Lou Reed :: Street Hassle

Among the latest batch of albums seeing a digital-only reissue is Lou Reed’s 1978 full-length, Street Hassle. Granted, no one is going to arm wrestle the point that this is Reed’s finest album, but it certainly warrants a listen, and contains one absolute, bona-fide Lou Reed classic – the title-track – “Street Hassle.”

Most recently the tune resurfaced within the pop culture zeitgeist as part of Noah Baumbach’s soundtrack to his 2005 film The Squid And The Whale (which itself is a fine soundtrack). If you missed it, sample “Street Hassle” below (listen for Bruce Springsteen’s cameo vocal rap at the song’s end), along with Reed’s late ’70s re-working of the Velvets “We’re Gonna Have A Real Good Time Together.”

**Also of note, Lou Reed’s official 1972 self-titled debut is now available as a digital-only reissue. It’s an album that I have warmed to over the years, though ultimately prefer the existing Velvets alternate versions. You decide.

Lou Reed :: Street Hassle
MP3: Lou Reed :: Real Good Time Together

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10 Responses to “Lou Reed :: Street Hassle (Digital Reissue)”

  1. I can’t get enough of the Velvet Underground and Lou Reed stuff.

    Speaking of soundtracks, I’m finally going to see the Darjeeling Limited tonight. Anything coming up from AD on that soundtrack?

  2. Where can I find these digital reissues?

  3. street hassle is easily one of my fav reed tracks. talk about some wicked structure…

  4. iTunes: Lou Reed – Street Hassle
    iTunes: Lou Reed – Lou Reed (1972)

  5. When “Lou Reed” originally came out in 1971 I was put off by the production (by Richard Robinson, husband of NY Post rock writer Lisa Robinson) and puzzled by the choice of backup musicians, which included, if I remember correctly, people like Steve Howe, formerly of Yes. However the album does contain several of Lou’s best songs, particularly “Lisa Says and “I Can’t Stand It.” I didn’t even know that there were Velvet Underground versions of those songs until several years later, by which point I found it hard to separate from the solo versions, bad production notwithstanding. Anyway, it’s good to have the whole album finally available.

  6. To be a Lou Reed fan you have to take the bad with the good and you probably have to hear it all. Street Hassle has its share of both.
    (seems like the title track is Album Only so you’ll have to take the bad). Walk It And Talk It and Wild Child from the first album are essential Lou Reed rock songs. Hope they fixed the “Dolby problem”.
    Speaking of digital only releases I just read about Wilson Pickett’s Hey Jude as a digital only and then I found a CD copy the next day.
    Now that’s a great album. It’s the best Pickett I’ve ever heard.

  7. In fact, I would argue that “Street Hassle” ranks with the best Lou Reed. Of course, it was my first Lou Reed album and therefore fulfills what my friends and I call the Roger Moore Rule: It states that “You will prefer the first James Bond you ever witnessed, even if he was Roger Moore.”

    The oddest pop music moment I have ever had involved the use of the string section from “Street Hassle” as background music for a DC-area supermarket commercial. People on screen are shopping for mangoes and you’re thinking “that cunt is never gonna fuck again.”

  8. Just for the fun, check the Street Hassle cover appearing on the Simple Minds 1983 album ‘Sparkle in the rain’, not bad…

  9. I’ve always thought Street Hassle was heads and shoulders above his others. It’s brutal and tender and poetic and brilliant. Funny, the Rolling Stone Record Guide holds it in high esteem as well. So it’s not exactly an unusual belief. I suppose the chic thing nowadays is to idolize Transformer, but it can’t hold a candle to Street Hassle.

  10. These are my two favorite Lou albums. Thanks for the heads up. When I lost my copy of Street Hassle, I spent big bucks for a Japanese import. Oh well. The first album is an overlooked gem too.

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