Friday, April 06, 2007

251. Lou Reed - Transformer (1972)

Track Listing

1. Vicious
2. Andy's Chest
3. Perfect Day
4. Hangin' 'Round
5. Walk On The Wild Side
6. Make Up
7. Satellite Of Love
8. Wagon Wheel
9. New York Telephone Conversation
10. I'm So Free
11. Goodnight ladies


There is one thing I really admire about David Bowie, and that is the way that as soon as he got famous and moneyed he started bringing the people he admired out of the gutter and into the spot light. This album is a case of that as is Iggy Pop's Raw Power. So here you have Lou Reed in fullish Glam mode. Of course Glam is not the first word that comes to mind when you think of Lou Reed or The Velvet Underground, still it works surprisingly well.

It all starts here with the package, in one of the most iconic album covers of all time, Mick Rock's picture of Lou Reed has transcended the album itself as an icon of the whole glam period. Then you have the music and if you ever want to talk of an album which has cristalised as a classic in the pop-world this is a great example. Here you get such important songs as Perfect Day or Walk On The Wild Side, the latter song is important enough to have whole documentaries made about it.

Walk On The Wild Side is the best and most accurate portrayal of life at Andy Warhol's factory on any media. And for that it will be immortal, and there are few songs you can talk about like that, in 500 years when someone talks of late 20th century art like we may talk of late 15th century art this song is sure to be somewhere in the history books.

And that is just one track, the whole album is amazing, perfectly crafted it goes from the bitter sweet of Perfect Day to the crazyness of Wagon Wheel or New York Conversation. Lou Reed is making his most comercial album here but it is also one of his best, the balance is perfect between saleability and just making beautiful art. I really don't think I need to sell this album to anyone it does its job fine by itself. So get it at Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Walk On The Wild Side
2. Perfect Day
3. Hangin' Round
4. Satellite Of Love
(and all other tracks)

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

It was produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson, who had been strongly influenced by Reed's work with the Velvet Underground. The album featured hits such as "Walk on the Wild Side", "Perfect Day" and "Satellite of Love", it had more popular appeal than his works with the Velvet Underground and made Reed an international star in his own right.

"Andy's Chest" had been recorded in 1969 for The Velvet Underground's "lost fourth album" (see VU and Another View) and "Satellite of Love" had been demoed for that band's 1970 album Loaded, but neither had been used. For Transformer, the poppy up-tempo feel of these songs was slowed down to turn them into fragile ballads.

It is number 55 on NME's list of "Greatest Albums of All Time." In 2003, the album was ranked number 194 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It is also on Q Magazine's list of "100 Greatest Albums Ever".

The song "Walk on the Wild Side" became a major international hit, despite its adult subject matter (although it was edited in some countries and banned in others) and it is now generally regarded as Reed's signature tune.

Walk On The Wild Side with a blonde Lou, followed by a little interview full of loaded "When did you stop beating your wife?" style questions which he does his surrealest to deflect:

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