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Lou Reed - The Raven

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The Raven

Lou Reed

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Edgar Allan Poe was a man who usually looked on the dark side of life, had more than a few less-than-healthy romantic and sexual obsessions, was known to dabble in dangerous drugs, and was fascinated with the possibilities of the English language, so it's no wonder why Lou Reed regards Poe as a kindred spirit. In his liner notes to the album The Raven, Reed touches on the parallels between their work when he writes, "I have reread and rewritten Poe to ask the same questions again. Who am I? Why am I drawn to do what I should not?...Why do we love what we cannot have? Why do we have a passion for exactly the wrong thing?" Reed's obsession with Poe's work found a creative outlet when visionary theatrical director Robert Wilson commissioned Reed to adapt Poe's works to music for a production called POE-Try, and The Raven collects the material Reed wrote for this project, as well as a number of dramatic interpretations of Poe's work, featuring performances by Willem Dafoe, Steve Buscemi, Elizabeth Ashley, Amanda Plummer, and others. The limited-edition two-disc version of The Raven gives a nearly equal balance to words and music; while the single-disc edition is dominated by Reed's songs, the double-disc set features a much greater number of spoken-word pieces, most of which have been filtered through Reed's imagination, with a more intense focus on sex, drugs, and conflict as a result. While the condensed version of The Raven sounds like one of the oddest and most audacious rock albums of recent memory, the complete edition feels more like a lengthy performance piece (albeit a rather unusual one), and while it lacks something in the way of a central narrative, the focus on the letter as well as the spirit of Poe's work seems a great deal clearer here. The pitch of the acting is sometimes a bit sharp (especially Dafoe, who seems to be projecting to the last row of the balcony), but the con brio performances certainly suit the tenor of the material and Poe's writing style. Musically, The Raven is all over the map, leaping from low-key acoustic pieces to full-bore, window-rattling rock & roll, with a number of stops along the way. Reed also touches more than casually on his own past as well, with new recordings of "The Bed" and "Perfect Day" added to the sequence, and for a man not known for his ability to collaborate well, The Raven is jam-packed with guest artists, including David Bowie, the Five Blind Boys of Alabama, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Ornette Coleman, and Laurie Anderson, all of whom are used to their best advantage. The mix of ingredients on The Raven is heady, and the result is more than a little bizarre, but there's no mistaking the fact that Reed's heart and soul are in this music; even the most oddball moments bleed with passion and commitment, whether he's handing the vocal mic over to Buscemi for a faux-lounge number, conjuring up brutal guitar distortion while his band wails behind him, or confronting his fears and desires with just a piano to guide him. Truth to tell, Reed hasn't sounded this committed and engaged on record since Magic and Loss over a decade before; The Raven reaches for more than it can grasp, especially in its two-hours-plus expanded edition, and is dotted with experiments that don't work and ideas that don't connect with their surroundings. But the good stuff is strong enough that anyone who cares about Lou Reed's body of work, or Edgar Allan Poe's literary legacy, ought to give it a careful listen. ~ Mark Deming

Weitere Informationen

The Raven

Lou Reed

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1
Overture
00:01:05

Steven Bernstein, Trumpet, Horns Arranger - Tony Smith, Drums - Mike Rathke, Guitar - Paul Shapiro, Tenor Saxophone - Fernando Saunders, Bass - Lou Reed, Producer, Additional Engineer, Guitar, Writer, MainArtist - Jim Monti, Additional Engineer - Tim Latham, Mixer, Recorded by - HAL WILLNER, Producer - Doug Wieselman, Tenor Saxophone - Friedrich Paravicini, Keyboards - Aaron Franz, Additional Engineer

2002 Warner Records Inc. 2002 Warner Records Inc.

2
Edgar Allan
00:03:20

Lou Reed, Producer, Writer, Performed by, MainArtist - Tim Latham, Mixer - HAL WILLNER, Producer

2002 Warner Records Inc. 2002 Warner Records Inc.

3
Call on Me (feat. Laurie Anderson)
00:02:07

Jane Scarpantoni, Conductor, String Arranger, Cello - Tony Smith, Drums - Mike Rathke, Guitar - Fernando Saunders, Bass - Lou Reed, Producer, Additional Engineer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Laurie Anderson, FeaturedArtist - Jim Monti, Additional Engineer - Tim Latham, Mixer, Recorded by - ANNA MCGARRIGLE, Background Vocals - Antoine Silverman, Violin - Kate McGarrigle, Background Vocals - Marti Sweet, Violin - HAL WILLNER, Producer - Friedrich Paravicini, Cello - Aaron Franz, Additional Engineer

