Lou Reed – Transformer

ARTIST: Lou Reed
TITLE: Transformer

220px-Loureedtransformer

YEAR RELEASED: 1972

CHART ACTION: #29 US, #13 UK
SINGLES: Walk on the Wild Side (#16 US, #10 UK), Satellite of Love (#119 US, #51 UK), Vicious
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Perfect Day
LINEUP: Lou Reed, Mick Ronson, Herbie Flowers, John Halsey, David Bowie, Klaus Voorman
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: David Bowie and Mick Ronson take Reed under their wing and get a (very) unlikely hit record.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Lou Reed’s subject matter hadn’t varied much up until that point. He wrote about those at the margins of society, much like himself.

Except this time he didn’t just reach an audience of like souls, he hit the major leagues.

In part, this was due to Bowie and Ronson, and the public’s affection, brief as it was in the US, to glam rock. Also, these songs were even more commercial than the great VU album Loaded, at least on the surface.

Of course, the subject matter of “Walk on the Wild Side”, “Perfect Day”, “Goodnight Ladies”, “Make Up” and others are about drugs, sex, junkies, hookers, and the like. So, not much really changed, except they all had hooks. “Vicious” is a song the VU could have done easily and “Satellite of Love” showsthe versatility here with arrangements.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: “Andy’s Chest” and “Vicious” were about Andy Warhol.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: There’s a version with a couple of demos.

GRADE: A-: Most everything here is good to great, and the really iconic songs make this a good one to plop in your library.

 

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