10 essential Lou Reed albums
Lou Reed, in a 1974 performance, is remembered by fans the world over. (Gijsbert Hanekroot / Redferns)
"The Velvet Underground and Nico" (1967): No rock album of the '60s pushed more boundaries simultaneously in sound and subject matter. Abrasive and beautiful, shocking and surreal, poetic and punishing, each of its songs opened up a new way of looking at the world and in some cases initiated entire musical movements.
"White Light/White Heat" (1968): The guitars sound like cyclones invading flower-power country.
"The Velvet Underground" (1969): With John Cale gone, Reed reinvents the Velvets as a subversive folk-rock band.
"Loaded" (1970): "Sweet Jane," "Rock 'n' Roll" and a batch of should-have-been hits.
Lou Reed solo:
"Transformer" (1972): David Bowie transforms his idol into a glam-rock star, but the songs often surpass the pose.
"Berlin" (1973): In the rock-opera era, this is among the bleakest and best.
"Street Hassle" (1978): Reed's version of Martin Scorsese's "Mean Streets."
"The Bells" (1979): The title track is among Reed's greatest creations.
"The Blue Mask" (1982): Robert Quine's guitar kickstarts Reed's finest post-Velvets band.
"New York" (1989): The rocker tours the city that defined him, for better or worse.