2002 Warner Records Inc. 2002 Warner Records Inc.

4
The Valley of Unrest
00:02:26

Lou Reed, Producer, Writer, Recorded by, Music, MainArtist - Tim Latham, Mixer - HAL WILLNER, Producer - Elizabeth Ashley (Rowena), FeaturedArtist

2002 Warner Records Inc. 2002 Warner Records Inc.

5
A Thousand Departed Friends
00:04:58

Steven Bernstein, Trumpet, Horns Arranger - Tony Smith, Drums - Mike Rathke, Guitar - Paul Shapiro, Baritone Saxophone - Fernando Saunders, Bass - Lou Reed, Producer, Mixer, Additional Engineer, Guitar, Writer, MainArtist - Jim Monti, Additional Engineer - Tim Latham, Mixer, Recorded by - HAL WILLNER, Producer - Doug Wieselman, Baritone Saxophone - Aaron Franz, Additional Engineer

2002 Warner Records Inc. 2002 Warner Records Inc.

6
Change
00:02:18

Steven Bernstein, Trumpet, Horns Arranger - Jane Scarpantoni, Cello - Tony Smith, Drums - Mike Rathke, Guitar - Paul Shapiro, Tenor Saxophone - Fernando Saunders, Bass - Lou Reed, Producer, Additional Engineer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Bass, MainArtist - Jim Monti, Additional Engineer - Tim Latham, Mixer, Recorded by - HAL WILLNER, Producer - Doug Wieselman, Solo Saxophone - Antony, Background Vocals - Aaron Franz, Additional Engineer

2002 Warner Records Inc. 2002 Warner Records Inc.

7
The Bed
00:03:32

Tony Smith, Drums - Mike Rathke, Guitar - Fernando Saunders, Bass - Lou Reed, Producer, Mixer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Bob Ezrin, Arranger - Allan MacMillan, Arranger - Jim Monti, Additional Engineer - Tim Latham, Recorded by - HAL WILLNER, Producer, Mixer - Antony, Background Vocals - Aaron Franz, Mixer, Additional Engineer

2002 Warner Records Inc. 2002 Warner Records Inc.

8
Perfect Day (feat. Antony)
00:03:27

Lou Reed, Composer, Producer, Arranger, Additional Engineer, Writer, MainArtist - Jim Monti, Additional Engineer - Tim Latham, Mixer, Recorded by - HAL WILLNER, Producer - Friedrich Paravicini, Keyboards - Antony, FeaturedArtist - Aaron Franz, Additional Engineer

2002 Warner Records Inc. 2002 Warner Records Inc.

9
The Raven
00:06:30

Lou Reed, Producer, Additional Engineer, Writer, MainArtist - Jim Monti, Additional Engineer - Tim Latham, Mixer, Recorded by - HAL WILLNER, Producer - Friedrich Paravicini, Cello, Keyboards - Aaron Franz, Additional Engineer - Willem Dafoe (Poe), Vocals

2002 Warner Records Inc. 2002 Warner Records Inc.

10
Balloon
00:01:01

Lou Reed, Producer, Additional Engineer, Writer, MainArtist - Jim Monti, Additional Engineer - Tim Latham, Mixer, Recorded by - ANNA MCGARRIGLE, Vocals - Kate McGarrigle, Vocals - HAL WILLNER, Producer - Aaron Franz, Additional Engineer

2002 Warner Records Inc. 2002 Warner Records Inc.

11
Broadway Song
00:03:12

Steven Bernstein, Trumpet, Horns Arranger - Jane Scarpantoni, Conductor, String Arranger - Tony Smith, Drums - Mike Rathke, Guitar - Steve Buscemi, Vocals - Paul Shapiro, Additional Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone - Fernando Saunders, Bass - Lou Reed, Producer, Additional Engineer, Writer, MainArtist - Jim Monti, Additional Engineer - Tim Latham, Mixer, Recorded by - HAL WILLNER, Producer - Doug Wieselman, Baritone Saxophone - Art Baron, Trombone - Friedrich Paravicini, Piano - Aaron Franz, Additional Engineer

