Lou Reed’s solo work has been argued about for decades. Is 1973’s Berlin the stuff of genius or a paranoid lunatic? Is 1975’s Metal Machine Music groundbreaking or truly unlistenable? That’s up to the listener to decide, but whatever you think about Lou Reed’s solo material, you have to applaud his creative ambition.
If you can’t wrap your head around some of Reed’s stranger material, there are songs from 1972’s Transformer that everybody can get behind. The David Bowie-produced Transformer featured some of the greatest songs of Reed’s career like “Walk on the Wild Side,” “Satellite of Love” and “Vicious.”
On this day in 1986, Reed performed at the Ritz in New York City to promote his 14th album Mistrial with a four-piece backing band—Woody Smallwood (keyboards), Rick Bell (saxophone), Fernando Saunders (bass) and J.T. Lewis (drums). Reed performed selections from Transformer, Mistrial and even Velvet Undeground’s Loaded.
Watch Lou Reed’s full concert from this day in 1986 below.