Another song paying tribute to the power of rock ‘n’ roll radio, this Velvets gem is one of their most beloved songs. ‘Rock & Roll’ finds the late, great Lou Reed telling the tale of a young girl (though he later admitted it was really about him) who turns on the top 40 station only to have her life changed for the better by good old rock ‘n’ roll. The triumphant, sunny melody is a winner, and one of Reed’s most unashamedly upbeat songs. No sadomasochism, heroin overdoses or junkie transvestites here; just thrilling guitar riffs, a sing-along chorus and a chaotic finale. A feel-good masterpiece that deserves to be played loud.
Available on: The Velvet Underground Loaded (Atlantic, 1970).