Lou Reed

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer

Category: Performer

Inducted in: 2015

Inducted by: Patti Smith

Nominated in: 2000   2001   2015

First Eligible: 1998 Ceremony


Inducted into Rock Hall Projected in 2030 (ranked #300) .


Essential Albums (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3Amazon CD
Transformer (1972)
Berlin (1973)

Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
Walk On The Wild Side (1972)
Perfect Day (1972)
Satellite Of Love (1972)

Lou Reed @ Wikipedia

Lou Reed Videos

Comments

73 comments so far (post your own)

Lou Reed is not already there ? It's the Hall of Fame or th hall of SHAME ?!?

Posted by the_fan_60 on Sunday, 10.8.06 @ 05:39am


I can't believe he's not in, either. I'm not sure if the Velvet Underground are or not yet, but if THEY aren't either... that's just terrible.

Posted by asdfghjkl; on Wednesday, 01.3.07 @ 17:26pm


The Velvets are in, class of '96.

Posted by Kit on Wednesday, 01.3.07 @ 17:39pm


i STOPPED TAKING THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME SERIOUSLY A WHILE AGO - ALTHOUGH THE NIGHT THEY INDUCTED nEIL yOUNG WAS MEMORABLE. lOVE HIM OR HATE HIM - lOU REED BELONGS IN THERE FOR SHEER DURABILITY IF NOTHING ELSE.

Posted by PATRICK on Thursday, 01.4.07 @ 13:22pm


Nah, when you add it up. The solo career ain't much.

Posted by Casper on Wednesday, 01.17.07 @ 16:14pm


Sometimes a solo artist is covered when the band he was in becomes inducted in the rock and roll hall of fame. Since Lou Reed basically masterminded the Velvet Undergound, I see that VU equals Lou Reed. In my opinion Lou is already there. However, if the above theory doesn't seem correct, I then do say Lou Reed definitely deserves entry on his own.

Posted by Barry Smith on Tuesday, 02.20.07 @ 16:41pm


"The solo career ain't much?"

'New York' is a masterpiece. 'Transformer' is a classic. 'Songs for Drella,' 'New Sensations,' 'Berlin.'

Individual songs 'Walk on the Wild Side,' 'Vicious,' 'How Do You Think It Feels,' the live version of 'Original Wrapper' from 'Perfect Night.'

Christ there's the title track from 'The Blue Mask' (with guitarist Robert Quine), the operetta 'Street Hassel' (featuring poetry read by Bruce Springsteen) and his work with John Cale on 'Songs for Drella.'

Yes, yes, yes, yes Lou gets in!

Posted by Velvet Fan on Thursday, 03.15.07 @ 17:41pm


'The solo career ain't much'???!?!?!?!

Stunning! I know it's all according to taste, but Lou can't be beat for wicked sharp lyrics and summing up all the best that rock 'n roll represents. Way, way, way more hits than misses. Without Lou, it's just a farce...

Posted by Ghandi on Sunday, 03.18.07 @ 17:08pm


Lou Reed was an influence for David Bowie and made an influence in glam rock

Posted by James on Friday, 04.6.07 @ 10:48am


COnsidering the VU got in with crap music (i.e. see review:

(http://www.markprindle.com/velveta.htm)

I do not think his solo career warrants induction. In fact, it is quite lame.

Posted by Anonymous on Friday, 04.20.07 @ 18:03pm


Anyone who has been an innovator and has influenced countless numbers of bands including present day bands like the Strokes, the White Stripes,Bright Eyes etc etc should be in the Hall of Fame.

Anyone that has 30 albums should be in the Hall.

Anyone whose songs are covered by members of the Hall of Fame like David Bowie, U2, Patti Smith etc etc should be in the Hall.

Anyone who appreciates that the music has been lifted to a higher intellectual level would want Lou in the Hall.

Considering music is subjective, anyone who doesn't think Lou should be in the Hall as a solo artist is just not appreciative of the music or has not taken the time to listen to each and every one of his albums. Yes not every one is a gem but that's not any different from those in the Hall like Dylan, Neil Young, Springsteen also have released duds in their musical lifetime. Their work was considered as a collective whole and that's all fans of Lou Reed ask.

