Lou Reed – Sally Can’t Dance (Single Version) (1974)

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Sally Can’t Dance is the fourth solo album by Lou Reed. It is Reed’s highest-charting album, reaching the Top 10. It is also the first solo Lou Reed album not to feature any songs originally recorded by Reed’s earlier band, The Velvet Underground, as well as the first of Reed’s solo studio albums to be recorded in the United States (Reed’s previous three albums were all recorded in England). Aside from the title song, Sally Can’t Dance includes “NY Stars” (in which Reed pokes fun at “fourth-rate imitators” who tried to impress him by copying his style), “Kill Your Sons” (a reflection of his stay in a psychiatric hospital at his parents’ insistence, during his teen years), and “Billy,” about the fate of a schoolmate with more “normal” ambitions than he’d had. The latter track reunited Reed with erstwhile Velvet Underground bandmate Doug Yule, playing bass. More tracks featuring Yule from the album’s sessions have emerged on a recent CD re-issue of the album. The album’s tour featured Danny Weis, guitar; Micheal Fonfara, keyboards; Prakash John, bass and Pentti “Whitey” Glan, drums on the European leg. Mouse Johnson played drums on the Australian and US sections. The sound engineer for all the live shows was Robin Mayhew who had previously worked with David Bowie during his Ziggy Stardust period. While the record was a hit and elevated Reed’s status as a star, he reportedly was disappointed in its production (in which he took a largely passive role) and the treatment of the songs. Reed remarked, “It seems like the less I’m involved with a record, the bigger a hit it becomes. If I weren’t on the record at all next time around, it might go to Number One.” His record company, RCA Records, insisted on a rapid follow-up album, while his career appeared to be peaking. Tiring of the pressure put on him, and with his contract requiring RCA to release whatever record he gave them, Reed handed over the master tape of Metal Machine Music – an hour of feedback and noise, with no hope of becoming a hit.

Single version:



Album version:




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