I have loved this album since it first came out and used to own it on vynyl. I'm absolutely over the moon to be able to listen to it again but having said that am the first one to admit that it does not have mass appeal - a friend described it as the"most depressing album ever made". The songs deal with drug addiction, infidelity, domestic violence, children being taken away "because they said she was not a good mother" and suicide. I read recently that Lou Reed intended it to tell a story about a couple who descend into intravenous drug addiction and end up destroying everything until the woman commits suicide after losing the kids; that take seems to make a lot of sense, however I think the songs stand alone as well. "Caroline Says" parts 1 and 2 show two very different sides of the same woman and depending on your take, that woman in the same relationship. "Men of Good Fortune" is a pretty classic Lou Reed track "The rich son waits for his father to die, the poor just drink and cry - and me? I just don't care at all". Yes many would find this album dark and depressing but many others will find it artistic, poetic and beautiful. It was considered shocking at the time that "The Kids" ended with children crying and calling repeatedly for "Mummy". This album does not glamourize the lifestyle it depicts. As well as the poetic lyrics and fabulous vocals there is piano and guitar to die for. However you can't really dance to it!
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