Listen to Joseph Arthur’s Elegiac Cover of Lou Reed’s “Walk On the Wild Side”

Feb 27th, 2014 in Music


These have been the best of times and the worst of times for our long-time favorite, Joseph Arthur. On the plus side, his most recent album, The Ballad of Boogie Christ, has received deserved critical-acclaim and his shows (including in-concert paintings) in support have received raves.  On the downside, Arthur’s friend (and yours) Lou Reed passed away in October.  After proper mourning (and mourning again), and appearing at tribute shows in honor of Reed, Arthur picked himself up and will soon release (on Vanguard) a well-conceived tribute album entitled, Lou.  The album features twelve of Reed’s best songs (including, naturally, Coney Island Baby).  Arthur produced and played all the instruments (with no drums or electricity) on the album.  You can take a listen to the first such cover below of Arthur’s beautifully elegiac, piano-framed take on the classic Walk on The Wild Side.  About the album and subject, Arthur advised Rolling Stone and writes in the album’s liner notes:  “The only way I know to give new life to something as rich with life as Lou’s songs and recordings is to go about them in a completely different way.”  “It’s odd dancing around death, odder still if the death you are dancing around is that of a legend.  You just never know what’s appropriate and what’s not, what to share and what to keep inside. There is no blueprint. I loved Lou and we were friends. The last thing I would want to do is turn his life into an opportunity, but at the same time, what better way to honor the man and his music than to celebrate it and sing it and record it?”

Based on Walk On the Wild Side alone, we can’t wait for the album, which will be released on Vanguard on May 13th.  Once again Joseph Arthur has shown his weighty worth and, in so doing, has honored the spirit of the great Lou Reed.

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