Thursday, August 17, 2006
It’s by no means scientific, but I’ve conducted a little inquiry, using the limited inventory of my brain, and I’ve concluded that Lou Reed’s "Wild Child" contains the best opening line of any song, ever:
"I was talking to Chuck in his Genghis Khan suit and his wizard’s hat."
I’m open to reconsidering this verdict, if any of you have any other contenders.
"Wild Child" comes from Lou’s largely disappointing solo debut after the demise of the Velvets. I think Lou holed up in Long Island to work on this one. For evidence of the general wrongheadedness of the record one need only learn that Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe play on it; members of Yes joining members of the Velvet Underground doesn’t make for rock supergroups, it makes for some forbidden depressing chemistry. The record has a number of at-the-time unreleased tunes – "The Ocean," "Lisa Says" and "I Can’t Stand It" – that the VU had already recorded much better versions of. Still, "Wild Child" is a master stroke of early 70s downtown New York late-night sociological reportage, with lines about theater auditions, organic soap, pills, racing cars, suicide and sweet cheese.
"Wild Child" – Lou Reed