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A Lou Reed Poll

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Marial, Oct 31, 2013.

Lou Reed Influential?

Poll closed Nov 3, 2013.
  1. Massively influential

  2. Only influential within certain genres

  3. Not influential at all

  4. Lou wouldn't care so why should I?

  1. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    So... I've been having a debate with a few folks on a Moto Guzzi forum I'm on. I happen to think Lou Reed was a massively influential musician. I think this not because he was a technician who enlarged the boundaries of his given instrument, but more because of his limitations. As others have written in recent days far better than I ever will, his work connected basic rock and roll with avant guard, noise, the art world, and the street. Though Eno didn't actually say it, the bit about only a thousand people buying the Velvet's first record when it came but them all starting bands seems pretty spot on to me.

    What do you think? I know he's not everyone's cup of tea, and when he wasn't good he was flat awful, but without conflating one's personal taste and Reed's actual influence, what do you think?
  2. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Definitely an influential figure. I'd say that's just a fact.
  3. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    His music and his work with Velvet Underground were a huge influence on me, personally.
  4. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I think I appreciate his followers who refined his sound better than his direct contributions.
  5. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    I think he massively influenced many musicians and those influenced by them may not really know or understand that they owe a debt to Lou. R.I.P.
  6. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I just know that one song, so not influential at all to me.

  7. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Probably one of the most influential artists of all time. Lou changed the world!
  8. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Well stated, +1.
  9. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    That's kind of my take, and what I'm running into are folks who A: think he wasn't a very good musician (from a technical standpoint I'd agree), and B: can't imagine him being influential because they don't care for his music.
  10. I ticked the influential within certain genres box. Mostly because his influence is really centered on alternative/punk/indie rock... Maybe prog too. It probably spans a few other genres, but the bulk of it is pointed at those three styles. I think musicians that have heard him are at least somewhat influenced whether he was a big part of their listening or merely passing. He just has his own, unique style that I think everyone can draw a bit from in their writing.
  11. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    He had a knack for integrating the melody, lyrics included, into the texture of the tune. Like a painter his voice was another stroke on the canvas.

    I know his work, was around back in his productive years, but, I am impressed with the number of people who I consider to be music-o-philes who know and love his work.

    Agree with previous post that it is more influential in a few genres, but he was the real deal, IMO.
  12. lundborg


    Apr 8, 2008
    Lou Reed enlarged the boundaries of music.
  13. 48thStreetCustom


    Nov 30, 2005
    Not like I have anything against him, but his music never influenced me. I never found his music to be very rhythmic, melodic or syncopated
  14. GrumpiusMaximus

    GrumpiusMaximus I've Seen Things You People Wouldn't Believe

    Mar 11, 2013
    Kent, United Kingdom
    'Metal Machine Music' was an album that hit me personally. Since I heard it (and the subsequent 'Noise' genres) I've been practising noise (when not playing 'regular' music) to the point of it being most of my University degree. I did installations and all the fun stuff.

    You take the idea of noise and you end up with (in the mainstream) a large portion of most electronic music. Combine Eno, Lou Reed and Kraftwerk and you have almost all electronic music (and you can go back to Stockhausen, Cage, Xenakis, Pierre Schaeffer for their influences). In the grand scheme of things, Lou Reed has been enormously influential - but it's 'hidden' influence, mainly.
  15. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    I've always had the impression that most people who said they liked him said so because they thought they would be deemed uncool if they said they didn't. I'm not denying he had a lot of big fans, but I sincerely believe the majority were fake fans, the ones I've run into personally, that is. The "it's cool to like Lou, so I'll say I like Lou and therefore I'm cool" thing.

    As far as being a BIG influence? I don't think so.
  16. bobba66


    May 18, 2006
    Arlington, Texas
    Heard a live version of Sweet Jane with Prakesh John on bass. That was influential.
  17. Rickengeezer


    Feb 25, 2005
    Central Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Steve Clayton Accessories
    Punk certainly---prog, certainly not. Lou Reed was the antithesis of prog....the critics like Lester Bangs idolized LR and hated prog. As a progger, I myself wasn't a LR fan.
  18. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I think you get that with some other artists as well. Johnny Cash falls into that category. How many hipsters in this world have never listened to a country record, but they claim they love Cash? After George Jones died, it all of the sudden became hip to say that you were a big Jones fan too.

    Reed was definitely influential, particularly in alternative and post-punk circles. You can hear the Underground's influence all over Sonic Youth, Sleater-Kinney, the White Stripes, and the Talking Heads' stuff (although I don't know if any of those bands ever explicitly named Reed or the Underground as influences). I don't know if Reed or The Velvet Underground's influence is that widespread, though.

    To me, the Velvet Underground always seemed to be sort of the bizzaro version of The Beatles. They weren't as talented of instrumentalists or vocalists as the Fab Four, but they made up for that with a lot of experimentation and a gritty reality to their music. They were writing songs that would have been considered pretty edgy for the time period, but I think it worked because it wasn't burdened with some sort of pretentious self-consciousness. That is, they were never like, "Ooooh, look at us playing songs about transvestites and shooting heroin. Aren't we hip and edgy!" Of course, being associated with Warhol is always going to elevate your notoriety too.

    With that said, Reed sometimes gets categorically placed with Tom Waits, and I'll be honest: To this day, I just don't "get" Waits.
  19. 48thStreetCustom


    Nov 30, 2005
    See I would say the exact opposite. IMO the VU dressed in all black and acted like snooty, heavy, edgy artists who took them selves very seriously. Where as the early Mothers of Invention were more creative, freeform, anything goes, humorous, Dada.

    Zappa and the Mothers were the Marry Pranksters to the VU's Tim Leary
  20. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    I never liked him and never understood the attraction to him or his music. I feel this way about several musicians who some people consider to be influential or legends. Having said that, I can appreciate the fact that there are people who like what he did. It just wasn't for me.

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