By Georgia Plummer-Quinn
Last Tuesday (the 27th of October) marked two years since the passing of one of rock and roll’s most revered visionaries, Lou Reed. Born in Brooklyn, raised in Long Island, Lewis Allen Reed was a pioneer in rock music throughout his life, transcending genres as co-founder of The Velvet Underground and in his solo career.
After a somewhat troubled adolescence, including a period where his parents forced him to undergo electroshock therapy to ‘cure’ his bisexuality, Reed and The Velvet Underground were adopted into the New York art scene by Andy Warhol in the 1960s. During this period the highly influential The Velvet Underground and Nico record was born, however the volatility of the relationships in Warhol’s renowned ‘Factory’ led to both Lou Reed and Nico’s departures from the band in 1970.
He went on to forge a highly successful solo career, starting with his 1972 album, Transformer which was co-produced by David Bowie. Reed went on to produce a total of 16 albums and performed throughout his life until losing a battle with liver failure in 2013 at age 71.
In a figurative tipping of the hat to the dear departed, a collection of Sydney’s freshest and finest psych bands have collaborated to deliver us Reloaded, an aptly named cover album of the Velvet Underground’s 1970 Loaded.
Curated by Sydney up-and-comers Montes Jura, ten of the most talked about talent on the local psych scene have each produced their own reimaginations of a song off the seminal record, which is approaching its’ 45th birthday in November.
Burn Antares kicks the album off, with the sultry crooning of lead singer Grace Farriss in a sultry rendition of “Who Loves the Sun”. The Pinheads deliver the garage vibes in “Rock & Roll”, Bad Valley sufficiently “Cool It Down” in their mellowed cover, while Lizzy Cross & The Infinity Snake give us an extra three minutes of dizzying deliciousness in the seven minute “I Found A Reason”. The rest of the record features the sonic interpretations of Upskirts, Savador Dali Llama, Raindrop, The Grease Arrestor, Dluna and Montes Jura themselves.
The project is reminiscent of that by Castle Face Records, who in 2012 enlisted the likes of Ty Segall, The Oh Sees, Kelly Stoltz and more to produce a compilation cover album of 1967’s The Velvet Underground and Nico.
Given the renaissance of psychedelic music in Sydney of late, Reloaded is timely, and is available for free download via Bandcamp. The release will be celebrated with a launch party at The Factory Floor on Saturday, November 7, where limited edition double vinyls will be available on the night.
You can grab tickets here.
To continue the tribute, we’ve dug up a couple of Lou Reed covers caught on Moshcam cameras. Jamaican group, The Jolly Boys took on “Perfect Day” in 2012 at the Sydney Festival, while Melbournian, Paris Wells covered the timeless “Walk On The Wildside” back in 2008 at The Metro.