Posted by Patrick B. Leek on Thursday, 07.5.07 @ 07:07am


Patrick B. Leek said it better than I ever could. Lou needs to be in the rock hall of fame.

Posted by Nicole on Wednesday, 08.15.07 @ 15:45pm


Lou Reed's solo work is as good or better than Paul McCartney's (record sales be damned!) and deserves to be enshrined.

Posted by Chalkie on Saturday, 09.8.07 @ 09:33am


"I do not think his solo career warrants induction. In fact, it is quite lame."

ha. aanyone who doesn't know, he loves Rush.

OPENLY

Posted by liam on Wednesday, 10.3.07 @ 14:06pm


yes! lou's practically jesus. would YOU refuse almost-jesus?

Posted by b on Friday, 11.2.07 @ 15:47pm


Inducting Leonard Cohen

Posted by Roy on Wednesday, 02.27.08 @ 19:11pm


Is there any difference between Lou Reed's solo music and his music from Velvet Underground? Please explain.

I just watched all of Lou Reed's 80s music videos on VH1Classic.com for the first time because I wanted to see why he was asked to give the induction speech for Leonard Cohen. I was not impressed. I don't understand what is so great about Lou Reed. This guy is considered a lyrical, poetic genius of sorts??? Could someone please explain??

Women, No Money Down, The Original Wrapper, My Red Joysticks, I Love You Suzanne, Hookywooky, Busload of Faith, What's Good.

Does anyone know why Lou Reed was boooed by the audience at the 1995 Rock And Roll Hall of Fame when he walked out to give the induction speech for Frank Zappa? You can watch it on YouTube.


Posted by Roy on Friday, 03.7.08 @ 19:53pm


Taking into account some of your suggested induction plans (Chubby Checker and Rush - FFS!), I'm not totally surprised that Reed goes over your head.

Not that I'm much a fan of his solo work.

Posted by Liam on Saturday, 03.8.08 @ 07:27am



"Does anyone know why Lou Reed was boooed by the audience at the 1995 Rock And Roll Hall of Fame when he walked out to give the induction speech for Frank Zappa? You can watch it on YouTube."


I think their saying LOOOOUUUUUUU. I've seen a bunch of Reed concert videos where the audience chants it.


Posted by Paul on Sunday, 03.9.08 @ 15:07pm


There's not much here to go on if you're looking for real success. In terms of innovation what is there really except "Metal Machine Music", and even that is a judgement call on what you will let pass under the heading "innovation". I guess the whole bit w/Bowie and Iggy was impt. under the heading of "influential", but think about it. Consider Bowie and Reed circa 72 (i.e. Ziggy and Transformer). Could you honestly see Reed following in Bowie's footsteps a decade later and doing something like "Let's Dance"? Have to wonder how much of Lou really rubbed off on Bowie. Who knows. Maybe in Bowie's case it works out to "when the $ stops flowing, the pop (machinery) starts going". Either way, Reed w/the Velvets yes, Reed solo - pass.

Posted by Cheesecrop on Thursday, 09.11.08 @ 15:16pm


There's not much here to go on if you're looking for real success. In terms of innovation what is there really except "Metal Machine Music", and even that is a judgement call on what you will let pass under the heading "innovation". I guess the whole bit w/Bowie and Iggy was impt. under the heading of "influential", but think about it. Consider Bowie and Reed circa 72 (i.e. Ziggy and Transformer). Could you honestly see Reed following in Bowie's footsteps a decade later and doing something like "Let's Dance"? Have to wonder how much of Lou really rubbed off on Bowie. Who knows. Maybe in Bowie's case it works out to "when the $ stops flowing, the pop (machinery) starts going". Either way, Reed w/the Velvets yes, Reed solo - pass.

