Dirty Blvd.: The Life and Music of Lou Reed

12 CDs. 14:53 hrs. Tantor. 2015. ISBN 9781494516512. $39.99. 2 MP3-CDs. MUSIC
Music journalist Levy provides an exhaustive and engaging overview of the life and career of enigmatic and notoriously curmudgeonly rock musician Lou Reed (1942–2013), best known for helming highly influential cult band the Velvet Underground (VU). Levy digs deep into Reed's difficult youth; the rise, fall, and brief early 1990s reemergence of VU; his long and polarizing solo career; and his personal and professional relationships with former bandmates and fellow pop culture giants such as Andy Warhol and David Bowie. The book also delves into the often-fascinating and sometimes-surprising stories behind iconic songs such as "Sweet Jane," "Heroin," and "Walk on the Wild Side," offering welcome insight into what inspired a fearless and uncompromising artist who in turn influenced countless future punks and indie rockers. Levy's research and analysis clearly illuminate the connections between Reed's life and his powerful and poetic songs. Tom Perkins's smooth, clear narration does a good job of holding listeners' interest.
VERDICT Musicians and fans will find much to savor in this comprehensive and fascinating biography of a true music legend. ["As close to a must-read book on Reed as one can get": LJ 9/15/15 review of the Chicago Review hc.]
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