Magic and Loss
|Magic and Loss|
|Studio album by Lou Reed|
|Released||January 14, 1992|
|Recorded||April 1 - April 27, 1991 at The Magic Shop, New York|
|Producer||Lou Reed and Mike Rathke|
|Lou Reed chronology|
Magic and Loss was inspired in part by the illnesses and eventual deaths of two close friends: songwriter Doc Pomus, who had given Reed his start in the music business some 25 years earlier, and a woman Reed identifies as "Rita" — popularly assumed to be Rotten Rita, who along with Reed was a familiar figure at Andy Warhol's Factory in the mid-to-late '60s. Photos of Pomus and a woman's face can be seen at the center of the lyric booklet included with the CD release.
Jazz singer Little Jimmy Scott performs the backing vocal on track 3, "Power and Glory". Reed's live performance of the album filmed on March 18, 1992 at Pinewood Studios in London was released on VHS and LD.
The single "What's Good"/"The Room", released in March, was Reed's second #1 hit (after "Dirty Blvd.") on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, occupying the top spot for three weeks. (The 12" version contained Reed's reading of "Harry's Circumcision" and "A Dream".)
Magic and Loss was voted the 16th best album of the year in The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop critics poll for 1992. Robert Christgau, the poll's creator, disapproved of the voters' support of an album he felt was a "failed concept" marred by Reed's uninteresting views on death. Christgau gave it a "neither" grade in his own review, indicating an album that does not warrant repeated listening despite coherent craft and one or two highlights. In a positive review, Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune said that the album shows "a great rocker at the peak of his powers: Striking tunes, gripping lyrics, honest emotion stripped of melodrama." Piero Scaruffi wrote that "each song is about death, a theme that Reed's career has been imbued with since the very beginning. But here is not a Freud-ain death wish. Death is rather a noble, titanic battle that humans carry on from generation to generation against an overwhelming force." He gave the album six and a half out of ten, concluding that "Reed doesn't even try to find a good melody for his stories. This is "ambient" music: the music paints a mood, a gloomy mood, and then the words simply inhabit that mood."
All lyrics and music by Lou Reed unless otherwise stated.
- "Dorita - The Spirit" – 1:07
- "What's Good - The Thesis" – 3:22
- "Power and Glory - The Situation" – 4:23 (Lou Reed, Mike Rathke)
- "Magician - Internally" – 6:23
- "Sword of Damocles - Externally" – 3:42
- "Goodby Mass - In a Chapel Bodily Termination" – 4:25
- "Cremation - Ashes to Ashes" – 2:54
- "Dreamin' - Escape" – 5:07 (Reed, Rathke)
- "No Chance - Regret" – 3:15
- "Warrior King - Revenge" – 4:27
- "Harry's Circumcision - Reverie Gone Astray" – 5:28
- "Gassed and Stoked - Loss" – 4:18 (Reed, Rathke)
- "Power and Glory, Part II - Magic - Transformation" – 2:57 (Reed, Rathke)
- "Magic and Loss - The Summation" – 6:39 (Reed, Rathke)
- Lou Reed - vocals, acoustic & electric guitar
- Mike Rathke - guitar
- Rob Wasserman - bass
- Michael Blair - drums, percussion, background vocals
- Roger Moutenot - background vocals
- Little Jimmy Scott - background vocals
- Deming, Mark. Magic and Loss at AllMusic
- Kot, Greg (January 12, 1992). "Lou Reed's Recordings: 25 Years Of Path-breaking Music". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
- Christgau, Robert (2000). Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan. pp. xvi, 264. ISBN 0312245602. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
- Fricke, David (1992-01-23). "Lou Reed: Magic And Loss : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2009-04-03. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
- Scaruffi, Piero (1999). "Lou Reed". pieroscaruffi.com. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
- Christgau, Robert (March 2, 1993). "Pazz & Jop 1992: Between a Rock and a Hard Place". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved July 29, 2013.
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