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Lou Reed

Tribute DVD Set

Review by Gary Hill

I guess one could question the motivations and concept here. I mean, Lou Reed died and now this company is repackaging a number of their Reed related DVDs into a three disc box set as a tribute to him. When I say, “Reed related,” I mean just that. None of these are specifically Lou Reed documentaries. The closest to that is the first one that’s focused specifically on The Velvet Underground. Also, none of these are new, but rather this is a repackaging of existing documentaries. I will say, though, that I’ve never seen or reviewed the first two. I’ve included my original review of the third one here for the sake of consistency, though.

The first DVD in the set is the documentary “The Velvet Underground: Under Review – An Independent Critical Analysis.” I guess I’d recommend this as an introduction to the Velvet Underground. I mean, there is some background material, enough to clue in casual fans, but not enough for it to get tedious. Additionally, the main focus is on the music itself. That actually makes it a pretty cool introduction to the sound and influential power of the music of The Velvet Underground. The whole critical analysis concept is part of a series of DVDs that works pretty well.

So, the next DVD here is “Punk Revolution NYC: The Velvet Underground, The New York Dolls & the CBGBs Set – Part One 1966- 1974.” I’m sure there are those out there who think that punk rock started in the UK with the Sex Pistols, but the truth is, the origins date back much further and to New York City. The Velvet Underground was one of the bands involving in the formative period of what would later become punk. This documentary focuses on that whole lead up. It’s a great educational process and well worth seeing.

The final DVD in the set is “The Sacred Triangle: Bowie, Iggy & Lou, 1971-1973.” As mentioned before, I’ve already reviewed that DVD, so that review is included here:

This documentary is an intriguing one. It serves sort of like a thesis paper. The thesis is perhaps not completely articulated in a concrete fashion. Instead it’s more of a linking of the three musical powerhouses that were David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed and shows how they were intertwined and served a joint purpose in influencing the direction of music. This is accomplished through interviews, video clips and more. It really makes you think about the way musical style and trends develop. It’s an interesting ride through the early 1970s and highly recommended to anyone interested in the history of rock music.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 2 at
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