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Pass Thru Fire: The Collected Lyrics Paperback – December 9, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; Updated edition (December 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030681630X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306816307
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #663,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

New York Post
"This paperback collection of Reed ruminations is not only a lyrical walk on the wild side, it's a typographic wonder."

“John Shelton Ivany Top 21”
“A comprehensive collection…A must-have for any fan…Crucial to understanding and appreciating Lou Reed."

Gallery & Studio, 2/09
“The revelation of Pass Thru Fire: The Collected Lyrics is how well many of Lou’s words hold up on the page.”

SwampLand.com
“I felt lucky when Pass Thru Fire arrived at my door. It made my day.”

Hartford Advocate, 3/7/09
“Perusing this 576-page volume should be a lesson in humility for any aspiring rock poet.”

New York Times, 11/13/13
“In a 1987 interview, Mr. Reed talked about seeing his record albums as chapters in one huge, long novel: ‘They’re all in chronological order,’ he said. ‘You take the whole thing, stack it and listen to it in order, there’s my Great American Novel.’ Pass Thru Fire, the recent volume of Reed’s collected lyrics—dedicated to ‘L.A.,’ Laurie Anderson—provides another version of that novel, and even without the essential soundtrack, the lyrics possess a remarkable organic coherence, charting a harrowing journey through the bohemian underworlds of New York City, through the ravages of heroin and speed, and emotional terror, fury and aloneness—and toward something like grace."


About the Author

Lou Reed founded the legendary Velvet Underground in 1965 and is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By D. Sean Brickell on February 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
While other troubadors, notably Dylan and Springsteen, enjoy the rewards of being part of the general public's consciousness, Lou Reed's honesty and unflinching vision earm him the title of rock's most perceptive lyricst.
This book contains virtually all of Reed's long and impressive catalogue. In pure realism we take a walk on the wild side with New York City's addicts, whores, scam-artists, thieves, beggers and every other form of gutter life.
A broad perspective such as this -- in the hands of lesser poets -- would seem a tragic commentary, but Reed manages to infuse just enough human spirit and optimism to keep his scenes above total chaos.
The losers greatly outnumber the winners in Reed's world, if you keep score. But most of Reed's characters suffer life's misfortunes from imposed, not self-inflicted, situations. The noble "Pass Through Fire," even in the face of certain disaster.
Lou Reed's book of lyrics is indispensible. I call it equipment for living.
Get a copy today!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. Scagnelli on May 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Lou Reed is an incredible songwriter. His style is unlike any other. One of the best things about Lou Reed's music is his lyrics. Reed's lyrics are really brilliant. This book shows that. Pass Thru Fire is something fans of Lou and The Velvets should own. It contains almost all of the songs Lou has ever written from The Velvet Underground & Nico, to his latest masterpiece, Ecstasy. I am very happy that it contains his lyrics from his days with the Velvets, which is when he wrote some of his best lyrics. This book even contains some very rare songs, including the early versions of Sweet Jane and New Age, and little known songs such as Temptation Inside Your Heart and Ferryboat Bill. Also, having the lyrics printed in the strange ways that they are just adds to the experience of reading it. I think the book would be a little boring without that. Anyways, all fans of Lou should own this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By x on May 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The collected lyrics of Lou Reed hold up quite well on the page in "Pass Through Fire." This is rare for a poetry book from a rock legend, since most lyric collections from rock stars tend to be rather silly (e.g., Mr. Mojo Risin's poetry). Reed's lyrics explore the full magnitude of the modern urban man's consciousness in all its moments of triumph and strife. The primary impulse in Lou Reed's lyrics is the impetus towards freedom. Sometimes the individual cannot attain it, and is relegated to a life of tremendous despair. But the impulse always awakens, even if it arises from the spirit of the junkie lying in the gutter a day too late. Buy "Pass Through Fire" and read it to your children, because if you don't help them experience life as Lou Reed knows it they too might end up on the "Dirty Blvd" without the intellectual means to escape.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Goodell on April 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You could be totally illerate and still be able to read this book. The words are actually printed with emotion. Some, like tears, puddle down the page. Others weave in and out of strength and weakness- it is absolutely stunning.
I am not a huge Lou Reed fan or anything but everyone should look inside this book simply for the sake of experiencing how extraordinarily it was designed and strung together. The poetry moves, it is evident and incredibly intense.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Babette on April 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Hardbound lyrics from a hard-edged man. Some of the lyric-stories felt so intensely personal, it seemed almost as though I were trespassing on a personal experience. How brave and bold he is. Others were so visceral and raw, they were a challenge to read. (A challenge you should meet.) This book requires a lot of time and attention and it is so worthwhile. Thank you, Mr. Reed.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "emptyboat" on October 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have to admit that I loved the book. It provides, in one place, lyrics from I assume all Lou's albums going back to his earliest work with the Velvet Underground(and some previously uncollected poems and songs).
Lou Reed has recorded almost 30 albums since the mid-60s. Albums and songs that have changed lives and the course of both rock and roll. Delmore Schwartz and Andy Warhol might have changed Lou's life, but he has had an impact on countless numbers of songwriters and bands and ordinary everyday people, who lead the kinds of lives that he has at times railed against and rejected (and then written about). Much has been written about Lou's frostiness. It is very difficult not knowing the context to be able to comment, but it is not necessary to like him as a person to like his music or appreciate his writing.
It was joy (this made be a strange term to use considering the sometimes chilling content of the lyrics) to be able to thumb through and locate a particular song lyric. Reading the lyrics I felt the rhythm of the words and heard the music in m head. I was particularly pleased that his early work with Velvet Underground was included. These "short stories" still resonate today 30 odd years on.
The only bone I have to pick is the formatting/layout, which in places I initially thought was as a result of poor printing. Lets just say someone must have received an early Christmas present and taken psychedelic liberties with the printed word by means including stretching and bubbling etc. But this is really a small price to pay to have this work collected in one portable volume (anyone who doesn't want their copy let me know especially if it's a first edition hard-cover).
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