LOU REED - "SO IN LOVE" CS
The Velvet Underground’s final masterpiece ‘Loaded’ was as much a reference to the drugs the band liked to indulge in as much as it was a reference to its beginnings.
After their third self-titled effort got them dropped from MGM, they signed with Atlantic’s subsidiary Cotillion who demanded an ‘album loaded with hits’ and warned their career was over if they failed to hit the charts. With no other option Lou Reed rose to the challenge determined to conquer the good old U.S of A.
During the sessions Doug Yule’s increased presence, Cotillion’s editing of tracks, production disputes and the substitution of Maureen Tucker with Yule’s brother Billy led to Lou Reed’s departure from the VU in August 1970 three months before its release.
Despite being well received by critics, ‘Loaded’ was another commercial flop - too straightforward rock and roll for the small cult following devoted to the bands early works and out of step with an American youth culture hung up on the Summer of Love.
Reed reportedly suffered a breakdown after his final days in the VU, returned to his parents house in Long Island to work as a typist for his father’s accounting firm and spent a long two years contemplating whether to pack it in altogether which brings us to this incredible document.
These are the first known recordings of a post Velvet Underground Lou Reed.
Details of this tapes origins or how it made its way into the public domain are scarce but these solo acoustic demos are believed to be recorded over the autumn and winter of 1970 on a personal tape recorder in either his bedroom at Long Island or Richard and Lisa Robinson’s apartment - a rock-groupie journalist couple who would let Reed crash at their apartment in the city in exchange for a performance they could record.
Comprised of lost VU tracks that wouldn’t see proper release until the mid 80’s as well as demos of works in progress that would surface on his next four solo LPs (‘Lou Reed’, ’Transformer’, ‘Berlin’ and ‘Sally Can’t Dance’), ‘So In Love’ is rare insight into a future icons working process.
Shining through the constant tape hiss and distortion is an absolute masterclass in song-writing and rhythm guitar from an artist at the top of their game and a career on the rocks. Perhaps one of its biggest revelations is just how much incredible material he had up his sleeve at this point in time.
Highlights include lost VU era tracks ‘I Can’t Stand It’, ‘Walk It and Talk It’ as well as future solo career classics ‘Lisa Says’, ‘Kill Your Sons’,’Looking Through the Eyes of Hate (Oh Jim)’ and title track ’So In Love’ - a song that only appears on this release but stands up there with some of his greatest work.
The performances sway from tentative and vulnerable to fearless and back again with an untouchable level of swagger amidst uncertainty - the fidelity and noise creating an almost hypnotic level of ambience and making this a Lou Reed document like no other.
This is the beginning of Reed’s great American novel.
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