Lou Reed (album)

Lou Reed is the debut solo studio album by American musician Lou Reed, released in April 1972 by RCA Records, two years after he left the Velvet Underground. It was produced by Richard Robinson and Reed and features London session musicians as Reed's backing band, two of whom, Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe, were from the British progressive rock band Yes. Wakeman recalled that during the recording sessions, "the lights had to be out so nobody could see."[4] The album was recorded in Morgan Studios, London, between December 1971 and January 1972.

Lou Reed
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 1972
RecordedDecember 1971 – January 1972
StudioMorgan, Willesden, London
  • Richard Robinson
  • Lou Reed
Lou Reed chronology
Lou Reed
Professional ratings
Review scores
Chicago Tribune[2]
Christgau's Record GuideB+[3]

With increasing interest in the Velvet Underground, Reed's debut album was highly anticipated, but was a commercial and critical disappointment, reaching only No. 189 on the Billboard 200. It comprises eight new recordings of then-unreleased Velvet Underground songs, and two new songs, "Going Down" and "Berlin" (the latter was re-recorded by Reed as the title track for his 1973 album Berlin).

Track listing

All tracks are written and arranged by Lou Reed, except where noted.

Side one
  1. "I Can't Stand It" – 2:37
  2. "Going Down" – 2:57
  3. "Walk and Talk It" – 3:40
  4. "Lisa Says" – 5:34
  5. "Berlin" – 5:16
Side two
  1. "I Love You" – 2:21
  2. "Wild Child" – 4:41
  3. "Love Makes You Feel" – 3:13
  4. "Ride into the Sun" (Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, Maureen Tucker) – 3:16
  5. "Ocean" – 5:06


Eight tracks from Lou Reed were, at one point, originally performed by The Velvet Underground. These recordings have been released on various compilations and live albums, which have been catalogued below.

Title Original Velvet Underground release Notes
"I Can't Stand It" 1969: The Velvet Underground Live, VU Additional verse on Lou Reed version.
"Walk and Talk It" Peel Slowly and See, Loaded (Fully Loaded Edition) Different lyrics and added musical sections on Lou Reed version. The Velvet Underground version is titled "Walk and Talk".
"Lisa Says" 1969, VU Extended version with different lyrics on Lou Reed version.
"I Love You" Peel Slowly and See, Loaded (Fully Loaded Edition) ---
"Wild Child" --- No Velvet Underground recording has surfaced yet, but the song is known to have been played live in 1970.[5] However, the song was performed by Lou Reed and John Cale at the Bataclan 1972 concert in Paris with Nico, and can be heard on the Velvet Underground bootleg Ultra Rare Tracks Vol. 2, which features Lou Reed playing the song with an acoustic guitar into a tape recorder.

The bridge melody was later reused for the bridge in Lou Reed's song "Hangin' 'Round" on Transformer.

"Love Makes You Feel" Loaded (Fully Loaded Edition) The Velvet Underground version is titled "Love Makes You Feel Ten Foot Tall".
"Ride into the Sun" Another View, What Goes On, Loaded (Fully Loaded Edition), Bootleg Series Volume 1: The Quine Tapes Lou Reed version is similar to the versions found on Loaded (Fully Loaded Edition) and The Quine Tapes. Earlier versions of the song can be found on Another View and What Goes On.
"Ocean" 1969, VU, Loaded (Fully Loaded Edition) The version on Lou Reed is closest to the version found on Loaded (Fully Loaded Edition).


On the album's tour, which lasted two legs between July 8th and November 2nd 1972,[6][7] Reed was backed by The Tots. The Tots featured no shared personnel with the album and consisted of Vinny Laporta and Eddie Reynolds on guitar, Bobby Resigno on bass, and Scottie Clark on drums. This backing group would also play on the Transformer tour[8] and perform on the American Poet album.

Date Venue Notes
First Leg
July 8th 1972 Festival Hall, London, England Guest spot with David Bowie
July 14th 1972 Scala Cinema, King's Cross, London, England
July 27th 1972 Polytechnic, Manchester, England
July 28th 1972 Scala Cinema, King's Cross, London, England
July 29th 1972 Friar's Club, Aylesbury, England
July 30th 1972 The Greyhound, Croydon, England
Second Leg
September 29th 1972 Edmonton Sundown, London, England
September 30th 1972 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
October 6th 1972 St. Andrew's University, Scotland
October 7th 1972 Glasgow University, Glasgow, Scotland
October 13th 1972 Cambridge University, Cambridge, England
October 14th 1972 Leicester University, Leicester, England
October 19th 1972 University Stadium, Liverpool, England
October 20th 1972 Essex University, Essex, England
October 21st 1972 Imperial College, London, England
October 22nd 1972 HardRock Concert Theatre, Manchester, England
October 25th 1972 Oxford Polytechnic, Oxford, England
October 26th 1972 Alhambra Rock Theatre, Birmingham, England
October 27th 1972 Leeds Polytechnic, Leeds, England
October 28th 1972 Kingston Polytechnic, Kingston, England
October 29th 1972 Southampton Guildhall, Southampton, England
October 30th 1972 Friar's Club, Civic Hall, Dunstable, England
November 1st 1972 Mile End Sundown, London, England
November 2nd 1972 Pheasantry Club, London, England


Credits are adapted from the Lou Reed liner notes.[9]



  1. AllMusic review
  2. Kot, Greg (January 12, 1992). "Lou Reed's Recordings: 25 Years of Path-breaking Music". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  3. Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: R". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 10, 2019 via robertchristgau.com.
  4. Sweetman, Simon. "The Rick Wakeman Interview". Stuff. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  5. Olivier Landemaine. "Live performances and rehearsals: 1970" at The Velvet Underground Web Page: Electricity Comes from Other PlaNETs website link
  6. "Lou Reed - Live & Alive 1970". loureed.es. Retrieved 2021-06-20.
  7. "Lou Reed - Live & Alive 1972". loureed.es. Retrieved 2021-06-20.
  8. "Lou Reed Backing Bands". loureed.es. Retrieved 2021-06-20.
  9. Lou Reed (CD booklet). Lou Reed. RCA Records. 1972.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)