Yesterday we mourned the loss of a true original, the prototypical New York rockstar, the godfather of punk: Mr. Lou Reed. The man may be gone, but his music lives on, both in his records -and other people’s, too!
Artists from across the musical spectrum of sampled Reed’s work in their own tracks, borrowing (but never bettering) his swag, style and groove. Read on to check out the ten best ways that folks have paid audio tribute to one of rock’s great ones. Crank up your volume and read on! And don’t forget to catch an airing of Berlin, the live concert film featuring a performance of Lou’s infamous 1973 rock-opera. That’s coming at ‘cha this Friday at 8 PM on VH1 Classic!
10. “Wildside” by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch (1991)
The first on this list, and the first in a long line of tracks to bite the laid back harmonic bass-line to Reed’s most famous solo song, 1972’s “Walk On The Wild Side.” We have to say, Mark Wahlberg does an admirable approximation of Lou’s sleepy pre-rap style, and the updated lyrics emulate his tales urban struggle. In essence, it’s the Boston-style sequel to Lou Reed’s ode to NYC’s gritty underbelly. And like most sequels, it doesn’t live up to the original.
9. “Ballantains” by Violadores Del Verso (2001)
Hailing from Spain, these “verse rapers” (as their name translates) use the Reed sample sparingly, dropping the iconic bass-line from “Walk On The Wild Side” for just a few beats on the bridge. It’s a nice little cherry on top of this aggressive cut, which also seems to heavily sample a man belching. Or is it vomiting? Either way, we feel like ol’ Lou would approve.