Lou Reed's 15 greatest post-Velvet Underground songs

Lou Reed is most closely associated with his first band, the Velvet Underground, but he had an extraordinary body of solo work as well.

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If you're like me, when you think of Lou Reed, you think of his seminal band the Velvet Underground first and foremost. There's a good reason for that. The Velvet Underground is among the greatest and most influential rock bands of all time, instrumental in spawning punk, grunge, noise, metal, and a strong influence on hip hop.

You can’t scratch the surface of the majority of important rock/pop music over the last fifty years without finding a VU pedigree.

But after recently reading Anthony DeCurtis' excellent biography on Reed, I realized I needed to listen to Lou's solo work with fresh ears. Lou released twenty solo studio albums after the breakup of the Velvets, along with multiple collaborative works. There were also live albums, retrospective collections, and hybrids.

Lou Reed's body of work goes far beyond his Velvet Underground days

Two of the solo albums were largely experimental without lyrics. Though he repurposed a number of tracks he had originally written while playing with the Velvet Underground, he created far more music as a soloist than in his five years with his iconic band. And I think I may have been guilty of overlooking far too much of it.

Overlooking Lou’s solo work means overlooking a lot of other ground-breaking – and just plain kick-ass music. So here is a countdown of his 15 best solo tracks. I tried to spread the love around to a number of different albums because there is something good on almost all of them and they are all worth checking out.