Posted by Cheesecrop on Thursday, 09.11.08 @ 15:16pm


Reed was and is light years and beyond in the rock world...From "Heroin" to" Walk on the Wildside".. He stood naked in song.. Yes to Velvet and Reed

Posted by tinmam on Thursday, 09.11.08 @ 15:29pm


Actually Tinman, you've answered my questions about Reed's being worthy w/out perhaps realizing it. In bringing his music up, you mentioned everything from "Herion" to "Walk on the Wild Side". That pretty much sums up the Reed many of us truly do like, namely the years between 1967-1972. The Velvets accurately represent his 67-70 period. If his solo career is everything afterwards, can you fill me in on everything between 1973 and 2008 that would make him musically worthy of the Hall?

Posted by Cheesecrop on Thursday, 09.11.08 @ 16:03pm


Actually Tinman, you've answered my questions about Reed's being worthy w/out perhaps realizing it. In bringing his music up, you mentioned everything from "Herion" to "Walk on the Wild Side". That pretty much sums up the Reed many of us truly do like, namely the years between 1967-1972. The Velvets accurately represent his 67-70 period. If his solo career is everything afterwards, can you fill me in on everything between 1973 and 2008 that would make him musically worthy of the Hall?

Posted by Cheesecrop on Thursday, 09.11.08 @ 16:03pm


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That is a weird statement..

So you have keep on keeping on ..
He did enough.. I have not check out what he has done lately...I think I might...Hate to say it but example What have the Stones done lately worth talking about or even Van Halen just more of the same ,at best..! U2 and Madonna are always boring ..
He is and was a pioneer in the tower of song..
I like Les Paul but he has not done much of late..



Posted by tinmam on Thursday, 09.11.08 @ 16:58pm


tinman...Les paul is already in the HOF and his contribution is absolutely enormous!! His isn't so much his playing (even though he is a great player), but the fact he was a pioneer in developing the solid-body electric guitar (which he and Leo Fender pretty much invented), and multi-track recording.

He's probably one of the top two or three most influential figures in popular music history.

Posted by Gitarzan on Thursday, 09.11.08 @ 18:57pm


tinman...Les paul is already in the HOF and his contribution is absolutely enormous!! His isn't so much his playing (even though he is a great player), but the fact he was a pioneer in developing the solid-body electric guitar (which he and Leo Fender pretty much invented), and multi-track recording.

He's probably one of the top two or three most influential figures in popular music history.

Posted by Gitarzan on Thursday, 09.11.08 @ 18:57pm

I know Les is in the Hall of Fame..
That is my point..

Posted by tinman on Thursday, 09.11.08 @ 19:54pm


tinman...I must've misunderstood you...sorry

Posted by Gitarzan on Thursday, 09.11.08 @ 21:04pm


Tinman -

What I'm getting at is that Reed's major period of artistic relevance was 1967-72. It was here that Reed mattered not only to private fans of the Velvets & his solo work, but to the whole of the rock & roll universe as well. Unlike the Stones or (ugh) Madonna, Reed's solo influence never really went beyond several yrs. into the 1970's. Little of hs work has transcended his built-in audience and had a greater effect on the rock world as a whole from 1973 onward. I agree the Stones have been crap for years now, but for at least 20 years they could claim to have a stake in a portion of rock culture.

If this fails to clarify, let's just say that you say yes, I say no, and I see no reason why I should change my opinion based on what you said.

Posted by Cheesecrop on Friday, 09.12.08 @ 07:13am


Loue Reed is the orginal anti social rocker!
Before the Sex Pistols was Velvet Under Ground..
It was all about what was really going on..


Posted by metalman on Wednesday, 10.8.08 @ 10:40am


Nah, it would just be redundant.

I love Lou, his solo work has much to offer but it just isn't as vital as what he did with The Velvet Underground.

It isn't necessary. He's already an elder statesman.

Posted by Jonas on Friday, 12.19.08 @ 05:34am


I always thought that he was already in! His 1972 tour was the BEST I've ever been to and I've been to Harrison, Marley, Talking Heads, and the Stones. Seened him inducting people into the Hall and you would think people already in would welcome people in. And why was the Hall placed in "The mistake by the Lake" (Cleveland) anyway???

Posted by SULLY on Thursday, 05.7.09 @ 06:39am


he is in with the VU

Posted by Dameon on Thursday, 05.7.09 @ 07:45am


He's in with the Velvet Underground. He had a few good songs in his solo career, but nothing HoF worthy.

