Magic and Loss
|Magic and Loss|
|Studio album by Lou Reed|
|Released||January 14, 1992|
|Recorded||April 1–27, 1991 at The Magic Shop, New York|
|Producer||Lou Reed, Mike Rathke|
|Lou Reed chronology|
Magic and Loss was originally intended to be primarily about themes of magic after hearing stories about magicians in Mexico. However, when tragedy struck during the writing process, Reed expanded the album's focus to themes of loss and death as well. Inspired in part by the illnesses and eventual deaths of two close friends, Magic and Loss was written for songwriter Doc Pomus, who had given Reed his start in the music business some 25 years earlier, and a woman Reed has identified as "Rita", popularly assumed to be Rotten Rita, who along with Reed was a familiar figure at Andy Warhol's studio, the Factory, in the mid-to-late '60s. Photographs 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 Thesis", 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 of the release contained Reed's reading of "Harry's Circumcision" and "A Dream". A longer version of "What's Good" was previously released on the 1991 soundtrack album to Until the End of the World.
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."
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
- "ChartArchive - Lou Reed - Magic and loss". ChartArchive. DistantStar. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
- Johnstone, Nick (April 7, 2010). Lou Reed 'Talking'. London, United Kingdom: Omnibus Press. p. 89.
- Reed, Lou (December 9, 2008). Pass Thru Fire: The Collected Lyrics. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Da Capo Press. p. XXIII. ISBN 978-0306816307.
- "World Cafe Remembers Lou Reed". NPR. October 29, 2013. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
- Greenman, Ben (October 28, 2013). "A Clipper Ship of Lou Reed Songs". The New Yorker. Condé Nast. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
- Magic and Loss (CD Booklet). Los Angeles: Sire Records. 1992.
- "Lou Reed – La Edad de Oro (Pignon-095)". Collectors Music Reviews. October 18, 2011. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
- Molanphy, Chris (November 1, 2013). "Embrace and Repel: Lou Reed's Chart History". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
- DiGravina, Tim. "Until the End of the World - Original Soundtrack". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
- 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.
- Christgau, Robert (March 2, 1993). "Pazz & Jop 1992: Between a Rock and a Hard Place". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved July 29, 2013.