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Suzanne Vega Celebrates New York City With a Cover of Lou Reed’s ‘Walk on the Wild Side’

“Lou Reed was the first artist I saw live in concert,” singer-songwriter says, “and encountering his music changed my way of writing songs”

Suzanne Vega has shared a cover of her late, long-time friend Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side.” The rendition appears on her upcoming LP An Evening of New York Songs and Stories, out September 11th via Amanuensis/Cooking Vinyl.

Accompanied by a charming video that features collage cutouts depicting the lyrics — including Andy Warhol superstars Holly Woodlawn and Candy Darling — the cover stays true to the original, with Vega’s melodic, husky vocals backed by guitar. “Sugar Plum Fairy came and hit the streets/Lookin’ for soul food and a place to eat,” she sings. “Went to the Apollo/You should have seen him go, go, go.”

Vega has performed the cover live several times dating back to early 2014, following Reed’s death in October 2013. “Lou Reed was the first artist I saw live in concert,” Vega said in a statement, “and encountering his music changed my way of writing songs. Suddenly I knew I had complete freedom as a songwriter and nothing was forbidden.”

“Walk on the Wild Side” follows the single “New York Is My Destination.” An Evening of New York Songs and Stories was recorded live at New York City’s Café Carlyle in early 2019. It features Vega’s long-time guitarist and musical director Gerry Leonard, bassist Jeff Allen and keyboardist Jamie Edwards. The album was produced by Leonard, mixed by Kevin Killen and mastered by Bob Ludwig.

“It is always a pleasure to play at the Café Carlyle in New York City, where this album was recorded,” Vega said. “It is a small exclusive club that has hosted legends from Eartha Kitt to Judy Collins and is also known to be the place where Jackie Kennedy met Audrey Hepburn. I love it for its bohemian old-world glamour! I decided it would be fun to perform a New York-themed show there with songs inspired by New York City or for which New York provided the backdrop, including ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ by my late, great friend, Lou Reed — a song I rarely heard him sing himself.”

An Evening of New York Songs and Stories Tracklist 

1. Marlene on the Wall
2. Luka
3. New York Is a Woman
4. Frank and Ava
5. Gypsy
6. Freeze Tag
7. Pornographer’s Dream
8. New York Is My Destination
9. Walk on the Wild Side
10. Ludlow Street
11. Cracking
12. Some Journey
13. Tom’s Diner
14. Anniversary
15. Tombstone
16. Thin Man

From Rolling Stone US