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Magic And Loss (U.S. Version)

Lou ReedAudio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

Price: $10.83 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 14 Songs, 1992 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2012 $10.83  
Vinyl, 1992 --  
Audio Cassette, 1992 --  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Dorita - The Spirit (LP Version) 1:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. What's Good - The Thesis (LP Version) 3:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Power And Glory - The Situation (LP Version) 4:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Magician - Internally (LP Version) 6:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Sword Of Damocles - Externally (LP Version) 3:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Goodby Mass - In A Chapel Bodily Termination (LP Version) 4:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Cremation - Ashes To Ashes (LP Version) 2:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Dreamin' - Escape (LP Version) 5:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. No Chance - Regret (LP Version) 3:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Warrior King - Revenge (LP Version) 4:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Harry's Circumcision - Reverie Gone Astray (LP Version) 5:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Gassed And Stoked - Loss (LP Version) 4:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Power And Glory Part II - Magic - Transformation (LP Version) 2:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Magic And Loss - The Summation (LP Version) 6:39$0.99  Buy MP3 

Amazon's Lou Reed Store


Image of album by Lou Reed


Image of Lou Reed


Lou Reed is an American Master, a playwright, a poet, and a photographer whose photos have been exhibited worldwide. His third photography book, Romanticism, will be released in 2009. He is the recipient of the Chevalier Commander of Arts and Letters from the French government and numerous other awards. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and is a founding member of the ... Read more in Amazon's Lou Reed Store

Visit Amazon's Lou Reed Store
for 135 albums, 10 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

Magic And Loss (U.S. Version) + New York + The Blue Mask
Price for all three: $30.09

Buy the selected items together
  • New York $12.27
  • The Blue Mask $6.99

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 27, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: January 14, 1992
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros. Label
  • ASIN: B000002LQD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,091 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

After spending a good many years searching for his main line, Lou Reed tapped into a fresh vein of creativity with 1989's New York and Songs for Drella, a tribute to Andy Warhol made with his former Velvet Underground partner John Cale. With two friends suffering from cancer--one being songwriter Doc Pomus--Reed went to work on his most soul-searching effort to date. The rollicking opening cut, "What's Good," suggests he found the rock & roll heart in such tragedy, but once the supple rhythm section is supplanted by a slow, time-checking click, the reality of death's ominous shadow casts a doom and gloom on the proceedings. The result is an extremely grim, yet fascinating, song cycle. --Rob O'Connor

Product Description

Magic And Loss (U.S. Version) by Lou Reed

This product is manufactured on demand using CD-R recordable media.'s standard return policy will apply.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
On "Magic and Loss," Lou Reed once again digs inside himself with all the fatal fervor of a junky prodding a needle in his arm. He also shows that rock'n'roll is a fine vehicle for growing up, growing old, and dying. A melancholy, painful album, part regret, part sentiment, part loneliness and contemplation, this is a very personal statement during a period when Reed lost two friends to cancer. It's not an album you can put on to play in the background--few of Reed's albums are. Listen to it while you're in a reflective, downbeat mood--it draws you in, shows you sights of beauty and sadness, and leaves you with a ray of hard-won hope. Stand-out songs include "What's Good: The Thesis," "Magician: Internally," "Dreamin': Escape, "Cremation: Ashes to Ashes" and "Harry's Circumcision: Reverie Gone Astray." In one moment of honesty, a character says, "Doctor, you're no magician, and I am no believer... I need more than faith can give me now." Ouch. These are not the same old platitudes... Lou Reed explores not just the terminal illness of disease, but of life itself.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best in Lou's long career November 1, 1999
Format:Audio CD
This is my personal choice for the best album Reed has ever released. I think its something one has to listen to in order to appreciate, not read a review about it. The level of emotional intensity reached hear is extremely rare in popular music.

This is not easy listening, especially for anyone who has experienced the untimely loss of a loved one. Every song on this - a true concept album if there ever was one - has a purpose, as Lou takes us through his personal experience of grieving. Most listeners will find much to relate to.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Contemplating both sides June 30, 2002
By Jinkyu
Format:Audio CD
In both his Velvet Underground and solo days, Lou Reed has explored dark themes: sex, S&M, drugs, mind trips, and the rough street life. His art has been about experiencing these things, not so much social commentary. One dark theme has not been that much of a preoccupation. In Magic and Loss, Lou switches gears and looks at life's experiences contemplatively, but focuses heavily on its end--death. This was inspired by the recent deaths by cancer of two friends and apparently also the AIDS epidemic.
The majority of songs are mellow, with soft, sweet guitar riffs, allowing us to focus on Lou's very strong lyrics. There are also five strong rockers: the opener (effectively), "What's Good"; the acoustic "Sword of Damocles"; "Warrior King"; "Gassed and Stoked"; and "Power and Glory Part II." The first two are marked by crisp, pretty definition in the rhythm guitars, smooth strokes, in contrast to the guitars in the others, which have the edge, and a bit of the fuzziness and distortion, often seen in Lou's work. "What's Good" and "Warrior King," the CD's most potent tune, are the two best songs. The softer, mostly slower songs are good too. My only problem is that there are too many of them: six of seven between the opener and "Warrior King."
There is a positive spin to Magic and Loss, witness the album title and the concluding title cut: "There's a bit of magic in everything and then some loss to even things out." Lou sees things both ways, focusing heavily on hardship and death, but also dignity.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Death Becomes Lou December 8, 2001
Format:Audio CD
Lou Reed has always been better at tackling deep subjects, such as drug abuse and sexual depravity, than lighter ones. On "Magic and Loss," he tackles his deepest subject yet, death by cancer. Two of Reed's friends succomed to the disease, and this album is his tribute to them. It is a difficult album to listen to, but one that is worth the effort. The second track "What's Good," is the catchiest and probably most well-known number. From there, many of the songs feature Reed's trademark talk-singing. The lyrics are often quite poetic, with references to things like "The Sword of Damocles," and the "Power and Glory," two of the other song titles. It also includes strange stuff, like "Harry's Circumcision," about a guy who tries to alter his appearance with a straight razor.
Overall, I would recommend this album most strongly to Reed fans, since it is perhaps a bit too ecclectic for most casual listeners.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars God Forbid We Should Get Depressed About Death July 3, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Magic and Loss grabbed me in the 90's when I was relatively at peace with myself. It grabbed me again this year when I had experienced some turmoil and loss. Forgetting the "depressing" lyrics for a moment, it's got some catchy licks and a couple of excellent tunes (well, Lou doesn't actually sing, but whatever you call what he does is very effective here).

