The Bells (album)

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The Bells
Studio album by Lou Reed
Released April 1979
Recorded 1979
Studio Delta Studios, Wilster, West Germany
Genre Rock
Length 40:37
Label Arista
Producer Lou Reed
Lou Reed chronology
Live: Take No Prisoners
(1978)Live: Take No Prisoners1978
The Bells
Growing Up in Public
(1980)Growing Up in Public1980
Singles from The Bells
  1. "Disco Mystic"
    Released: 1979
  2. "City Lights"
    Released: August, 1979

The Bells is the ninth solo studio album by American musician Lou Reed, released in April 1979 by Arista Records. It is recorded in binaural sound.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars [1]
Chicago Tribune 3/4 stars[2]
Robert Christgau B+[3]

In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone, music critic Lester Bangs wrote, "With The Bells, more than in Street Hassle, perhaps even more than in his work with the Velvet Underground, Lou Reed achieves his oft-stated ambition—to become a great writer, in the literary sense."[4] In a less enthusiastic retrospective review, Select magazine wrote that "The Bells saw his music disappearing down the pan ... Even self-parody is barely achieved in these half-assed songs played by a bunch of dullards, with Lou sounding painfully uninspired."[5]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Stupid Man" Reed, Nils Lofgren 2:33
2. "Disco Mystic" Reed, Ellard Boles, Marty Fogel, Michael Fonfara, Michael Suchorsky 4:30
3. "I Want to Boogie with You" Reed, Michael Fonfara 3:55
4. "With You" Reed, Nils Lofgren 2:21
5. "Looking for Love" Reed 3:29
6. "City Lights" Reed, Nils Lofgren 3:22
7. "All Through the Night" Reed, Don Cherry 5:00
8. "Families" Reed, Ellard Boles 6:09
9. "The Bells" Reed, Marty Fogel 9:17


  • Lou Reed - vocals, electric guitar, Roland guitar synthesizer, bass synthesizer on "Families", background vocals
  • Ellard "Moose" Boles - 12-string electric guitar on "Families", bass, bass synthesizer, background vocals
  • Don Cherry - African hunting guitar, trumpet
  • Marty Fogel - ocarina, soprano & tenor saxophones, Fender Rhodes on "The Bells"
  • Michael Fonfara - electric & Fender Rhodes pianos, keyboards, Oberheim synthesizer, background vocals, Executive Producer
  • Michael Suchorsky - percussion

Horn arrangements by Lou Reed and Marty Fogel, except "With You" - horn arrangement by Don Cherry and Marty Fogel.

  • René Tinner - engineer
  • Manfred Schunke - mixing
  • Ted Jensen - mastering
  • Garry Gross - photography
  • Donn Davenport, Howard Fritzson - design and art direction


  1. ^ Deming, Mark. The Bells at AllMusic
  2. ^ Kot, Greg (January 12, 1992). "Lou Reed's Recordings: 25 Years Of Path-breaking Music". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 29, 2013. 
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (December 31, 1979). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved July 29, 2013. 
  4. ^ Bangs, Lester (June 14, 1979). "The Bells". Rolling Stone. New York. Retrieved July 29, 2013. 
  5. ^ Select, November 1992