Guide to Lou Reed's recordings

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The Bells (Arista, 1979) (3 stars): A jazzier, warmer detour.     

Growing Up in Public (Arista, 1980) (3 stars): Mature introspection.     

The Blue Mask (RCA, 1982) (4 stars): Delicate melodicism and raging rock played by Reed's finest band yet, including Robert Quine on guitar and Fernando Saunders on bass.     

Legendary Hearts (RCA, 1983) (4 stars): Reed, Quine and company celebrate the glory of love.     

Live in Italy (RCA import, 1984) (4 stars): The Quine band at its finest, performing the classics.    

New Sensations (RCA, 1984) (3 1/2 stars): Relatively bouyant, with some of Reed's finest melodies.     

Mistrial (RCA, 1986) (2 1/2 stars): The social commentaries presage "New York," but it's the love songs-"I Remember You," "Tell It to Your Heart"-that hit home.     

New York (Sire, 1989) (4 stars): A city`s moral and spiritual decay fuels this searing song cycle.     

Songs for Drella (Sire, 1990) (3 1/2 stars): Reed reunites with his Velvet Underground compatriot John Cale for this spare, low-key musical memoir to their mutual friend Andy Warhol.

Magic and Loss (Sire, 1991) (4 stars): A great rocker at the peak of his powers: Striking tunes, gripping lyrics, honest emotion stripped of melodrama.

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The Grammys 2011