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Blue Mask.

Lou Reed Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 6.11
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Blue Mask. + Berlin
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Product Details


1. My House
2. Women
3. Underneath The Bottle
4. The Gun
5. The Blue Mask
6. Average Guy
7. The Heroine
8. Waves Of Fear
9. The Day John Kennedy Died
10. Heavenly Arms

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Man's Got A Gun July 9 2002
Format:Audio CD
Let me get this out in the open so we're all on the same page, I'm a Lou Reed fan. I enjoy virtually all of his solo records, never expected some sort of extension of his work with the Velvet Underground, and feel he has at times gotten unfairly treated by a music press expecting something that will never come, mainly, records that would touch as many people as his previous band's did. His epic solo catalogue is exactly that, a document of a single songwriter finding his way with different bands and, at times, different styles. The songs themselves more than stand the test of time, even on recordings when Lou got bogged down with exactly how he tuned his dozen guitars. That said, for my money "The Blue Mask" is his best record. Lou and Robert Quine couldn't sound better together; tough, lean complimenting sounds to great melodies and, naturally, wonderful lyrcis. Heavy, dense tracks like 'The Blue Mask' and 'Waves Of Fear' rock like Lou rarely does, cruching walls of sound punctuated with horrifying imagery that seem to always get personal in the most chilling fashion ("Make the sacrifce-mutilate my face-if you need someone to kill-I'm a man without a will"). But the true brilliance of the record is the quieter moments, odes of admiration to a former mentor, a love song to his wife that seems to be a modest stab at something almost radio friendly, and an effective time piece about America's lost innocence. These songs pull you inside the worlds of their protagonists, one moment your nursing a hangover and wondering why your leg hurts, the next remembering why you love your girlfriend. Oh yeah, and there's one about a guy with a gun, who knows how to use it...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lou's Blues March 21 2011
By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
The Blue Mask from 1982 has passed the test of time with flying hues of blue. The varied material takes the listener from domestic bliss on My House which is also a tribute to the poet Delmore Schwarz ("I've really got a lucky life/My writing, my motorcycle and my wife") and the long, slow rumination titled Women, to extreme panic and paranoia ("I cringe at my terror/I hate my own smell/I know where I must be/I must be in hell") on Waves Of Fear.

Musically, the first four tracks follow a mid- or down-tempo rock ballad pattern. Then, the feedback on the title track introduces a maelstrom of edgy drumming, roaring and squalling guitars and Reed's intense delivery of a dark, oedipal rant about punishment and pain. There's up-tempo driving rock on Average Guy, a majestic melodious wall of sound of Waves of Fear, a tender, yearning ballad about John Kennedy and the tuneful, stirring love song Heavenly Arms.

This album revisits many of the themes that had inspired Reed from the start of his career with the Velvet Underground: His mentor, Delmore Schwartz is invoked on the opening track, reminding the listener of the Velvets' European Son (to Delmore), while Underneath The Bottle, a harrowing account of a struggle with alcohol, brings to mind an earlier song The Power Of Positive Drinking from the album Growing Up In Public, whilst the beautiful Heavenly Arms with its gorgeous cascading vocals is not too far removed from Satellite Of Love on Transformer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Shimmering masterpiece Sept. 24 2002
By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
The Blue Mask has stood the test of time very well in Lou Reed's oeuvre and is amongst my top 5 Reed albums. The varied material takes us from domestic bliss in My House ("I've really got a lucky life/My writing, my motorcycle and my wife") to extreme emotion and paranoia ("I cringe at my terror/I hate my own smell/I know where I must be/I must be in hell") which is a near perfect description of a panic attack. In a way, this album returns to many of the themes that had inspired Reed from the start of his career with the Velvets: His mentor, poet Delmore Schwarz is invoked in the opening track, reminding the listener of the Velvets's European Son (to Delmore), while Underneath The Bottle, an account of his struggle with alcohol, brings to mind an earlier song The Power Of Positive Drinking from the album Growing Up In Public, and the beautiful Heavenly Arms with its gorgeous fading choruses is not too far removed from Satellite Of Love on Transformer. But the approach is different: gone is the decadent narrator of the demi-monde, and instead Reed turns into an essayist or reporter writing and singing with great maturity but still passionately about subjects as diverse as women, gun violence and the day John Kennedy died. The guitars of Reed and Quine, the bass and the drums work perfectly together, whether on the slow numbers or on the more intense rockers like Waves of Fear or the title track. Best of all, the melodies are strong and memorable and the arrangements are innovative. The Blue Mask is excellent in every way!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful passive agressive music Oct. 25 2001
By Bryan
Format:Audio CD
If this is an introductory journey into the world of Lou Reed, then you might want to stop and back up. I recommend that you delve into the Velvet Underground first. The Velvet Underground is where Lou Reed started and is arguably one of the most important bands in the history of rock n' roll. So, if you don't know VU then begin there.
If you've already been listening to the Velvet Underground and you want to get into some of Lou's solos stuff then start with the album Transformer. Transformer is Reed's first solo album and he's in his gender bending, punk, glam rocker phase. Great stuff.
The Blue Mask came out around a decade later and is a more mature work. It moves away from New York observations of drug culture and the party scene and has a more "grown up" average guy perspective with honest and intelligent lyrics. It also marks a return to Reed on the electric guitar and a basic band set up of two guitars, a bass and drums. The musicianship is superb. A sonic symphony to go along with Reed's unique vocals.
The Blue Mask is one of Lou Reed's best solo albums. It has a feel that makes it a great CD when you're driving late night in the city, or hanging out in a New York bar that is trying to decide if it's a dive or if it's just seedy.
Lester Bangs would've been happy.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Lou!
Just another excellent piece from one of the all time greats!!! One of my absolute favorite Lou reed albums. A real masterpiece!!!
Published 3 months ago by Jamie
5.0 out of 5 stars His blue period!
The Blue Mask has stood the test of time very well and remains amongst my Top 5 Reed albums. The varied material takes us from domestic bliss on the track My House ("I've really... Read more
Published on June 5 2008 by Pieter Uys
3.0 out of 5 stars Reed-Quine-Saunders guitar workshop
The backing tracks for this album are, for quartet performances, complex and various -- 2 guitars (Reed/Quine), bass (Saunders) and drums engaging in real interplay. Read more
Published on Sept. 4 2001 by Howard Sauertieg
2.0 out of 5 stars What are you talking about?
I am continually baffled by the amount of praise showered on this album. Of course, being a big fan of Lou Reed's work before (VU and his 70s solo work) and after (New York, Songs... Read more
Published on June 11 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!!
This is Lou Reed's best work, including his time leading the Velvet Underground. Buy this CD!
Published on Sept. 28 2000 by "barsoncagg"
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
Dodgy repeat cover. Solid first side. Women is one of my favourites, but Reed's alleged handiness with his fists make it potentially queesy, though. Second side weaker. Read more
Published on Sept. 13 2000 by Gary
5.0 out of 5 stars Robert Quine helps Reed craft a masterpiece.
"The Blue Mask" is often hailed by critics and fans alike as one of Lou Reed's greatest achievements, and it is deserving of the considerable praise. Read more
Published on Aug. 29 2000 by Stephen Caratzas
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Playing
I always loved the instumentation / playing on the vinyl version of the Blue Mask. It redeemed the sometimes cloying sentimentality in the lyrics and vocals mentioned by other... Read more
Published on Aug. 29 2000 by Paul Weston
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Brilliant Album By Lou Reed!
Lou Reed has so many incredible albums. This is one of the best. The Blue Mask has the best of both sides of Reed. Read more
Published on April 21 2000 by M. Scagnelli
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