Posted by Dude Man on Sunday, 07.26.09 @ 13:18pm


Lou Reed is probably the second biggest glitch in the hall of fame when it comes to the HoF behind THE STOOGES. His work is incredibly influential and although he's in with the velvets, he deserves to be in by himself. Lyricaly, he elevated rock music beyond cars and girls. He was one of the first to use real feedback, real distortion, alternate tunings, effects pedals, a fretless guitar, and elements of experimental music amongst other things.

Posted by Glam Banana on Friday, 11.6.09 @ 07:41am


Lou Reed was a brillianbt ylricist, sadly with age his voice became gruff and quite annoying.

Posted by GFW on Saturday, 05.22.10 @ 15:14pm


Lou Reed is annoying. How the hell is he a brilliant lyricist.

Red Joystick = Penis

Posted by Loop on Tuesday, 01.25.11 @ 13:53pm


ARTISTS INDUCTED INTO THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME BY LOU REED

01. 1989 Dion
02. 1995 Frank Zappa
03. 2008 Leonard Cohen

Posted by Roy on Tuesday, 02.8.11 @ 09:50am


Woah, Lou reed isn't in the Songwriters hall of fame?

That's downright criminal!

Posted by GFW on Thursday, 06.14.12 @ 16:21pm


I believe Lou Reed should be inducted into the Hall as a solo artist for just his range in musical styles he has used in his solo work. People should go back to the beginning and just listen to what he has to offer. His lyrics took on subject matter that wasn't being talked or sung about in rock and roll music so frankly. His late 1980's and up into the mid-ninties is pretty strong material as well. I think he still has a couple of good albums still in him yet.

Posted by CKM on Saturday, 04.20.13 @ 20:28pm


I wouldn't be surprised to see him back on the ballot within the next few years. And I think he's got a better shot of induction with the current voting committee than he faced before.

Posted by DarinRG on Saturday, 04.20.13 @ 21:22pm


came across this article that may be interesting to fans of Lou Reed, Tupac, Phish, Motorhead, AC/DC

http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-subtle-clues-your-favorite-band-secretly-sucks/

Posted by Darrin A on Saturday, 09.7.13 @ 14:02pm


That article is so dumb.

I miss Seanbaby...

Posted by GFW on Saturday, 09.7.13 @ 14:58pm


RIP :(

Posted by Gassman on Sunday, 10.27.13 @ 13:36pm


Rest in peace man

Posted by Jason Voigt on Sunday, 10.27.13 @ 13:56pm


My most sincere condolences to Laurie Anderson and the rest of Lou's family. This is indeed a very sad day. He was a great artist. I hope that this brings about the immediate inductions of both Lou Reed (posthumously) and Laurie Anderson into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. :-(

Posted by Enigmaticus on Sunday, 10.27.13 @ 14:43pm


Rest in peace, Mr. Reed.

Posted by Joe on Sunday, 10.27.13 @ 14:48pm


You will be greatly missed, Lou Reed. Rest in peace, my man.

Posted by Andrew on Sunday, 10.27.13 @ 19:58pm


Rest in peace, "Walk on the Wild Side" from 1972 has always been one of my all-time favorite songs!

Posted by Rick Vendl II on Sunday, 10.27.13 @ 20:34pm


AS OF OCTOBER 29,2013 LOU REED IS STILL NOT IN THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME AND I AM ANGRY AND PISSED AND GENTILE-I-SIZED-FOR THE PEOPLE THAT RUN THAT ORGANIZATION SHOULD BE GASSED-FARTED ON BY GENTILES PERIODICALLY THEN STUFFED IN A GENTILE TRUNK-MEISTER-WHILE BEING CHAINED DOWN WITH A SOCK IN THEIR GENTILE MOUTHS AND FORCED TO LISTEN TO METAL MACHINE MUSIC ON VOLUME 10 IN DRAG WITH LIPSTICK!!