2002 Warner Records Inc. 2002 Warner Records Inc.

12
Blind Rage
00:03:25

Tony Smith, Drums - Mike Rathke, Guitar - Fernando Saunders, Bass - Lou Reed, Producer, Mixer, Additional Engineer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Jim Monti, Additional Engineer - Tim Latham, Mixer, Recorded by - HAL WILLNER, Producer, Mixer - Antony, Background Vocals - Aaron Franz, Mixer, Additional Engineer

2002 Warner Records Inc. 2002 Warner Records Inc.

13
Burning Embers
00:03:22

Steven Bernstein, Trumpet - Jane Scarpantoni, Cello - Tony Smith, Drums - Mike Rathke, Guitar - Fernando Saunders, Bass - Lou Reed, Producer, Additional Engineer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Jim Monti, Additional Engineer - Tim Latham, Mixer, Recorded by - Antoine Silverman, Violin - HAL WILLNER, Producer - Antony, Background Vocals - Aaron Franz, Additional Engineer

2002 Warner Records Inc. 2002 Warner Records Inc.

14
Vanishing Act
00:05:23

Jane Scarpantoni, Conductor, String Arranger - Lou Reed, Producer, Additional Engineer, Vocals, Writer, Strings, MainArtist - Jim Monti, Additional Engineer - Tim Latham, Mixer, Recorded by - HAL WILLNER, Producer - Friedrich Paravicini, Piano - Aaron Franz, Additional Engineer

2002 Warner Records Inc. 2002 Warner Records Inc.

15
Guilty (feat. Ornette Coleman)
00:04:54

Steven Bernstein, Trumpet, Horns Arranger - Tony Smith, Drums - Mike Rathke, Guitar - Paul Shapiro, Soprano Saxophone - Fernando Saunders, Guitar - Lou Reed, Producer, Mixer, Additional Engineer, Vocals, Writer, Bass, MainArtist - Jim Monti, Additional Engineer - Tim Latham, Mixer, Recorded by - Ornette Coleman, Alto Saxophone, FeaturedArtist - HAL WILLNER, Producer, Mixer - Doug Wieselman, Tenor Saxophone - Aaron Franz, Mixer, Additional Engineer

2002 Warner Records Inc. 2002 Warner Records Inc.

16
I Wanna Know (The Pit And The Pendulum) [feat. Blind Boys Of Alabama]
00:06:58

Tony Smith, Drums - Mike Rathke, Guitar - Fernando Saunders, Bass - Lou Reed, Producer, Additional Engineer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Jim Monti, Additional Engineer - Tim Latham, Mixer, Recorded by - Blind Boys Of Alabama, FeaturedArtist - HAL WILLNER, Producer - Friedrich Paravicini, Hammond Organ - Aaron Franz, Additional Engineer

2002 Warner Records Inc. 2002 Warner Records Inc.

17
Science Of The Mind
00:01:36

Lou Reed, Producer, Additional Engineer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Jim Monti, Additional Engineer - Tim Latham, Mixer, Recorded by - HAL WILLNER, Producer - Friedrich Paravicini, Piano - Antony, Background Vocals - Aaron Franz, Additional Engineer

2002 Warner Records Inc. 2002 Warner Records Inc.

18
Hop Frog (feat. David Bowie)
00:01:45

Tony Smith, Drums - Mike Rathke, Guitar - Fernando Saunders, Bass - Lou Reed, Producer, Additional Engineer, Guitar, Writer, MainArtist - Jim Monti, Additional Engineer - David Bowie, FeaturedArtist - Tim Latham, Mixer, Recorded by - HAL WILLNER, Producer - Friedrich Paravicini, Keyboards - Aaron Franz, Additional Engineer

2002 Warner Records Inc. 2002 Warner Records Inc.

19
Tripitena's Speech
00:02:19

Lou Reed, Producer, Additional Engineer, Writer, MainArtist - Jim Monti, Additional Engineer - Tim Latham, Mixer, Recorded by - HAL WILLNER, Producer - Aaron Franz, Additional Engineer - Amanda Plummer (Tripitena), Vocals

