NYC Man: The Ultimate Collection

As Lou Reed proclaimed in the title song of his 1976 classic Coney Island Baby, "different people have peculiar tastes," and it sums him up — in the course of his career, Lou Reed has been lots of different people, and they've all had peculiar tastes. NYC Man, thirty-one tracks selected by the man himself, shows the many strange faces of Lou Reed: the decadent Chelsea-boy punk poet of the Velvet Underground ("I'm Waiting for the Man," "Heroin"), the Seventies glam-rock ho ("Walk on the Wild Side"), the reluctantly wise gutter sage ("Street Hassle," "The Blue Mask") and the guy who took a ton of drugs ("Berlin"). "Ecstasy," from 2000, proves that Reed's creative powers remain fierce — even if his recent rock opera about Edgar Allan Poe is a lot to forgive.

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