Friday, February 25, 2022

Celebrating 40: Lou Reed turned a corner with The Blue Mask

The Blue Mask, released on Feb. 23, 1982, was not Lou Reed's declaration of late-blooming adulthood as he approached his 40th birthday a week later.

His previous record, 1980's Growing Up In Public, was the one on which Reed told the world he had found true love with Sylvia Morales and that his days as a debauched rock-and-roll animal were behind him.

But The Blue Mask was the one where his commitment was etched in stone, the one where he truly cast aside the substance-abusing demons and embraced a new lifestyle of domesticity and meditative self-improvement.

We do know four decades on that Reed wasn't kidding around. His marriage to Sylvia dissolved and a couple of attempts to build professional relationships failed over the following decade or so. But Reed did navigate a few bumps along the way and spent the last 30 years of his life largely on the straight and narrow.

It's easy to see in hindsight that The Blue Mask was the point his public was told that Lou Reed was an icon to be taken seriously.

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