Lou Reed – Cycle Annie

Before Lou Reed became known for songs that declared heroin was his life and his wife, or a double album of feedback that sounds like seagulls dying in a casino (I happen to love the album, btw), he dabbled in pop music, recording first with a vocal group, then solo, then as a songwriter and artist at Pickwick.

Pickwick released a lot of cheap knock-offs where the goal was to emulate popular artists and music trends of the day.

Reed can be heard singing and playing on a few Pickwick releases that he wrote, or co-wrote, including this, Cycle Annie:

Performed under the name The Beachnuts, Cycle Annie sounds vaguely like what the Beach Boys might have come up with had they lacked sweet harmonies, The Wrecking Crew, and the California surf as their inspiration.

And yet, you can hear faint traces of the kind of songs Reed would later cut for Loaded, as in loaded with hits, Velvet Underground’s lone studio album for Cotillion.

It makes you wonder what he might have done had he not met John Cale at Pickwick.

Probably still taking a walk on the wild side…

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