|Produced by Lou Reed and Richard Robinson|
|Released on April 1978|
|US CHART POSITION #89|
|Find it at GEMM|
A h, the infelicities of the forlorn. They’re a Lou Reed specialty; discussing the best way to ditch a dead body (“Street Hassle”), musing on the advantages of an ethnic change (“I Wanna Be Black”), Reed’s Everyman is blissfully ignorant that he’s out of options. These dark bits of urban storytelling are vintage Lou, which has caused some critics to place Street Hassle in the hallowed hall of his masterworks. As much as rubbernecking at these human car wrecks is interesting, the sloppy performances make immediate appreciation of the album a daunting task. In time, the darting and chaotic “Wait,” the sludgy “Dirt” and Bowiesque “Shooting Star” will slip under your skin, but don’t expect instant gratification. You have to work to enjoy these songs, a point accentuated by the sense that Reed didn’t work all too hard to bring this material to light. Even on auto-cruise, Reed can conjure up living ghosts with the best of them, although the multi-part “Street Hassle” is a clear case of aspiring to something bigger. Street Hassle is an ugly, brutal album at times, but it’s the same sort of challenge Reed proferred on Berlin and New York, two of his best efforts. I’d put this a notch below those works, if only because the Arista years seemed like a half-assed caricature of Hell. Still, the title track has some stunning implications to consider, and the surrounding material works well enough to warrant a flyer from fans warming to Reed’s dark muse.
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|REGION||RELEASE DATE||LABEL||MEDIA||ID NUMBER||FEATURES|
|US||April 1978||Arista||LP/CS||AB 4169||inner sleeve|
|UK||April 1978||Arista||LP/CS||SPART 1045|
|GER||1978||Arista||LP||1C 064 60445|
|NET||1978||Arista||LP||5N 058 60445|
|US||October 22, 1991||Arista||CD/CS||AC-8499|
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