In addition to his "perfect" Billboard chart history, the late-Lou Reed left a lasting legacy in Billboard magazine. Below are some excerpts culled from our archive on the ever-thoughtful, innovative and provocative rock & roll pioneer.
In 1967, "The Velvet Underground & Nico" earned a "Pop Special Merit" from Billboard Magazine.
The same year a psychedelic full-page ad for the album appeared in a Verve Folkways ad along with Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention and the Blues Project
The original Billboard review of "Transformer" in 1972.
In the Nov. 27, 1976 issue of Billboard. Lou Reed's "Evening with Lou Reed" at New York's Palladium was reviewed by Roman Kozak.
For another concert held just a few months later in December, Reed invested in some technological innovations. His stage setup involved a multi-black-and-white-video backdrop. "The sets pulse in sync with the music, make checkerboard patterns, go on the 'artistic' blink and even show 'home movies,'" writes Billboard staff. "There is no backlighting, so the audience attention is drawn to the tubes, providing a unique visual adjunct to the performance... Reed apparently is sold on the innovative use of video, and judging from the onstage effects, it's been an obvious enhancement for the current tour."
After his string of shows at the Palladium and to celebrate the release of his seventh studio album, "Rock and Roll Heart" (1976), Reed hung out with the likes of Clive Davis and Diana Ross.
In 1978 Arista Records took out a full-page ad for his album "Street Hassle."
For his fourteenth studio album, "Mistrial" (1986), Reed granted his fans rare press and radio interviews, performed on "Late Night with David Letterman," and, perhaps most surprisingly, was okay with the fact that "Walk on the Wild Side" appeared in a TV commercial for Honda scooters.
In the Jan. 27, 1996 issue of Billboard, Reed gave an interview about his album "Set the Twilight Reeling," his first album in four years (during which he went on tour, got a divorce, and reunited with the Velvet Underground for a few shows) and the first he wrote entirely on a computer.
Some choice quotes from Lou:
Reed was also a major impetus for wife and longtime collaborator Laurie Anderson's "Homeland" (2010). In a Q&A with Billboard's Evie Nagy, she reveals Reed's role in the album and talks about both of their roles as Queen Mermaid and King Neptune in the Coney Island Mermaid Parade.