Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I just couldn't take it

After The Jades single failed to him a teen star, Lou Reed finished high school and went to college at Syracuse University. After graduating in 1963, Lou Reed moved back to Long Island and spent the next year working as a staff songwriter for Pickwick Records, a label that specialized in bargain bin budget LPs. According to Reed, the writers were locked in an office and told to write “10 car songs, 10 California songs” – whatever trend Pickwick was tying to cash in on - the songwriters had to fill up the LP as quickly as possible.

There are some LPs that Reed is rumored to have been involved with. Pickwick did not usually give writers or musicians credits. I imagine that some of the writers may appreciate that. Some of the records are not very good.

But some are. Here’s a few songs from a Beatles cash-in by the Beats (I posted another one last Sunday). Beatlemaniacs hate this record and it’s understandable that they do - it’s not the Beatles. I would’ve been mad if I got this instead of MEET THE BEATLES too. But it’s not that bad if you listen to it as a British Invasion cash-in and not a Beatles rip-off record. I don’t know what Lou Reed does on here but I’m guessing that if he’s doing anything he’s playing guitar.

This twist LP was released at least twice, credited to different acts each time. Both records have the same songs in the same order. I don't know if Lou is on this at all. Maybe that's him singing in the doo-wop chorus.

When Jan & Dean became big stars, Pickwick released an LP based around the two Jan & Dean singles the label owned the rights to. Just guessing again but it’s possible that Lou is playing guitar on this LP too. There are several lines in this song that sound like something Lou Reed could've written.


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