After giving the proverbial “middle finger” to critics, the record label, and to a certain extent, fans, Lour Reed went back to work making his next record. Coney Island Baby was released in the early part 1976 and is a sort of nostalgic look at a time and place, sort of like coming to terms with his adulthood and making peace with his past.
In many ways this is a rather unremarkable Lou Reed album. Oh, sure, the songs themselves are good with a couple that stand out, but overall this isn’t one of the “must-have” albums in his catalog. It is almost as if he was working on getting his craft back after working on such a different project.
The song “Coney Island Baby”, the title track for the album, is often included on various best of compilations, and it’s a pretty good tune, but personally I don’t find any of the songs on this album worthy of “best of” inclusion. It almost as if this is a reset for Lou Reed, much like his first solo album. What we have is a sort of “standard” or almost “pedestrian” rock album, laying the foundation for what would come next in his career.
“Coney Island Baby”
This edition included in the RCA & Arista Collection Box Set replicates the track listing on the original album as released. This means the 30th anniversary edition, which was released in 2006 is not included here. As pointed out before, my biggest disappointment with this box set is its strict adherence to the original album releases. Missing from this version are the six bonus tracks, three alternate early versions of songs and three tracks that wouldn’t get recorded and released until much later. I would have liked to have had those versions of these six songs on this album so I guess I’m going to have to find a copy of the 30th anniversary release.