Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 91
Mon April 9, 2012
Coney Island Baby
“♫ Awe/ but remember that the city is a funny place/ something like a circus or a sewer […] ♫”
Lou told Victor Brockris, for his Transformer bio, about 1976’s Coney Island Baby—
“I mastered the art of recording known as ‘capture the spontaneous moment. Coney Island Baby is like that […] they’re great fucking songs. They’re not what people think of archetypal Lou Reed songs but […] you go in the studio with zero, write on the spot, and make the lyric up […] that’s it. [That’s] what I want to get my records […] is that moment.”
On the title cut, “Coney Island Baby, “Lou Reed, once again, captures that moment naturally— as the voice of NYC. Bono said of Lou Reed— “[…] he is to New York what James Joyce is to Dublin.” There are instances of Reed’s youthful enthusiasm singing about “♫ the glory of love ♫” that make Coney Island Baby a NYC lyrical version of Dubliners narrated and sung by Sweet Lou himself.
You can hear that rawness in this louder more riff centric alternate version of “Coney Island Baby.” Even Joyce would approve of this feedback layered, very V.U. inspired version. The infamous fifth member of The Velvet Underground Doug Yule plays wicked guitar, making this a quasi-V.U. reunion on Coney Island Baby.
I saved you my favorite version of “Coney Island Baby” for last. This one, recorded live at ‘97’s Meltdown Festival, has Lou waxing reflective on this seasoned rendition with Reed laying down some killer riffs from A Perfect Night in London.
More Lou Reed:From Coney Island Baby, My post on “Crazy Feeling” is here.