Song of the Day, September 11: What’s Good? by Lou Reed

Lou-Reed-Whats-GoodToday’s song is What’s Good? by Lou Reed. It appears on his 1992 albums Magic and Loss, a meditation on death. The album was inspired by the deaths of two people significant to Reed, songwriter Doc Pomus and a woman identified as simply “Rita.” Each song has an explicit purpose; What’s Good? is the second track, identified as “the Thesis.”

Reed’s lyrics merge the absurd with the painfully real as he ponders how these losses have disturbed and saddened him. Relying on irony to convey his anger — the rage will manifest itself more viscerally on later tracks — he sets up a powerful introduction to the heavy themes of the album. It’s a mature work by a seasoned artist and it works perfectly.

What good is seeing eye chocolate
What good’s a computerized nose
And what good was cancer in April
Why no good – no good at all

Enjoy this dark song today.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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