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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No. 15 - "I Love You Suzanne," 1984

For the most part, in order to be on this list, you can’t just be a good song. Lou always thought of himself as a writer who happened to use rock and roll as his means of expression. So his lyrics are almost always at the forefront of his most compelling work.

Not so on "I Love You Suzanne." This is just an old-school rocker that betrays his love for '50s/’60s pop. His citing of the Contours’ 1962 "Do You Love Me" at the beginning of the leadoff track of his New Sensations album is a nod to the doo-wop and Motown that was always lingering in the back of his music.

No. 14 - "Sheltered Life," 1976

In 1975, Lou thrust a double album called Metal Machine Music on an unsuspecting public. It was a giant “FU” to his record label and the public alike. Some will deny that, and call the hour of guitar feedback revolutionary.

I don’t want to fight that battle right now. I only mention it because the backlash led Lou to release Rock and Roll Heart, a very tame, user-friendly album the following year. Rock and Roll Heart isn’t bad, but it’s not very good either. But it does have this one satirical gem, resuscitated from the Velvet years. The jazzy bass/sax/piano reveals yet another side of Lou’s musical tastes. He even stretches his voice beyond his typical deadpan.