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Legendary Hearts

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Coming after the momentous Blue Mask, Legendary Hearts is a subdued affair, with Reed mixing guitarist Robert Quine down in the mix and keeping things to a modest rock 'n' roll quartet. (Bassist Fernando Saunders and drummer Fred Maher nail down the rhythm section.) Only Saunders is allowed to color outside the lines with his fluid, lyrical bass lines. Dedicated to Reed's then-wife Sylvia, the album is considerably influenced by Reed's work in analysis, though "Betrayed" hardly bodes well for the marriage. Sober-minded, Reed takes a look at life with precision. There's a glum futility to "Make Up Mind" and a biting cynicism to the grind of "Don't Talk to Me About Work." "The Last Shot" and "Bottoming Out" represent a bare lyricism and a deliberately flat band approach that became Reed's signature sound for many years, as he opened up about his personal demons in a way that few songwriters ever come near. 


Born: 02 March 1942 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The career of Lou Reed defied capsule summarization. Like David Bowie (whom Reed directly inspired in many ways), he made over his image many times, mutating from theatrical glam rocker to strung-out junkie to avant-garde noiseman to straight rock & roller to your average guy. Few would deny Reed's immense importance and considerable achievements. As has often been written, he expanded the vocabulary of rock & roll lyrics into the previously forbidden territory of kinky sex, drug use (and abuse),...
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