New York (album)
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|Studio album by Lou Reed|
|Released||January 10, 1989|
Media Sound, Studio B, New York City
|Lou Reed chronology|
New York is the fifteenth solo album by Lou Reed. It was received very warmly as a return to the style of The Velvet Underground - founded by Reed in the 1960s. Velvet drummer Maureen Tucker played on the album.
"Dirty Blvd." was a #1 hit on the newly created Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart for four weeks.
Background and lyrics 
Reed's straightforward, rock and roll sound on this album was unusual for the time and along with other releases such as Graham Parker's The Mona Lisa's Sister presaged a back-to-basics turn in mainstream rock music. On the other hand, the lyrics through the 14 songs are profuse and carefully woven, making New York Reed's most overtly conceptual album since the early 1970s. His polemical liner notes direct the listener to hear the 57-minute album in one sitting, "as though it were a book or a movie." The lyrics vent anger at many public figures in the news at the time. Reed mentions by name the Virgin Mary, the NRA, Rudy Giuliani, "the President", the "Statue of Bigotry", Buddha, Mike Tyson, Bernard Goetz, Mr. Waldheim, "the Pontiff", Jesse Jackson, Hendrix, Swaggart, and Morton Downey.
Track listing 
All tracks written by Lou Reed except as indicated.
- "Romeo Had Juliette" – 3:09
- "Halloween Parade" – 3:33
- "Dirty Blvd." – 3:29
- "Endless Cycle" – 4:01
- "There Is No Time" – 3:45
- "Last Great American Whale" – 3:42
- "Beginning of a Great Adventure" (Reed, Mike Rathke) – 4:57
- "Busload of Faith" – 4:50
- "Sick of You" – 3:25
- "Hold On" – 3:24
- "Good Evening Mr. Waldheim" – 4:35
- "Xmas in February" – 2:55
- "Strawman" – 5:54
- "Dime Store Mystery" – 5:01
"An album which, in terms of descriptive lyrics, may easily be his best to date," suggested Fred Dellar in a top-rated A*:1* review for Hi-Fi News & Record Review. "In some ways it's a small record, merely dialogue set out over the background of two relatively unobtrusive guitars plus bass and drums. But what a dialogue, what a delivery and what a range of targets."
"Whether or not you buy Reed's line about New York being a single integrated experience 'like a book or a movie'," remarked Q in its end-of-year round-up, "this is indisputably one of the landmark album of an inconsistently brilliant career." In a five-star review of a subsequent reissue, Q's Bill Prince noted that it "signalled the beginning of the defrosting of Reed's Velvet Underground past that has so far marked out his '90s.". In 2006, Q placed New York at #26 in its list of "40 Best Albums of the '80s".
In 1989, Rolling Stone ranked it the 19th best album of the 1980s. Mark Deming wrote in his allmusic.com review that "New York is a masterpiece of literate, adult rock & roll, and the finest album of Reed's solo career." In 2012, Slant Magazine listed it at #70 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980s".
|1989||UK Albums Chart||14|
- Lou Reed – vocals, guitar, background vocals
Additional musicians 
- Mike Rathke – guitar
- Rob Wasserman – Clevinger electric upright six-string bass
- Fred Maher – drums, Fender bass
- Maureen Tucker – percussion
- Jeffrey Lesser – background vocals
- Dion DiMucci – background vocals