Lou Reed / The Blue Mask

The Blue Mask (1980) signaled an artistic and commercial rebirth for Lou Reed while affording Fernando Saunders a substantial platform to expand the role of the fretless bass in a rock context. Saunders transforms Reed’s rudimentary song structures into orchestral compositions by way of his inventive use of counterpoint and harmonics. This was the beginning of a brilliant partnership between Reed and Saunders, which, to my ears, was a natural evolution of Lou’s work in the Velvet Underground with John Cale.