AFK1-7190 Mistrial
Produced by Lou Reed and Fernando Saunders
Released on April 1986
US CHART POSITION #47 . . . UK CHART POSITION #69
Find it at GEMM
AFK1-7190 cover  

L ou Reed’s career has been marked by lapses into ennui, which he manages to shake off every few albums. Mistrial is the trail end in just such a trough, shy of the consistency that marked Legendary Hearts and pale in comparison to New York. It’s not a bad record, thanks to a few standout tracks like “Video Violence,” “Tell It To Your Heart” and “Mama’s Got A Lover.” But this is Reed on auto-pilot, pulling double duty on lead and rhythm guitars with co-pilot Fernando Saunders handling bass and drum programming. You won’t find the clever musical interplay that appeared on Legendary Hearts, and Saunders gives the music a decidedly funky flavor, which makes Mistrial feel cartoonish at times. The lyrics are still strong, including a rap of sorts on “The Original Wrapper” that manages to be funny and political at the same time (a style Reed would revisit with greater success on New York’s “Good Evening Mr. Waldheim”). Perhaps more telling, Mistrial is two years removed form his last studio album; from now on, Reed would enter the studio with less frequency. Mistrial may not be an inspired effort, but it’s not any worse than some of Reed’s Arista records. “Mistrial” (an appeal to the equally damaged denizens of New York City), “Don’t Hurt A Woman” and “I Remember You” are pretty good cuts, and help make Mistrial less of a disappointment than it might otherwise be. You could argue that this belongs with Reed’s Top 10 albums (though not his Top 5), so fans who wish to dig deep into Reed’s recordings will eventually get to judge for themselves.

AFK1-7190 back lyric sleeve
AFK1-7190 back lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. MISTRIAL
  2. NO MONEY DOWN
  3. OUTSIDE
  4. DON'T HURT A WOMAN
  5. VIDEO VIOLENCE
  6. SPIT IT OUT
  7. THE ORIGINAL WRAPPER
  8. MAMA'S GOT A LOVER
  9. I REMEMBER YOU
  10. TELL IT TO YOUR HEART

    All songs written by Lou Reed

CREDITS

LOU REED -- vocals, lead & rhythm guitars, power guitar
FERNANDO SAUNDERS -- bass, drum programming, background vocals, bass synthesizer, percussion, rhythm guitar, piano
Rick Bell -- tenor sax
Ruben Blades -- background vocals
Jim Carroll -- background vocals
J.T. Lewis -- drums
Eddie Martinez -- rhythm guitar
Sammy Merendino -- percussion, drum programming
David Greenberg -- recording engineer
Bruce Lampcov -- additional engineering, digital mixing
Sylvia Reed -- cover design

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US April 1986 RCA LP/CD/CS AFL1/PCD1/AFK1-7190 lyric sleeve
UK/GER April 1986 RCA LP/CD/CS PL 87190 lyric sleeve
ARG   RCA LP TLP 70040  
BRA 1986 RCA LP 7104214  
JPN   RCA LPPRO RPL-8337 lyric insert
EUR September 21, 1988 BMG CD ND-90253  

 

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