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Lewis Allan "Lou" Reed (March 2, 1942 – October 27, 2013) was an American musician, singer and songwriter. After serving as guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter of The Velvet Underground, his solo career spanned several decades.

The Velvet Underground was a commercial failure in the late 1960s, but the group gained a considerable cult following in the years since its demise and has gone on to become one of the most widely cited and influential bands of the era – hence Brian Eno's famous quote that while the Velvet Underground's debut album only sold 30,000 copies, "everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band."

After his departure from the group, Reed began a solo career in 1972. He had a hit the following year with "Walk on the Wild Side", but subsequently lacked the mainstream commercial success its chart status seemed to indicate. Reed was known for his distinctive deadpan voice, poetic lyrics and for pioneering and coining the term ostrich guitar tuning.

In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time included two albums by Reed as a solo artist, Transformer and Berlin.


  • Vocals
  • Guitar




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One of the co-founders (with John Cale) of the Velvet Underground, Lou Reed has a legion of fans of his varied solo career, including Glam, straight Noise and experimental music in with relatively straight-forward rock and R&B-influenced stuff. His first recording was a novelty single, though it quickly blossomed into the Velvet Underground. They've gotten together a few times after the breakup, but he and John Cale have had a series of fallings out, and whether or not the band will ever get back together in earnest (minus the dead Sterling Morrison) is severely doubtful.





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