Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
Rock's Backpages

Lou Reed: New York

Anthony DeCurtis, Rolling Stone, 23 February 1989

NEW YORK is Lou Reed's rock & roll version of The Bonfire of the Vanities. But whereas Tom Wolfe maintains an ultimately cynical distance from the urban disintegration he depicts in his novel, Reed is raging. In Reed's apocalyptic vision of the world's capital as a Boschean inferno, the city's inhabitants have been shocked into incomprehension by homelessness, poverty, AIDS, child abuse, official corruption, racial violence and drugs. At a time when the city's own newspapers routinely evoke Calcutta and Bedlam to describe the Big Apple's rotting condition, Reed's message – powered by a ferocious four-piece band – slams home with the urgency of tomorrow morning's headlines.

Total word count of piece: 952

Subscribe

Becoming a member is easy. Membership gives you access to all the thousands of articles in the library.

Click here to go to Subscribe page.

Click here for academic and other group subscriptions.

Login


Login via your library

If your local library has signed up with Rock's Backpages, please enter your card number below: