Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh
chris_walsh

Random Lou Reed Observation (that's a title I've NEVER written before)

The radio just played "Walk on the Wild Side" from Lou Reed's Transformer. And I reminded myself as I spoke along to the lyrics (as you can't quite sing along to them) that, in some strange way, I've never thought Lou Reed sounded like Lou Reed should sound.

You see, I look at that guy's face and keep expecting a deeper, gruffer voice to come out of it...something like Anthony Bourdain's, I've decided. I know it's a voice Laurie Anderson finds attractive (gee, am I gonna get in trouble for Wikipedia abuse?), and I'm not saying I don't like it; I'm saying I keep being surprised by it. His voice is close to being soft, but never gets lost amongst the instruments, even (if I remember correctly) the New Orleans jazz band on Transformer's last track; his voice is almost nasal, but not quite; there's not (to my ear) the greatest range of notes, but he can still pull off a rather sweeping song like "Perfect Day."

No big revelation here. I'm mainly pondering (and probably making my more musically literate readers cringe at my spotty knowledge). More ponderings:

* Is it kind of a blown take when, in "Walk on the Wild Side," Reed gets delayed and has to catch up when first singing "And the colored girls go 'Do, do, deh-do, do-do-do do, deh-do, deh-do..."? Or was he slowing down and catching up deliberately? (I can imagine David Bowie saying "Do it, it'll work, love" while Reed's in the booth...)

* Do any stations still play "Walk on the Wild Side" unedited? I think KINK 101.9 FM has. I find it amusing that the more hard-driving station 94.7 Alternative Portland plays it edited; of course, I find it more amusing that it slipped past a lot of ears unedited back in the '70s.
Tags: music, radio
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