Homage to Lou Reed “Sally Can’t Dance…”

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Lou Reed died October 27th, 2013 at the age of 71, in Southampton, New York.  He died of complications of a liver transplant.  An Icon of rock history, he left music a totally different place than the landscape that existed before his career began…

He was a complicated guy, to say the least.  A bisexual Polygamist, he left behind two wives (He lived with both of them up until the day he died), one of which was Laurie Anderson, the great performance artist that he married in 2009.  Laurie called him “A Prince and a Fighter.”  He had been in bad health for some time.  Life in the fast lane…

He was a founding member of The Velvet Underground.  He was a close personal friend of Andy Warhol.  Andy Painted the famous Banana that adorned the seminal LP “The Velvet Underground and Nico”.  The music of The Velvet Underground is the great head water that sprang the Indie Rock, Punk Rock, Glam Rock and even the New Wave Rock movements (Ironic ain’t it?”).  There would be no Ramones, no Talking Heads, no Weezer, No Marilyn Manson, no duel lead guitar sound, no nothing…no… nothin’…A giant has fallen and we must move on somehow…

“Sally Can’t Dance” was Lou Reed’s fourth solo album after he left The Velvet Underground.  It was the follow up LP to his masterpiece “Berlin.”  “Sally” sold more copies than any of Lou Reed’s other solo albums. It even out sold “Transformer”.  “Transformer” contained his most famous song, “Take A Walk On The Wild Side.” (His tribute song to Andy Warhol’s “Factory”).  “Wild Side” was his only top 40 hit, peaking at #16.

“Sally” peaked at #10 on the Billboard album charts.  It was recorded in March and April 1974 and released in August 1974.  Although there is not a single song on the LP a novice music listener would recognize as a hit on the radio, the album is full of songs that demonstrate exactly why Lou Reed is the legend that he is now.  This album ROCKS!!
This album was the first solo LP that Lou Reed recorded in the United States.  All of his other solo albums, up to this point in his life, were recorded in England.  This was his first solo album that Lou Reed stayed out of the production of the record.  (After it went to #10 he joked that he should be less involved in the production of his records.)  It was also the first time he had reunited with a member of The Velvet UndergroundDoug Yule plays bass on the album.  He replaced John Cale in 1968 when Cale left the Underground.

All the songs were written by Lou Reed.  Band members are as follows:  Prakash John - Bass and Background vocals; Danny Weis – Guitar, Tambourine & Background vocals; Michael Fonfara – All keyboards, including the Mellotron on “Ennui”, and background vocals; Whitey Glan – Drums; Richie Dharma – Drums on “Kill Your Sons’ & “Ennui”, Doug Yule – Bass on “Billy”; Paul Fleisher – Sax on “Billy”;Michael Wendroff & Joanne Vent – Background vocals; Horns arranged by Lew Soloff with Reed, John, Weis, Fonfara & Katz; Horn players were: David Taylor, Lou Marini, Trevor Koehler, Hon Faddis, Alan Rubin, and Alex Foster.  The Acoustic guitar on “Billy” is played by Lou Reed.  The great Harmonica on this album is played by Steve Katz.  Steve was the harmonica player for Blood, Sweat, and Tears.

Side 1

1.  Ride Sally Ride

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2.  Animal Language

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3.  Baby Face

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4.  N. Y. Stars

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Side 2

1. Kill Your Sons

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2.  Ennui

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3.  Sally Cant Dance

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4.  Billy

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About John

I taught myself how to play the piano and read music when I was 9 years old. I've been been consumed by music ever since. I majored in Piano performance in College and I still play, although not as well as when I had time to practice 4 -6 hours per day. This blog is about music. Music is the sound track of our lives. All it take is one song, one composition; and we are transported across time and space. I think it was Beethoven that said: "Music is the landscape of the soul."
This entry was posted in Life Events, Rock Music, Vinyl. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Homage to Lou Reed “Sally Can’t Dance…”

  1. Joe Norman says:

    This was a really wonderful tribute to Lou Reed. I enjoyed reading it and learned some things I didn’t know about him. I am enjoying listening to the tracks of this great album you shared too. Thanks so much!

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