Reading Log

Music related reading over the duration of the course.

A comprehensive and well written book using many sources close to Loud Reed and from the authors’ personal experiences. I love the first Velvet Underground album and this book was of interest to me because of that.

Whilst Reed wrote complex and sometimes outrageous for the time lyrics which spoke to a lot of people I came away not liking the man I am afraid. I found he had a very complex character but the side that came out in the book was of a not so nice man. However I do believe that some of these personality traits were very much the direct result of the electroconvulsive therapy he underwent as a young man which no doubt distressed him and affected his attitude too his parents. One thing is for sure, there will never be anyone else like Lou Reed. He was way ahead of his time musically and sexually. The songs “Perfect Day” and “Sunday Morning” are favourites of mine.

Despite coming across as a man you would possibly dislike I think the author did a marvellous job providing a well balanced presentation of his life.

This mammoth tome had been sitting on my to read pile for two years and I decided that I had to start it. Sadly it was not the book I thought it would be, it concentrated more on his musical life rather than being autobiographical which was a shame. However saying that it was a fascinating read and there was a plethora of information for the die-hard fan on his writing and recording practices – very detailed indeed.

My problem with the book were the copious notes I had to refer to at the back which was exhausting as really it could possibly have been done differently, so reading chapters became quite hard work.

Overall excellent detail if you are looking for definitive information but if you a person who wants to read a story then this probably isn’t the book for you. The version I read actually only went as far as 2013 which was a shame and doesn’t cover the final years of his life. However die-hard fans will love what is covered.

Whilst familiar with New Order, I was not familiar with their story especially the early days when they were known as Joy Division and I thought it would be a great idea reading this to start. I had heard only good things about the writing of Peter Hook and I must say that I was not disappointed with this book.

I love the way “hooky” writes but I was particularly fascinated by how he described their songwriting process and the development of the band. The book also deals with the untimely death of Ian Curtis due to suicide and this is not ignored and is dealt with sympathetically and with the benefit of hindsight. The ramifications of this tragedy are dealt with in the next book which I will read at some point.

New Order have been the subject of many lawsuits over the past number of years and I do believe that the seeds of this were sewn when they became New Order.

An interesting and well written read.