He formed the group The Velvet Underground with Welsh multi-instrumentalist John Cale, second guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen “Moe” Tucker in New York 1965. The group soon became a part of Andy Warhol’s Factory scene, which housed a great number of the most freaked and experimental artists at the time. The German singer and actress, Nico, sang in the group for a short period- but the original line-up began to split up. The group as its best made only four original albums; “The Velvet Underground & Nico” (1967), “White Light/White Heat” (1968), “The Velvet Underground” (1969), and “Loaded” (1970). They stand today as milestones in the history of rock. In 1970 Lou Reed began his solo-career.
His second album, “Transformer” (1972) was produced by long-time admirers of the Velvets, David Bowie and Mick Ronson. That year he had his first – and still only – top 20 song, “Walk on the Wildside”. Through the 1970s he made a prolific number of albums with “Berlin” (1973), “Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal” (1974) and “Street Hassle” (1978) as the artistic highlights of this period. On St. Valentines Day 1980 Lou Reed married Sylvia Morales, and that was another turning point in his career. The following album “The Blue Mask” (1982) stands as one of his best and most composed. In 1989 he made “New York” – a love letter to his city with its good and bad and with a heavy criticism of American thought. In the 1990s he has continued to be one of the most sharp-tongued rock’n’roll poets of his time.
In 1990 he once again collaborates with ex-Velvet-partner John Cale. Their album, “Songs for Drella”, is a very personal tribute to the friend and artist, Andy Warhol, who had recently died. In 1993 The Velvet Underground was re-formed with its original line-up, and toured in Europe 1993. In 1997 Lou Reed, along with former Velvet bandmates John Cale, Maureen Tucker, and the late Sterling Morrison are inducted Rock n roll hall of fame in Cleveland, Ohio.
Lou Reed stands today as one of the most important songwriters of our time, and has served as inspiration to a multitude of artists like David Bowie, Nick Cave, Sonic Youth, Nine Inch Nails, U2, David Byrne, and Patti Smith.