New Lou Reed Tribute Album Features Keith Richards, Angel Olsen, Afghan Whigs, & More

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New Lou Reed Tribute Album Features Keith Richards, Angel Olsen, Afghan Whigs, & More


Tomorrow would have been Lou Reed’s 82nd birthday. It’s been more than a decade since we lost the legendary musician, but his influence is still as indelible as ever. People continue to cover and sample Lou Reed and Velvet Underground songs all the time, and they still show up regularly on soundtracks. That’s probably a superficial way of measuring importance, but it’s a clear sign that the music is still very much with us. Next month, a new Lou Reed tribute album will feature even more versions of the man’s work, and it’ll include artists from a bunch of different generations.

Producer Bill Bentley, who worked with Lou Reed during his lifetime, has previously assembled tribute albums dedicated to cult artists Roky Erickson, Skip Spence, and Doug Sahm. Lou Reed is basically the biggest-possible version of a cult artist, and Bentley’s latest project is the Reed tribute The Power Of The Heart. The compilation will feature interpretations of Lou Reed and Velvet Underground songs from a list of artists that includes Angel Olsen, the Afghan Whigs, Joan Jett, Lucinda Williams, Rufus Wainwright, Rosanne Cash, and Rickie Lee Jones.

Interestingly enough, the first single on the album comes from someone who’d already done legendary things before Lou Reed’s career started. Keith Richards opens The Power Of The Heart with a version of the Velvet Underground’s 1967 song “I’m Waiting For The Man” — a song with subject matter that Richards knows very well. In the press material for The Power Of The Heart, Richards says, “To me, Lou stood out. The real deal! Something important to American music and to ALL MUSIC! I miss him and his dog.” Aw.

The divide between mainstream and underground rock probably goes back to the Rolling Stones and the Velvet Underground, so it’s cool to hear a much-bigger Lou Reed contemporary giving a rough, bluesy take on one of his songs. Below, check out Richards’ version of “I’m Waiting For The Man,” the Velvet Underground original, and the tracklist for The Power Of The Heart.

01 Keith Richards – “I’m Waiting For The Man”
02 Maxim Ludwig & Angel Olsen – “I Can’t Stand It”
03 Rufus Wainwright – “Perfect Day”
04 Joan Jett And The Blackhearts – “I’m So Free”
05 Bobby Rush – “Sally Can’t Dance”
06 Rickie Lee Jones – “Walk On The Wild Side”
07 The Afghan Whigs – “I Love You, Suzanne”
08 Mary Gauthier – “Coney Island Baby”
09 Lucinda Williams – “Legendary Hearts”
10 Automatic – “New Sensations”
11 Rosanne Cash – “Magician”
12 Brogan Bentley – “The Power Of The Heart”

The Power Of The Heart is out 4/20 on Light In The Attic. It’s a Record Store Day release, and there’s obviously a fancy vinyl version, but it’ll be available in all formats.

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