Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Robert Quine with Lou Reed

Quine was a long-time Velvet Underground fan and disciple. He attended many shows, often taping them; recently, the highlights from these tapes were issued as The VU Bootleg Series Vol.1: The Quine Tapes (read Robert's own liner notes here). So, when in the early 80s Lou Reed invited him to collaborate, Quine jumped on the chance. This was a difficult time for Lou Reed, who was struggling with personal problems and with artistic direction after several disappointing albums in the late 70s. The first album with Quine, The Blue Mask, proved to be a smash comeback for Lou Reed. It featured great songwriting, direct and personal, free from the Transformer-era glam posing. More importantly, the album was excellent musically: Quine understood and loved Lou's music and was able to provide sensitive and selfless backing to the frontman and to contribute inspired, searing solos. Reed was apprehensive about his own guitar abilities and preferred to stick to strumming-and-singing on his 70s albums; Quine encouraged Reed to play lead more, to some great results. The record is mixed with Lou Reed and Quine in separate channels, so you can really appreciate the interplay.

Lou Reed - Blue Mask
megaupload or mediafire
1. My House
2. Women
3. Underneath The Bottle
4. The Gun
5. The Blue Mask
6. Average Guy
7. The Heroine
8. Waves Of Fear
9. The Day John Kennedy Died
10. Heavenly Arms
Also available here.

In 1983 The Blue Mask was followed by a European tour that gave us a great live record, with Reed and Quine in excellent form throughout, and a fine cross-section of songs from Reed's career.

Lou Reed Live In Italy
On rapidshare by El Monito Records blog.
1. Sweet Jane
2. I'm Waiting For My Man
3. Martial Law
4. Satellite Of Love
5. Kill Your Sons
6. Betrayed
7. Sally Can't Dance
8. Waves Of Fear
9. Average Guy
10. White Light/White Heat
11. Some Kinda Love/Sister Ray
12. Walk On The Wild Side
13. Heroin
14. Rock And Roll

Unfortunately, during the tour Lou Reed started to see Quine as a threat to his bandleader/frontman position, as more and more guitar heads came just to hear Quine play. The next album, Legendary Hearts, proved to be their last - Quine was extremely unhappy with the final mix; he felt that Reed mixed out his guitar parts. Thus the very fruitful, but short-lived Reed-Quine alliance ended.

There is a full Lou Reed retrospective over at http://kar4agin.blogspot.com/.


  1. Link is dead. I was looking forward to revisiting this. I used to have it on vinyl. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for the link.

    I saw this version of Lou Reed and band (with Quine) in Fredonia, NY around this time. They were fantastic.