2002 Warner Records Inc. 2002 Warner Records Inc.

20
Who Am I? (Tripitena's Song)
00:04:30

Ric Wake, Producer, Arranger - Lou Reed, Arranger, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - ROB MATHES, String Arranger - Rob Eaton, Additional Engineer - Bob Cadway, Recorded by - THOMAS R. Yezzi, Mixer, Recorded by - Patrick Carroll, Drum Programmer, Bass - Russ de Salvo, Arranger, Guitar, Keyboards - Shelly Woodworth, Horn

2002 Warner Records Inc. 2002 Warner Records Inc.

21
Guardian Angel
00:06:51

Steven Bernstein, Flugelhorn, Horns Arranger - Tony Smith, Drums, Background Vocals - Mike Rathke, Guitar - Fernando Saunders, Background Vocals, Bass - Lou Reed, Producer, Mixer, Additional Engineer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Jim Monti, Additional Engineer - Tim Latham, Recorded by - ANNA MCGARRIGLE, Background Vocals - Kate McGarrigle, Background Vocals - HAL WILLNER, Producer, Mixer - Antony, Background Vocals - Aaron Franz, Mixer, Additional Engineer

2002 Warner Records Inc. 2002 Warner Records Inc.

Albumbeschreibung

Edgar Allan Poe was a man who usually looked on the dark side of life, had more than a few less-than-healthy romantic and sexual obsessions, was known to dabble in dangerous drugs, and was fascinated with the possibilities of the English language, so it's no wonder why Lou Reed regards Poe as a kindred spirit. In his liner notes to the album The Raven, Reed touches on the parallels between their work when he writes, "I have reread and rewritten Poe to ask the same questions again. Who am I? Why am I drawn to do what I should not?...Why do we love what we cannot have? Why do we have a passion for exactly the wrong thing?" Reed's obsession with Poe's work found a creative outlet when visionary theatrical director Robert Wilson commissioned Reed to adapt Poe's works to music for a production called POE-Try, and The Raven collects the material Reed wrote for this project, as well as a number of dramatic interpretations of Poe's work, featuring performances by Willem Dafoe, Steve Buscemi, Elizabeth Ashley, Amanda Plummer, and others. The limited-edition two-disc version of The Raven gives a nearly equal balance to words and music; while the single-disc edition is dominated by Reed's songs, the double-disc set features a much greater number of spoken-word pieces, most of which have been filtered through Reed's imagination, with a more intense focus on sex, drugs, and conflict as a result. While the condensed version of The Raven sounds like one of the oddest and most audacious rock albums of recent memory, the complete edition feels more like a lengthy performance piece (albeit a rather unusual one), and while it lacks something in the way of a central narrative, the focus on the letter as well as the spirit of Poe's work seems a great deal clearer here. The pitch of the acting is sometimes a bit sharp (especially Dafoe, who seems to be projecting to the last row of the balcony), but the con brio performances certainly suit the tenor of the material and Poe's writing style. Musically, The Raven is all over the map, leaping from low-key acoustic pieces to full-bore, window-rattling rock & roll, with a number of stops along the way. Reed also touches more than casually on his own past as well, with new recordings of "The Bed" and "Perfect Day" added to the sequence, and for a man not known for his ability to collaborate well, The Raven is jam-packed with guest artists, including David Bowie, the Five Blind Boys of Alabama, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Ornette Coleman, and Laurie Anderson, all of whom are used to their best advantage. The mix of ingredients on The Raven is heady, and the result is more than a little bizarre, but there's no mistaking the fact that Reed's heart and soul are in this music; even the most oddball moments bleed with passion and commitment, whether he's handing the vocal mic over to Buscemi for a faux-lounge number, conjuring up brutal guitar distortion while his band wails behind him, or confronting his fears and desires with just a piano to guide him. Truth to tell, Reed hasn't sounded this committed and engaged on record since Magic and Loss over a decade before; The Raven reaches for more than it can grasp, especially in its two-hours-plus expanded edition, and is dotted with experiments that don't work and ideas that don't connect with their surroundings. But the good stuff is strong enough that anyone who cares about Lou Reed's body of work, or Edgar Allan Poe's literary legacy, ought to give it a careful listen. ~ Mark Deming

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