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Lou Reed

Lou Reed (born March 2, 1942) is an influential singer and songwriter who was the lead guitarist in The Velvet Underground. He lives in New York City.

He long had a heroin habit, which he wrote about in the Velvet Underground song "Heroin." He also wrote "Walk on the Wild Side" (about some of the transvestites at Andy Warhol's Factory) and "Pale Blue Eyes" (about an ex-girlfriend). His oeuvre also comprises songs about other disturbing subjects including mortality and illness.

In the early 1970s, Reed released the glam rock album "Transformer", which was produced by David Bowie. He followed it with "Berlin", a love story about two junkies in Berlin. The opus mostly contains extremely sad and tripping songs such as "Caroline Says II", "The Kids" and "The Bed". Live recordings from the Berlin tour were released on LP as "Rock'n'Roll Animal" and became a commercial success.

In 1975, he produced a two-LP album "Metal Machine Music", which is variously regarded as an early example of noise music, a joke, or an attempt to get out of his record contract at the time.

The later part of the 1970s saw albums "Coney Island Baby" (1976), "Rock'n'Roll heart" (1976), "Street Hassle"(1978), "The Bells" (1979) and "Growing up in public" (1980). The period is often regarded as a quite mixed affair by rock critics owing to the fact that during it Reed slid deeper into his various addictions.

In the early 1980s, Reed gave up the drugs and depravity, both in his work and in his private life, to address more serious concerns, noteably on his acclaimed comeback "The Blue Mask" (1982).

In the late 1980s, he addressed New York City's political problems on his "New York" album. He collaborated with John Cale once more, on "Songs for Drella", a work about the recently deceased Andy Warhol. He continued on that sad note with "Magic and Loss", an album about mortality.

In 1993, Reed joined Pearl Jam, Soul Asylum, Lucinda Williams[?] and others, to record a tribute/benefit project called "Sweet Relief: A Benefit For Victoria Williams".

His classic song "Perfect Day" (originally on "Transformer") was covered by a myriad of artists for the BBC Children in need appeal as well as appearing in the drug film Trainspotting.

In 2001 he was the subject of a famous hoax claiming he had died of a heroin overdose. In 2003, he released a 2-CD set called "The Raven", which was based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe.

He is often seen in the company of artist Laurie Anderson.

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