“Street Hassle” by Lou Reed - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1978Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

Lou’s eighth album of new music in seven years was the best of his solo career since the high-watermark of 1972s “Transformer”, despite the fact that 6 of the 8 tracks were live, an unwelcome second-rate trait which usually gets my back-up. Well, kind of live, given he played bits and bobs in the studio over the top. “Gimmie Some Good Times [live]” comes on all “Sweet Jane”, and is enjoyable as ironic piss-takes go. With “Dirt [live]”, musos the world over are stroking some chin… noddin’ some head… yeah man… “Bobby Fuller Four”… I dig ‘em… I dig ‘em… The almighty “Street Hassle” has got to be the best “don’t do drugs kids” campaign I’ve ever heard… “but when someone turns that blue, it’s a universal truth, and you just know that bitch’ll never fuck again…” Ooft. The self-deprecating blues rocker “I Wanna Be Black [live]” is the weakest track here, with clumsy lyrics such as “I wanna be black like Malcolm Luther Ling and get myself shot in the spring”. Moving quickly along, “Real Good Time Together” is a look back over the shoulder to the VU song. I do quite like it - even though it’s presence somewhat cheapens the album. “Shooting Star [live]” is very Bowie… or should I say very Ziggy… The crunchy “Leave Me Alone [live]” is a misanthropic letter of despair with a good incessant bassline and an empathetic sax, and the rawness of the live environment seems to work well for the track. Lou’s pop traits are to the fore on “Wait [live]”… when all is said and done, he’s got a great Rock n Roll heart and we do have a real good time together.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:15] 7.7.png Lou Reed - Gimmie Some Good Times [live] (Lou Reed) New Wave
A2 [04:58] 7.4.png Lou Reed - Dirt [live] (Lou Reed) Proto-Punk
A3 [10:56] 10.0.png Lou Reed - Street Hassle (Lou Reed) Songwriter
B1 [02:52] 5.9.png Lou Reed - I Wanna Be Black [live] (Lou Reed) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B2 [03:19] 6.4.png Lou Reed - Real Good Time Together (Lou Reed) Blues Rock / Soul Rock
B3 [03:09] 6.2.png Lou Reed - Shooting Star [live] (Lou Reed) Rock
B4 [04:44] 7.0.png Lou Reed - Leave Me Alone [live] (Lou Reed) Blues Rock / Soul Rock
B5 [03:14] 7.1.png Lou Reed - Wait [live] (Lou Reed) Cerebral Pop

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