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New York Import

4.7 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Japan
  • ASIN: B00005HGL3
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: Audio CD
In 1989- seventeen years on from 'Transformer' his most acclaimed work, Lou Reed turned his attention to the sleazier side of his hometown to find inspiration for 'New York'- his fifteenth solo studio album.
He writes in his liner notes that 'New York' should be taken in one sitting, as if it were a film or play, and after listening it's not difficult to see why. From beginning to end the listener is taken on a musical tour through the drug fuelled, crime - ridden, destitute streets of the Big Apple - which at the time was one of the most dangerous cities on earth.
The album kicks off with Reed's '1-2-3-4' counting - in the opening bars of 'Romeo Had Juliet' with it's dark,twisted lyrics -"Caught between the twisted stars,the plotted lines,the faulty map that brought Columbus to New York."
The musical pace then slows down with 'Halloween Parade (AIDS)' but then leads into arguably the finest song on the album - the perverse, yet mesmeric 'Dirty Blvd'. With it's dirty guitar riff and hollow snare drum it's a tale of Pedro, a young kid with nine siblings living in a squalid squat and beaten by their father - fellow New Yorker Dion Dimucci appears on backing vocals.
The stark and disturbing theme of child abuse continues on 'Endless Cycle' with it's detached, simple guitar loop.
'There Is No Time' rocks along vibrantly while the subdued 'Last Great American Whale' is poignant in it's subject - the destruction of our natural environment and fellow creatures.
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By A Customer on 5 Dec. 2000
Format: Audio CD
The whole idea of Lou Reed's art is captured in this snippet of the liner notes regarding this album: "It's meant to be listened to in one 58 minute (14 songs!) sitting as though it were a book or a movie." There is exactly one reason Reed has only had one hit in his 35-year career: He's an artist. His albums contain blissfully funny rock-songs, yes, but there's also the kind of Nicole Blackmannish deadly seriousness in some of their lyrics, that makes you forever unable to not listen to them once you've started. Reed's self-appointed mission is to elevate rock music to an art form in the league of literature and painting, and "New York" is the closest he's gotten yet. Going against the liner notes, if there's only one song you hear from this album it should be Beginning of A Great Adventure, which is the best treatment of becoming a father I've ever heard. But, honestly, once you've got the album (and you should get it if you have any interest in rock becoming more than simple entertainment) you ought to do as Lou says and listen to it all. It's well worth it.
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By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Mar. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This 1989 masterpiece from Brooklyn's finest is (certainly for 1989) something of a blast from the past, representing as it does one of the most virulent 'protest albums' I can recall hearing (though perhaps not surprising, given that it came at the end of two presidential terms of Ronald 'cupcake' Reagan). And, I guess, as they say, protest and disaffection often provoke great levels of creativity - as is evidenced by New York, whose consistent levels of musical and (particularly) lyrical dexterity make this album just possibly my favourite ever solo work by Reed.

New York really represents something of a 'back to basics' approach for Reed as the album's sound reverts to a predominantly small band (and quite sparse) sound, with Rob Wasserman's electric upright bass and album co-producer Fred Maher on drums lending a generally (though not exclusively) light touch. The band's overall sound therefore gives Reed's guitar plenty of room for a number of nicely judged solos and his (and Mike Rathke's) guitar(s) consistently impress. Strangely enough, the album's generally light sound adds a nice touch of dark irony for what is one of Reed's most angry set of songs. There is a pervading theme of despair with the broken state of urban New York, as Reed laments in the face of (perhaps ironically) promiscuous lifestyles (Halloween Parade), lack of concern for the environment (The Last Great American Whale), religion (Busload Of Faith), Vietnam (the sublime Xmas In February) and just about everything else (in the hilariously light Sick Of You and the rocking Hold On).

There is another brilliant example of 'light irony' on (for me) one of the album's highlights, Endless Cycle, with its apparently hopeless plea against family histories of addictions to drugs, drink and violence.
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Format: Audio CD
Lou Reed closed out the 80's with his best album in a long time, not only is it art but it is street art.

When I say that I mean the tales of "New York" that Mr Reed has woven about the life on the mean streets of one of the world's capitals come across as so real as to create the smells and sounds of what he is singing about.

The delivery that Mr Reed can't really be called singing, it's more like talking in pitch. The wordplay that is used to great effect here is like a modern day "Mickey Spillane" or "Raymond Chandler" novel. As always Lou has a swipe at the America society with humour and intelligence that is his trade mark.

This album is both well produced and played and will be around a long time for people who like their music with a sting in the tale, so do your self a favour and buy it and buy it NOW...
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