat) doesn't appeal much to me and I seldom listen to it. Some of these sound like badly recorded live performances. Real Good Time Together, for example, has a strange arrangement that just doesn't work. So this is the best and the worst of Lou Reed, but Street Hassle merits four stars for the sheer brilliance of the first three tracks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lou Reed, 31 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Street Hassle (Audio CD)
Another great Lou Reed album. I used to have this on vinyl but lost it along the way. Now I have it on cd I can play it anywhere. Just listen to the title track - Street Hassle and be astounded. When he died the world lost a great musician & song writer. I have a small collection of Lou Reed cd's and this is one of my favourites.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love Lou!, 17 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Street Hassle (Audio CD)
RIP Lou, All my love forever. A truly wonderful man, an absolute genius, and this album while no Berlin, my personal favourite, is still better than just about anything else you might ever hear.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice 'n sleazy, 9 Mar 2009
By 
Duncan Light (Glasgow, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Street Hassle (Audio CD)
Over the years Lou Reed has been a bit hit and miss but I believe that this is best Lp along with Transformer. Of course, David Bowie produced Transformer (and in many ways its as much his album as Reed's) but Street Hassle has Lou all over it and appears to reflect accurately his persona at that time during the 70's. Really if you buy this and Transformer and a best of the Velvet Underground then that is probably enough.

Street Hassle captures Reed he was at his most interesting lyrically with the lyrical highlights being Dirt, Street Hassle and I Wanna Be Black. He can tell a great story, be thoroughly sarcastic and funny all within one song.

You know, I like albums that hang together by which I mean albums that sound as though they were made during one sitting which is how Street Hassle sounds. Its as if the guys had a had a few drinks (or something else) in a warm bar and had spoken about this and that, and him and her, and who was annoying them that day before picking up their instruments and starting to play. That isn't how it happened of course but that's how it feels.

The title track is Lou Reed at his sleaziest best (although its always a big mistake to think the man is being autobiographical) but really is no better than the other tracks which have very intelligent and descriptive lyrics Musically the record has a loose, funky feel. Its kind of laid back but the lyrics are sharp enough to cut your cheek open.

By todays standards the album is pretty short and all the better for that. Highly recommended.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ugliest Most Beautiful Album You'll Ever Hear, 3 Nov 2010
By 
Carlo Matthews "carlo" (Been Moving Around) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Street Hassle (Audio CD)
Both swaggering and glib, Street Hassle finds Reed hitting the peak of his shady career as a poseur and gutter songwriter. Over a rambunctious and inebriating, messy performance, Reed and band recreate an atmosphere of uncertainty tainted by dark humor and acid wit. Every song here is driven by Reed's sardonic takes on life and a rough jazz/rock blend that sounds positively filthy and catchy, every hook struggling to surface through a mire of bass, droning guitar, and saxes. Street Hassle reeks of the rot of New York and sounds like a massive waste spill that is both freightening and alluring. Whereas previous albums tried to capture Reed's musical persona by means of glitter productions, Street Hassle ironically displays his sophistication in an ugly, swirling fusion that is more spontaneous and improvisational than anything he's done. Your definition of beauty will never be the same after this.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lou Reed's Good But Not Great Album, 5 Aug 2006
By 
Jervis - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Street Hassle (Audio CD)
I believe Street Hassle is a good album which is often guilty of masquerading as a great one.

Maybe the influence of punk around this time forced Lou to take stock of his musical direction because in many ways Street Hassle does sound like an album that's maybe a little too pre-conceived with the intention of making a grand statement. Lou's great strength for me is that whenever he decides to change direction he seems to do so in a quite 'natural' way without the grand contrivances associated with his mate David Bowie. Maybe here he's trying a little too hard.

Still it is a fairly decent album all the same which possibly has more in common with the Lou and the Velvets experimentation than Lou's more recent often more conventional sounding albums. Vocally as well Lou is beginning to broaden his style to go beyond his more typical 'flat tone' voice to include a little more range. He's actually stretching a little at times.

