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Rock and Roll Heart

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iTunes Review

Rock and Roll Heart is an unusually upbeat collection for a man as dark as Lou Reed. The spirited performances and faster tempos spotlight Michael Fonfara's striking keyboard work and let saxophonist Marty Fogel and drummer Michael Suchorksy kick into high gear. "A Sheltered Life"—an early obscure Velvet Underground tune that appeared in demo form on Peel Slowly and See—here is a quirky nightclub tune. "Follow the Leader" also dates back to the Velvet days (and appeared in a 17-minute version on Bootleg Series Vol. 1—The Quine Tapes); its antsy rhythm drives the nervous intensity. The title track is an underrated gem, much in line with "Coney Island Baby." "Ladies Pay," the instrumental "Chooser and the Chosen One," and "Temporary Thing" are closer to Reed's usual measured artful visions, while "Senselessly Cruel" and "Banging on My Drum" are quick, to-the-point rockers that prove Reed can still crank out simple, unadorned rock 'n' roll when the occasion arises. 

Customer Reviews


it will take a few listens, but this is one of the best lou reed albums. one of the best 70s albums. just amazing track for track.

I Believe in Lou

Lou Reed is a legend. This album was a watershed to me and sounds new on every listen. This is a classic rock and roll masterpiece. Thank you Lou!

Can't Get Enough

A pretty easily accessible Lou Reed album in my opinion, and probably not a bad place for new fans to start. Track for track, one of my all-time favorites. There really aren't any weak links here…a ton of emotional range from the tragic "Wear it so Well" or "Ladies Pay" to the upbeat "Banging on my Drum." A must have for fans of Lou.


Born: March 2, 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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