Tag Archives: Trainspotting

“Sunday Morning”

Lou Reed, lead vocalist and guitarist for Velvet Underground, and later a highly successful and influential solo artist, died this morning at 71.

In June 1976, there was a concert in Manchester, England, that became legendary. It was the Sex Pistols. The audience that night included certain individuals that (as the legend goes) were inspired by the now-mythic gig and went on to form their own bands and become ultra-famous — Morrissey, Joy Division, The Buzzcocks, The Fall.

Nine years before that in March 1967, the first Velvet Underground album was released like a meteor on the world. Brian Eno said in a 1982 interview,

I was talking to Lou Reed the other day and he said that the first Velvet Underground record sold 30,000 copies in the first five years. The sales have picked up in the past few years, but I mean, that record was such an important record for so many people. I think everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band!

The very first song on that debut Velvet Underground album was “Sunday Morning”, and on this particular Sunday morning it’s hard not to think back to its lyrics:

Sunday mornin’, praise the dawnin’
It’s just a restless feelin’, by my side
Early dawnin’, Sunday mornin’
It’s just the wasted years so close behind

Watch out, the world’s behind you
There’s always someone around you, who will call
It’s nothin’ at all

Sunday mornin’ and I’m fallin’
I’ve got a feelin’, I don’t want to know
Early dawnin’, Sunday mornin’
(Early dawnin’)
It’s all the streets you crossed, not so long ago

With my weird upbringing, I got turned on to Lou Reed late — in the mid-80s in high school. I can’t remember what the inspiration was (I want to say it was used in a movie or TV show), but I ran out and bought a 45 of his 1972 “Walk on the Wild Side” single.

The next big milestone for me was the Cowboy Junkies’ smoldering cover (and atmospheric video) of “Sweet Jane”, from 1988:

Another came in The Doors movie, in the scene where Jim Morrison and the band attend an Andy Warhol party, the powerful, epic “Heroin” features prominently.

It’s hard to overestimate the giant influence Lou Reed had on rock, pop, and other music from the late 60s on. Not to mention movie makers, with his and VU’s songs showing up in their soundtracks. Such as this memorable one with “Perfect Day” from Trainspotting (warning: drug use and intense aftermath depicted):

Thanks for all the great music, Lou. But especially thanks for all those you inspired. RIP.

Top 10 Movie Soundtrack Albums

Ten arbitrary and somewhat random favorites (click to view at Amazon):

  • Tron
  • Trainspotting and Trainspotting #2
  • Blade Runner
  • Passion: The Last Temptation of Christ
  • Romeo+Juliet
  • The Royal Tenenbaums
  • The Terminator
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Run Lola Run
  • Thirty two short films about Glenn Gould

Honorable Mentions:

  1. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (no album ever released, but an awesome set of songs).
  2. Twin Peaks (Angelo Badalamenti, TV).
  3. Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, San Andreas, and IV.