The Bells is one of the forgotten titles in Lou Reed's extensive oeuvre, though it's a mystery why. Perhaps because it was sandwiched (along with the less intriguing Growing Up in Public) between two triumphs--1978's fired-by-punk Street Hassle and 1982's revelatory The Blue Mask. But The Bells, despite its obscurity, ranks with Reed's best works. Arguably his jazziest outing, the nine-song collection is marked by woozy brass (some supplied by free-jazz icon Don Cherry), a unique ambience (Reed was experimenting with binaural production in the late '70s), and characteristically incisive wordplay. "With You" targets those who live on the edge ("Don't you think you could be less capricious / Unlike you I don't have no death wish"), while "All Through the Night" is empathetic toward the same precarious souls ("With a daytime of sin and a nighttime of hell / Everybody's gonna look for a bell to ring / All through the night"). An uncommonly cohesive set, The Bells wraps up with the lengthy title track--a stunning amalgamation of brooding synthesizer, barbed brass, and extemporaneous poetics. --Steven Stolder --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is really a huge mess of an album. The cover bodes ill; Lou wearing more makeup than he has since "Transformer" days, apparently distracted from gazing into a mirror, and... Read morePublished on May 10 2002 by happydogpotatohead
Uau !! People keep seeing a "depth", a "great meaning", a "message" in all of Lou Reed's records. He's a great songwriter, of course. Read morePublished on May 29 2001 by Botnik Roller
The Bells is lou reed's next to last recording with his 1976 to 1980 line up. It is know as his forgotten record and has been unavailable till now. Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2001 by David Grossman
Not a bad album, really, particularly if you never spin the first side. (Sorry, I know, that's the language of another time). Read morePublished on Oct. 24 2000 by Allan MacInnis
As with most Lou Reed records from this era, you're better off just buying "Live: Take No Prisoners. Read morePublished on July 18 2000 by Jonathan J. Casey
I love the three stunning songs All Through The Night, Families and The Bells. The first is a description of an all-night drunken party or pub crawl which contains some of Reed's... Read morePublished on July 5 2000 by Peter Uys
It's great to have The Bells on CD - even if the original master has been lost for years and the CD was made from a vinyl source. Read morePublished on July 2 2000 by H.R. Sauertieg