LOU REED THE Blue Mask French Release 12" LP VINYL ALBUM

Album Description: "The Blue Mask" is the eleventh studio album by singer-songwriter Lou Reed. It was the first album released after Reed left Arista Records and returned to RCA. It returns to the stripped-down sound of his previous group, the Velvet Underground, with only guitars, bass and drums. It also follows the Velvet Underground stylistically by counterpointing and transposing jarring feedback-driven rock with tough and tender ballads, melodic distortion of a magnitude not heard since the "Sister Ray" days. Reed and Robert Quine's guitars were mixed separately in the right and left stereo channels respectively.


LOU REED - The Blue Mask French Release 12" LP VINYL ALBUM
 front cover https://vinyl-records.nl

Music Genre:

American Rock, Art Rock

Art rock is a subgenre of rock music that emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It is characterized by its ambitious and experimental approach to music, incorporating elements from various genres, such as classical, jazz, avant-garde, and progressive rock. Art rock bands sought to expand the boundaries of popular music by incorporating complex musical structures, unconventional instrumentation, and thought-provoking lyrics.


Art rock musicians aimed to create music that was intellectually stimulating and artistically expressive. They often embraced a wide range of influences and drew inspiration from diverse sources, including literature, visual arts, and philosophical concepts. By blending different styles and experimenting with musical techniques, art rock bands created a sound that was both sophisticated and innovative.

One of the defining features of art rock is its emphasis on musical complexity and instrumental proficiency. Bands would often employ intricate arrangements, unconventional time signatures, and extended song structures, challenging the traditional verse-chorus format of mainstream rock. This allowed for a more dynamic and expansive musical landscape, giving artists the freedom to explore a wide range of moods and emotions within a single composition.

Lyrically, art rock often tackled unconventional themes and explored philosophical and introspective concepts. The lyrics were often poetic and laden with symbolism, reflecting the influence of literature and poetry on the genre. Art rock songs frequently delved into introspection, existentialism, social commentary, and surreal imagery, offering listeners a deeper and more thought-provoking experience.

Several influential bands and artists have contributed to the development and popularization of art rock. Progressive rock bands like Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes, and King Crimson pushed the boundaries of rock music with their epic compositions, intricate instrumentation, and conceptual albums. David Bowie, with his ever-evolving musical style and theatrical stage presence, incorporated art rock elements into his music, blurring the lines between rock, pop, and avant-garde.

Other notable art rock artists include Roxy Music, with their blend of glamour, artifice, and musical experimentation; The Velvet Underground, who combined avant-garde sensibilities with rock and roll; and Kate Bush, known for her ethereal vocals, poetic lyrics, and eclectic musical arrangements.

The influence of art rock can be seen in subsequent genres and movements, such as post-punk, new wave, and alternative rock. Many contemporary bands continue to draw inspiration from the art rock tradition, incorporating experimental and progressive elements into their music.

Overall, art rock represents a fusion of musical creativity, intellectual exploration, and artistic expression. Its emphasis on innovation, complexity, and lyrical depth has left a lasting impact on the evolution of rock music, expanding its boundaries and inspiring generations of musicians to push the limits of popular music.

Production information:

The album: "LOU REED - The Blue Mask" was produced by: Lou Reed, Sean Fullan

Sound/Recording Engineer(s): Sean Fullan

This album was recorded at: RCA Studios, New York October 1981, mastered at Sterling Sound, New York City, New York, by Greg Calbi.

Record Label Information:

RCA Victor PL 14221

Media Format:

12" LP Vinyl Stereo Gramophone Record
Total Album (Cover+Record) weight: 230 gram  

Year & Country:

1982 Made in France
Personnel/Band Members and Musicians on: LOU REED - The Blue Mask
    Band-members, Musicians and Performers
  • Lou Reed - Guitar, Vocals
  • Robert Quine - Guitar
  • Fernando Saunders - Bass, backing vocals
  • Doane Perry - Drums
Complete Track-listing of the album "LOU REED - The Blue Mask"

The detailed tracklist of this record "LOU REED - The Blue Mask" is:

    Side One:
  1. "My House" - 5:25
  2. "Women" - 4:57
  3. "Underneath the Bottle" - 2:33
  4. "The Gun" - 3:41
  5. "The Blue Mask" - 5:06
    Side Two:
  1. "Average Guy" - 3:12
  2. "The Heroine" - 3:06
  3. "Waves of Fear" - 4:11
  4. "The Day John Kennedy Died" - 4:08
  5. "Heavenly Arms" - 4:47


Front Cover Photo Of LOU REED - The Blue Mask French Release 12" LP VINYL ALBUM


LOU REED - The Blue Mask French Release 12" LP VINYL ALBUM
 front cover https://vinyl-records.nl

 Note: The photos on this page are taken from albums in my personal collection. Slight differences in color may exist due to the use of the camera's flash. Images can be zoomed in/out ( eg pinch with your fingers on a tablet or smartphone ).

Photo Of The Back Cover LOU REED - The Blue Mask French Release 12" LP VINYL ALBUM


LOU REED - The Blue Mask French Release 12" LP VINYL ALBUM
 back cover

Close up of Side One record's label LOU REED - The Blue Mask French Release 12" LP VINYL ALBUM

"The Blue Mask" Beige Colour RCA Record Label Details: RCA Victor PL 14221 ℗ 1982 RCA Records Sound Copyright, SACEM SDRM

"The Blue Mask" Beige Colour RCA Record Label Details: RCA Victor PL 14221 ℗ 1982 RCA Records Sound Copyright, SACEM SDRM
Walk on the Wild Side: A Comprehensive Vinyl Discography of Lou Reed's Solo Work

Band Information:

  Lou Reed was an iconic American musician, songwriter, and guitarist who rose to fame as a member of the Velvet Underground. His work as a solo artist during the period 1970-1989 was marked by experimentation, innovation, and a willingness to explore different genres and styles.

  The Early 1970s

  Following his departure from the Velvet Underground in 1970, Lou Reed embarked on a solo career that would prove to be just as influential as his work with the band. His debut album, "Lou Reed," was released in 1972 and showcased his songwriting skills and gritty, streetwise style. The album was produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson and featured songs such as "Walk on the Wild Side" and "Vicious," which would become signature tunes of Reed's solo career.

  In 1973, Reed released "Transformer," which was produced by Bowie and Ronson and featured the hit singles "Satellite of Love" and "Perfect Day." The album was a commercial success and helped to cement Reed's reputation as a solo artist. The following year, he released "Berlin," a concept album that told the story of a doomed romance in the titular city. While the album was not a commercial success, it has since become recognized as one of Reed's greatest achievements, with its bleak themes and raw emotional power.

  The Late 1970s

  In 1975, Reed released "Metal Machine Music," a double album of avant-garde guitar feedback that was widely derided by critics and fans alike. Despite its commercial failure, the album was a bold statement of Reed's experimental tendencies and helped to establish his reputation as an artist who was willing to take risks and push boundaries.

  Reed returned to more conventional songwriting with 1976's "Coney Island Baby," which featured the hit single "She's My Best Friend." The album was a critical and commercial success and demonstrated Reed's ability to craft memorable and accessible pop songs.

  The 1980s

  Reed's output during the 1980s was marked by a series of collaborations with other artists and a continuing willingness to explore new genres and styles. In 1980, he released "Growing Up in Public," an album that featured guest appearances from guitarists Robert Quine and Chuck Hammer. The album was not a commercial success, but it showcased Reed's ability to collaborate with other musicians and experiment with different sounds.

  In 1982, Reed released "The Blue Mask," which was produced by Quine and featured the same backing band as "Growing Up in Public." The album was a critical success and demonstrated Reed's ability to blend his gritty streetwise style with more introspective and personal themes.

  In 1989, Reed released "New York," an album that addressed issues such as urban decay, AIDS, and the Gulf War. The album was a critical and commercial success and is widely regarded as one of Reed's finest works. Its themes of social and political commentary marked a departure from his earlier work, but demonstrated his continuing relevance and willingness to tackle important issues through his music.