Posted by DAN BARCAN (SINGER-SONGWRITER-INSTRUMENTALIST-NEW JERSEY/USA#1 on Tuesday, 10.29.13 @ 19:11pm


LOU REED WAS/IS A GENIUS OF THE LYRIC WORD,VOCAL PHRASING,STYLE-ING-WORDS-FIRST WHITE RAP ARTIST TO ME-A STRAIGHT UP FIRST CLASS AND FIRST CALL OUT AND OUT STRAIGHT UP WHITE NIGGA/MEISTER-WITZ NO HOLDS W/ THE BAR-ED NO MR ED.!! IN STYLE MEETS SONG AND OVERALL SONGSMITH AND ARTISTIC VISIONARY AND CRANKY WEIRD AZZ JEW ALL WRAPPED INTO ONE-HE WAS AMAZING AND AMAZINGLY GOOD,COOL,AND ALWAYS HIP-TIMELESS IN STYLE AND SONG-JUST LIKE NEIL YOUNG,CAT STEVENS,BOB DYLAN,RAY DAVIES(OF THE KINKS,JOHNNY CASH,WARREN ZEVON,RANDY NEWMAN,SLY STONE,PATTI SMITH,IAN HUNTER,DAVID BOWIE,MUDDY WATERS,CHUCK BERRY,GRAHAM PARKER-HE HAD THAT CERTAIN EDGE THAT CANT BE DEFINED BY NORMAL THOUGHT AND BRAIN PATTERN(S)NOR NORMAL GRAVITY AKA NORMA AS I CALL IT AND...(NOT THE MOVIE GRAVITY) AND DEFINETLY ONE OF THE ALL THE GREAT SOLO ARTISTS (NOT TO MENTION THE WORLDS MOST INFLUENTAL BAND OF ALL-TIME-THE VELVET UNDERGROUND-WHICH IS FUNNY I BOUGHT VU ALBUMS BACK IN THE 1980'S OR SO AND DONT KNOW IF I ACTUALLY EVER LISTENED TO ANY OF THEM-BUT LOU REED I LISTENED TO A LOT FOR SOME WEIRD WACKY REASON-NON GENTILE TREASON-OR JUST HOURS OF MUSIC THATS ANGRILY PLEASING-LOU REED IS AND WAS EVERYTHING TO ME AND TO ALL OF YOU-WHETHER YOU KNEW IT OR NOT-THANKS AGAIN LOU REED...AND GOD BLESS LAURIE ANDERSON AND ALL OF YOUR CLOSE FREINDS CUZ TO ME THEY WERE AND ARE LIKE YOU LOU REED- ALWAYS COOL PERIOD-SINCERELY,DAN BARCAN/NEW JERSEY/USA...

Posted by DAN BARCAN (singer-songwriter-instrumentalist-new jersey/usa#1 on Tuesday, 10.29.13 @ 19:33pm


words won't do that post justice so i'll just use a pic.


Posted by GFW on Tuesday, 10.29.13 @ 19:55pm


ARTISTS INDUCTED BY LOU REED

Dion 1989
Frank Zappa 1995
Leonard Cohen 2008

Posted by Aaron O'Donnell on Wednesday, 10.30.13 @ 00:31am


Be will get in next year....mark my words. He SHOULD have been in already but better late than never.

Posted by John on Sunday, 11.10.13 @ 22:26pm


I never understood the whole fascination with Lou Reed. I find him just as annoying as Bob Dylan, U2, R.E.M and the B-52s.

Posted by Roy on Wednesday, 11.13.13 @ 07:38am


yeah, just not quite on the same level as chicago, true legends.

Posted by GFW on Wednesday, 11.13.13 @ 12:34pm


Being the recipient of Roy's disdain is a very positive endorsement. Mr. Reed was clearly doing something right.

Posted by DarinRG on Wednesday, 11.13.13 @ 17:12pm


I'm more surprised that Roy would even offer an opinion, considering his posts are usually either lists, conjecture on who will support whose induction in the Hall, or something related to Chicago.

R.I.P., Lou Reed. I just picked up a copy of Transformer from the library and am enjoying it a lot so far.

Posted by Zach on Wednesday, 11.13.13 @ 17:21pm


Lou Reed didn't actually have a singer's voice. He didn't really sing his songs, he spoke them. Plus, I don't see what ws so great about his lyrics: Wild Side, Red Joystick, et cetera... I like Leonard Cohen though. I have all his albums.

