Everything I’ve had but couldn’t keep

Lou Reed (1942-2013) Well, dammit.

Lou Reed (right) with Vaclav Havel, after the revolution.

Lou Reed, a massively influential songwriter and guitarist who helped shape nearly fifty years of rock music, died today on Long Island. …

With the Velvet Underground in the late Sixties, Reed fused street-level urgency with elements of European avant-garde music, marrying beauty and noise, while bringing a whole new lyrical honesty to rock & roll poetry. As a restlessly inventive solo artist, from the Seventies into the 2010s, he was chameleonic, thorny and unpredictable, challenging his fans at every turn. Glam, punk and alternative rock are all unthinkable without his revelatory example. “One chord is fine,” he once said, alluding to his bare-bones guitar style. “Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you’re into jazz.”

Here’s “Satellite of Love“:

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And “Femme Fatale“:

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And “Sweet Jane“:

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And “Sweet Jane” from the Cowboy Junkies:

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And “Pale Blue Eyes” from R.E.M.:

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Liberation and apocalypse in a country song
Count your ribs and say your prayers and go to sleep
Just watching myself in some play
(I can't) Escape (The Pina Colada Song)