Do people really avoid depression by not thinking about something? I don't know, but I come out of listening to this album feeling better about life. Not because he holds out any false hope or turns to Greener Pastures at the end, but because hey, if this guy can deal with his grief and turn it into art, then by golly so can I.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Pops
Format:Audio CD
I think you have to have hurt some, lost someone, suffered with someone dying, or had some sort of dramatic compromise in your life to really get into this album. This album is just total cosmic blues, and it is stark. If you haven't experienced a loss, you will not have some of the emotional triggers and tacit information that fills the songs in emotionally what they lack in orchestration. Basically, pain is the orchestra in this CD.

It is easy to be put off by this CD because in some spots it sounds like a precious garage band spoken word, and there are some weak spots in the album that make it an easy target from a critical standpoint (there are some ugly noodling guitar solos). But from a feeling standpoint, the starkness of the album is soothing. The instruments, chorusy guitars and fretless bass, create an ambience. If you can relate to the feeling, you have some emotional information to plug into the soft spots, and it becomes a whole experience.

There is clarity and reckoning in the songs, and the weak spots to me signify just exactly how hard it is to capture the loss. Lou Reed sometimes errs while daring to do something very hard, and that is far more valuable than succeding at something mundane and predictable (to loosely paraphrase Roosevelt.) The magic, although not consistent from song to song, is really there and amazing, trancendant, crystalline in some spots, and not in a highly stylized or cliched way that taps into your pop-music programming (you know, like in soundtracks that get really tense when you are supposed to be scared--music can be programmed to trick you into feeling a certain way).

The album is really solid in the first half, especially Creamation, Magician, Power and Glory, and What's Good, and spottier toward the end IMO, especially Harry's Circumcision, Gassed and Stoked, and Power and Glory Part II.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
As described.
Published 1 month ago by robert martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't get a chance to say goodbye
Met a friend in college who was nuts about Lou Reed. I did love V.U. but only knew his solo hits. Soon after this friend passed. Soon after that Lou came out with Magic and Loss. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Robert R. Berry
1.0 out of 5 stars How is this tripe still made??
This album is like all VU and Lou Reed meterial I have ever had the displeasure of hearing....terrible. Lou Reed cannot write, play or sing. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Deimos
4.0 out of 5 stars musical therapy for grief
A superb exploration of grief in the face of loss - great musical journey. Reed is brutally honest and captures the emotional struggle of accepting loss and death in an engaging... Read more
Published 14 months ago by John Fielder
4.0 out of 5 stars one of reed's strongest later-period albums
I obtained this cd through BMG music club back in the nineties when it first came out. I remember selecting it as one of my free selections. Read more
Published on July 14, 2012 by robb sososikwitit
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing !!!
When this CD came out, I was 21 and I just lost my gramps to lung cancer (DONT SMOKE!). I was a heavt metal, long haired head banger back then. Read more
Published on June 2, 2009 by Keith Langkan
4.0 out of 5 stars A CD of Lou Reed's Magic and Loss
Lou, Lou, Lou. It's the beginning of a great adventure. For the fact that Reed's talent is exceeding, this CD is well written, but one somber jaunt of a concept album. Read more
Published on April 15, 2008 by O. Quesada
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing and cathartic
I think all the negative reviews for this masterpiece are from people who have (a) never had to lose somebody to death/cancer, or (b) lost somebody, but haven't been able to face... Read more
Published on February 13, 2008 by Ariel Stone
5.0 out of 5 stars Lou's Most Positive Album, Really
If you've read any reviews of this album, or even references to it, here or elsewhere, you've no doubt learned that it's "incredibly grim" (see Amazon review, above), Lou Reed's... Read more
Published on January 11, 2008 by J. S. Winston
4.0 out of 5 stars More loss than magic
On Magic & Loss Reed investigates mortality, loss, guilt, rage and resignation. Each song has a subtitle and a mystical symbol, tracking the issue in full circle and attempting to... Read more
Published on July 23, 2007 by Pieter Uys
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