New York (album)
|Studio album by Lou Reed|
|Released||January 10, 1989|
|Studio||Media Sound, Studio B, New York City|
|Lou Reed chronology|
|Singles from New York|
The album received universal critical success upon release, and is widely considered Reed's strongest solo effort since Transformer, if not ever. It is highly regarded for the strength and force of its lyrical content; Reed stated that he required simple music so that it would not distract from his frank lyrics. The single "Dirty Blvd." was a number-one hit on the newly created Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart for four weeks.
Velvet Underground drummer Moe Tucker played percussion on two tracks.
Reed's former band, the Velvet Underground, were at the peak of their cult popularity in the late 1980s, but his solo career had hit several lows during the 1980s. The widespread popularity of New York reignited his career to the extent the Velvet Underground were revived for a world tour.
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, Donald Trump, Mr. Waldheim, "the Pontiff", Jesse Jackson, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Swaggart, Louis Farrakhan, Oliver North, Richard Secord (misidentified as 'William Secord') and Morton Downey.
Reed also drew inspiration from some of his friends and fellow artists. For instance, in the song "Last Great American Whale," Reed quotes John Mellencamp, referring to him as "my painter friend Donald." Upon hearing the album, Mellencamp himself said, "Yeah, it sounds like it was produced by an eighth-grader, but I like it."
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
|The Village Voice||A−|
New York was voted the third best album of the year in The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop critics poll for 1989. In a five-star review of the 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 No. 26 in its list of "40 Best Albums of the '80s".
"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 albums of an inconsistently brilliant career." 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 No. 70 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980s".
Many critics have highlighted "Romeo Had Juliette" and "Halloween Parade" as among the best songs of Reed's career.
All tracks written by Lou Reed.
|1.||"Romeo Had Juliette"||3:09|
|5.||"There Is No Time"||3:45|
|6.||"Last Great American Whale"||3:42|
|7.||"Beginning of a Great Adventure"||4:57|
|8.||"Busload of Faith"||4:50|
|9.||"Sick of You"||3:25|
|11.||"Good Evening Mr. Waldheim"||4:35|
|12.||"Xmas in February"||2:55|
|14.||"Dime Store Mystery"||5:01|
Adapted from the New York liner notes.
- Lou Reed – lead and background vocals; guitar
- Mike Rathke – guitar
- Rob Wasserman – Clevinger electric upright six-string bass
- Fred Maher – drums on all songs except "Last Great American Whale" and "Dime Store Mystery"; Fender bass guitar on "Romeo Had Juliette" and "Busload of Faith"
- Moe Tucker – percussion on "Last Great American Whale" and "Dime Store Mystery"
- Dion DiMucci – backing vocals on "Dirty Blvd"
- Jeffrey Lesser – backing vocals
- Lou Reed – producer; mixing
- Fred Maher – producer; engineer; mixing
- Jeffrey Lesser – engineer; mixing
- Victor Deyglio – assistant engineer
- Mike Rathke – mixing
- Bob Ludwig – mastering
- Spencer Drate – art direction
- Waring Abbott – photography
- Sylvia Reed – concept art; creative director
Live Video Version
|Austrian Albums Chart||8|
|German Album Charts||19|
|Swiss Albums Chart||1|
|US Billboard 200||40|
|UK Albums Chart||14|
Sales and certifications
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||100,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||500,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
- "Pop's Angry Voices Sound the Alarm". The New York Times. 21 May 1989. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
- Albin Zak (22 December 2000). The Velvet Underground Companion: Four Decades of Commentary. Music Sales Group. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-8256-7242-2.
- Forman, Bill. "James McMurtry on Lou Reed, gun control and why Leonard Cohen must die". csindy.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
- Deming, Mark. "New York – Lou Reed". AllMusic. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
- Kot, Greg (January 12, 1992). "Lou Reed's Recordings: 25 Years Of Path-breaking Music". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
- Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.
- "Lou Reed: New York". Q. London (68): 103. May 1992.
- DeCurtis, Anthony (February 23, 1989). "New York". Rolling Stone. New York. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
- Hull, Tom (2004). "Lou Reed". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 684–85. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
- Marchese, David (November 2009). "Discography: Lou Reed". Spin. New York. 24 (11): 67. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
- Christgau, Robert (March 28, 1989). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
- "The 1989 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". The Village Voice. New York. February 27, 1990. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
- Q April 1995
- Q August 2006, issue 241
- Q January 1990
- "The 100 Best Albums of the 1980s - Feature - Slant Magazine". slantmagazine.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
- New York (CD booklet). Lou Reed. Sire Records. 1989.
- "Lou Reed - The New York Album". Discogs. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
- "Lou Reed - The New York Album". Discogs. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
- "French album certifications – Lou Reed – New York" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
- "Les Albums Or". infodisc.fr. SNEP. Archived from the original on 2011-10-18. Retrieved 2011-08-31.
- "Gold & Platinum - RIAA". riaa.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017.