Posted by Roy on Wednesday, 11.13.13 @ 17:41pm


Zach - If you like "Transformer" I'd also recommend checking out "New York". That's my second favorite of his. It's from 1989, so he's much different sounding at that point, however.

Roy - We've got Leonard Cohen in common. He's in my top 5 most beloved artists.

Posted by DarinRG on Wednesday, 11.13.13 @ 17:53pm


Leonard Cohens alright, but the Velvets are up there with The Bealtes and Floyd in my opinion (I think i'd actually put them above both)

Posted by GFW on Wednesday, 11.13.13 @ 18:02pm


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60pnCjqCjd4

Watch The Velvet Underground perform Last Nigh I Said Goodbye To My Friend and explain to me why this doesn't suck!!

Posted by Roy on Wednesday, 11.13.13 @ 18:14pm


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60pnCjqCjd4

Watch The Velvet Underground perform Last Night I Said Goodbye To My Friend at the 1996 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and explain to me why this doesn't suck!!

Posted by Roy on Wednesday, 11.13.13 @ 18:16pm


Roy,

On a technical level you are right about Reed's vocals. Limited range, no dexterity, and a slightly off pitch tone. But when talking about Rock vocalists beauty isn't what is looked at first. It is that emotional delivery. And Reed did have that in a huge amount. What he had vocally he used expertly though. That slightly deadpan, monotonous tone. A really fantastic sense of phrasing and timing , look at something like "Perfect Day", it is almost Billie Holiday level in it's vocal arrangement. I always say Holiday is a great example for talking about vocals. She wasn't Sarah Vaughan or Ella Fitzgerald, couldn't even touch them on a technical level. But stands as the mark in history for that shift in vocals. Reed definitely came from her school of singing.

That is just a long winded way of saying Reed really stands as a large vocal figure. I would say of the "ugly" singers he would be one of the few to crack an all time 100 vocalists list (Patti Smith and Bob Dylan as well).

On a side note do you find it strange that the Velvet Underground became this iconic band? At the time it seemed every publication bashed the crap out of them for being amateur, unpolished, and simply noise. It was almost like Reed's solo career and persistence is what let the band's discography spread wings and become that influential.

Posted by Chris F. on Thursday, 11.14.13 @ 07:22am


Chris F. wrote:

Roy,

On a side note do you find it strange that the Velvet Underground became this iconic band? At the time it seemed every publication bashed the crap out of them for being amateur, unpolished, and simply noise. It was almost like Reed's solo career and persistence is what let the band's discography spread wings and become that influential.

Thursday, 11.14.13 @ 07:22am

Yes I Do!

Posted by Roy on Thursday, 11.14.13 @ 08:02am


Ah yes, perfect proof of how terrible they are, a live performance almost 30 years after their prime that's missing their lead guitarist.

One good thing about the Velvets is they never recorded something like this: www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1ykMNtzMT8

Their ballads, such as Pale Blue Eyes or I'll Be Your Mirror, were far more clever and heartfelt.

But yeah, I can't see why anyone ever came to respect the Velvets, they only laid the groundwork for almost all alternative music to follow.

I'm tempted to say that the only reason you never share your opinions is because they're terrible and uninformed. But then, such rudeness would be so unlike me, right?

Posted by GFW on Thursday, 11.14.13 @ 13:54pm


Ah yes, perfect proof of how terrible they are, a live performance almost 30 years after their prime that's missing their lead guitarist.

One good thing about the Velvets is they never recorded something like this: www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1ykMNtzMT8

Their ballads, such as Pale Blue Eyes or I'll Be Your Mirror, were far more clever and heartfelt.

But yeah, I can't see why anyone ever came to respect the Velvets, they only laid the groundwork for almost all alternative music to follow.

I'm tempted to say that the only reason you never share your opinions is because they're terrible and uninformed. But then, such rudeness would be so unlike me, right?

