Lewis Allan Reed was an American musician, singer, songwriter and poet. He was the lead guitarist, singer and principal songwriter for the rock band the Velvet Underground and had a solo career that spanned five decades. The Velvet Underground was not a commercial success during its existence, but became regarded as one of the most influential bands in the history of underground and alternative rock music.
After leaving the band in 1970, Reed released twenty solo studio albums. His second, Transformer, was produced by David Bowie and arranged by Mick Ronson, and brought mainstream recognition. After Transformer, the less commercial Berlin reached No. 7 on the UK Albums Chart. Rock 'n' Roll Animal sold strongly, and Sally Can't Dance peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard 200; but for a long period after, Reed's work did not translate into sales, leading him deeper into drug addiction and alcoholism. Reed cleaned up in the early 1980s, and gradually returned to prominence with New Sensations, reaching a critical and commercial career peak with his 1989 album New York.
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