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. 13 - "Kill Your Sons," 1974

OK – now we’re talking about a more typical Lou Reed number. Oddly enough, it comes off another of his more accessible, upbeat albums – Sally Can’t Dance. But that didn’t stop Lou from writing a harrowing depiction of his experiences with electroconvulsive therapy in his late teens. Lou often wrote about his troubled childhood and this is him at his angriest, supported by howling guitar riffs and a throbbing bass line. Again – not one of his better albums, but a memorable song nonetheless.

No. 12 - "Families," 1979

After savaging his parents in "Kill Your Sons," Lou was equally capable of writing a sensitive, loving tribute to the very same people. The song is filled with regret at the inevitable separation between Lou and his parents and sister, but there is a longing there too. It is in many ways a beautiful, mature discussion of how sometimes things just don’t work out, with no one really to blame. All in a jazzy earworm pop song.

No. 11 - "Sex With Your Parents," 1996

Speaking of making up with your family...this song is not specifically about Lou’s parents. It is about the sickening hypocrisy that Lou saw in the modern conservative movement. This is the newest song on my list and it shows that even late in his career, Lou was capable of putting controversy right in your face – all to a good beat. This is largely a talking blues song that directly confronts the entire “family values” phenomenon of the 1990s. And again, it comes on an otherwise average, pleasant album.