Posted by GFW on Thursday, 11.14.13 @ 13:54pm


"On a technical level you are right about Reed's vocals. Limited range, no dexterity, and a slightly off pitch tone. But when talking about Rock vocalists beauty isn't what is looked at first. It is that emotional delivery. And Reed did have that in a huge amount. What he had vocally he used expertly though." -Chris F.

You beat me to this, Chris. When I think on it, this trait is really what I personally gravitate to most in a male singer. As I look through my upper tier of favorite male vocalists I see Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Dr. John, Lou Reed, Bauhaus era Peter Murphy, Johnny Cash, Andrew Eldrich (the Sisters of Mercy), Serge Gainsbourg, Ian Curtis, Bob Dylan and Joe Strummer to name a few.

For the most part these are all singers who have more character than technical vocal skill (Murphy has an impressive vocal rage and technical skill, however relied much more on the character of his voice).

A voice with command, raw emotion and authority will beat out technical prowess and broad range any day for me.

Posted by DarinRG on Thursday, 11.14.13 @ 21:21pm


"I never understood the whole fascination with Lou Reed. I find him just as annoying as Bob Dylan, U2, R.E.M." -Roy

Unf*ckingbelievable.

Where to begin with that? Forget it.

Zach - Glad you are enjoying 'Tranformer.' I second the suggestion above of 'New York,' although it may be a little harder to find. 'Rock and Roll Animal' is a killer live record where Lou indulges the glam full force. I seem to recall that you enjoyed some glam.

It is no exaggeration to to say that Lou Reed was the freakin' Elvis of alternative music. If you can't see that, Roy, I don't know what to say...

Posted by Dezmond on Thursday, 11.14.13 @ 23:55pm


Oh, one other thing, Roy. If you are going to throw out Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction performances as "proof" that a band sucks, then most bands inducted so far into the Hall of Fame would suck.

Posted by Dezmond on Thursday, 11.14.13 @ 23:59pm


DarinRG,

That is a really great group of singers with limited technical skill, but really wonderful technique. Although I would argue Cash is actually a pretty gifted vocalist and that it gets ignored because he has such a low voice. People think only tenors can be great. But some of the most talented ones I have heard have been baritones. I can never really tell if Gainsbourg intentionally meant to have that off phrasing or if he listened to Billie Holiday a lot and did it intentionally.(On a side note it is strange how much alt artists seem to take from Holiday). They both somehow sing just right behind where a normal artist would do it, and deliver the lyric without sounding rushed. It is brilliant, shows really how important technique is.

I hate how people always say you can't use Nick Cave or Lou Reed as examples of great vocalists but then turn right around and put someone like Janis Joplin atop the list. Joplin had a sloppy messy delivery. I think she is one of the true greats, but because she didn't have a pretty voice and used it effectively. You don't have to have three octaves and a killer falsetto to be a good singer. You have to know how to arrange those notes to pack the most punch. To me Reed does that, and I am not really a fan of his.

I do find myself listening to Transformer every so often just to see what he is doing vocally though. So maybe somehow I became biased without meaning to. It's just on something like "Perfect Day" where so coldly delivers that lyric, but still allows it to be full of emotional intensity in the build up, I kind of find myself gobsmacked by how brilliant it is. Plus he has a little Roy Orbison going on there in the chorus. Orbison is one of the best vocalists ever, so that is a compliment. I honestly would say it is his finest vocal performance, and one of the highlights of Popular Music vocals. Up there with the true great stuff like Sinatra's "In The Wee Small Hours" or Fitzgerald's "Miss Otis Regrets". All three are kind of a class in the less is more school of singing.

Posted by Chris F. on Friday, 11.15.13 @ 17:57pm


Why isn't Laurie Anderson on here yet?

Posted by Roy on Wednesday, 02.26.14 @ 20:52pm


He will soon.

Posted by BulmaPunkRocker on Sunday, 07.6.14 @ 23:41pm


Love the man, RIP, but Metal Machine Music SUCKS!

Posted by William Tell on Sunday, 08.24.14 @ 19:29pm


Should Leonard Cohen or Laurie Anderson give the induction speech, or should it be someone from the punk scene?

Posted by Roy on Saturday, 02.28.15 @ 08:25am


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