Curated by the man himself, this two-CD anthology traces Lou Reed's enduring career across several labels, from late-'60s Velvet Underground to last year's theatrical project The Raven.

Curated by the man himself, this two-CD anthology traces Lou Reed's enduring career across several labels, from late-'60s Velvet Underground to last year's theatrical project The Raven. His left-field choices spice up the mix, including a white-knuckle version of "Heroin" from the European-only Live in Italy of 1984, the hard-as-nails "Rock Minuet" from his 2000 watershed Ecstasy, and a superior alternate take of "Who Am I?" from The Raven. Sadly, New York—Reed's renaissance album of 1989—is represented only by "Dirty Blvd.," and the hit New Sensations is ignored. But the rock bard supplies laconic track-by-track commentary in the liner notes, and this set surpasses all the other Reed compilations on the market in sonic impact. BMG made a wise move by having the artist supervise the remastering from the original tapes.—BB

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print