'Street Hassle' the title song is possibly the most popular on the album - it's actually an eleven minute epic divided into three different parts. It works extremely well as does most of the rest of the album.

Street Hassle is a good album - that there is no doubt but i do find Lou a little more cold and detached than is normally the case and consequently i don't like the album quite as much as a number of Lou's other efforts.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lou's best ever, 11 Aug 2009
This review is from: Street Hassle (Audio CD)
Lou's all-time best album. Cutting, world-weary, cynical, sloppy, funny...it's pure raw poetry.

This Japanese version from 2006 is worth the extra money because it has remastered sound which is far superior to the sound on the current UK version.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Three masterpieces, 25 Jan 2009
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Street Hassle (Audio CD)
The lilting rocker Gimme Some Good Times opens the album with a series of sarcastic comments and a compelling melody line that becomes ever more gripping as Lou wails out the poetry of cynicism and despair, equating pleasure and pain, in his most world-weary voice ever. The mood becomes even darker on Dirt, where the acerbic lyrics incorporate snatches of the song I Fought The Law by Bobby Fuller, before it is given a humorous twist by the girl choir chanting "Sweet, sweet, uptown dirt" in a typical Motown way, all of this over the band's loose and intentionally messy playing.

These brilliant tracks are followed by the masterpiece of a title track, a movement in three parts sketching a tragic situation and its resultant emotions in some of Reed's most poetic lyrics. Part one: Waltzing Matilda introduces the girl meets boy scenario in Reed's monotone over ominous cello. This is followed by a moment of silence and then Genya Ravan's ghostly chant of impending doom gives way to Reed the observer of an erotic encounter, a drug death and the complications arising from it.

Most chilling is the brutal & indifferent attitude of the host when confronted by the death on his property; this second part ends in Bruce Springsteen's melancholy monologue where he twists his own famous lyric to "Tramps like us, we were born to pay." The final movement, Slipaway, has a more human Reed lamenting the loss of life and love in a moving & tender way: `Love has gone away/Took the rings off my fingers/And there's nothing left to say.' Wow, this is strong, emotionally harrowing stuff.

I regret to report that the rest of this 1978 album (with the possible exception of the satirical I Wanna Be Black with its funky beat) doesn't appeal much to me and I seldom listen to it. Some of these sound like badly recorded live performances. Real Good Time Together, for example, has a strange arrangement that just doesn't work. So this is the best and the worst of Lou Reed, but Street Hassle merits four stars for the sheer brilliance of the first three tracks.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lou Wants to be Black, 5 Feb 2008
By 
Steve (By DUNDEE Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Street Hassle (Audio CD)
Street Hassle is often regarded quite highly amongst Lou Reed fans. Apparently Bowie loved this album, and used to play it before the gigs on his Stage tour in the late 70s. This is not surprising, given that the opener, Gimme Some Good Times, sounds like Lou is ripping Bowie off. Dirt is a classic, though, with Lou's surly vocal and the big, dirty guitar riff, its Lou at his most caustic. I especially like it when he starts drawling Bobby Fuller's "I fought the law and the law won"- very cool.

The title track Street Hassle, is a bit over-extended in my opinion, but it has some excellent passages nonetheless. But surely, given Lou's lyrical ambitions, he can do better than 'Sha na na na.' I Wanna Be Black is a mediocre R&B shuffle with lyrics which are, at the very least, dubious (Lou had planned to give the same title to the album, before his record company people talked some sense into him). The eviscerated boogie of Real Good Time Together is the album's last high-point, before it tails off in quality. The last three tracks just sound like bar-band cabaret. The album has an overall feel of the throwaway and sub-standard, even on the better tracks. But its the highlight of Lou's time at Arista Records (which is admittedly, not saying much).
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Street Hassle
Street Hassle by Lou Reed (Audio CD - 2003)
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