Stick a Fork in Their Ass and Turn ’em Over, They’re Done (Thanks Lou)

Book: Skagboys

Author: Irvine Welsh

Music: Sister Ray

Artist: Joy Division

While the artists here are Joy Division this is a cover of a Velvet Underground tune. It’s interesting, even though the lyrics obviously remain the same—dark and depraved—Ian Curtis’ rendition with Joy Division easily trumps Lou Reed’s Velvet Undergound original for sheer gloom. Lou Reed’s voice has this tone that seems to add a litte cheeriness to the darkest of lyrics. ‘Walk on the Wid Side’ and ‘Sweet Jane,’ for instance, are delivered with such a smiling tone that you’d almost forget what they’re about. The epitome of that Lou Reed ‘the-world’s-a-dark-and-dangerous-place-but-I-sound-happy’ approach, in my opinion, is his solo track ‘Last Great American Whale.’ That song is a wonderfully enjoyable litany of bad things happening and concludes with as vicious a critique of American values as you’ll find but yet it’s sold with a remarkable degree of whimsy.


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