Transformer by Lou Reed

Written by: Elsie

Good songs. Great cover. David Bowie doing backing vocals… What more could you want out of an album? Released in 1972, this is the album that defined Lou Reed and is well known for being a masterpiece. I don’t think there’s any song I could criticize - from the opening track ‘Vicious’ (the song that sounds most like the work of his previous band, The Velvet Underground) through the legendary ‘Perfect Day’ (possibly one of the best songs ever written) and even the odd off-Broadways feel you get from ‘New York Telephone Conversation’, a song that on first hearing you assume to be a comedic interlude but when listened to properly the genius of it is revealed. The simple yet insightful lyrics appear to be blunt but are well in keeping with the inspired phrasing of any of his songs and David Bowie’s bizarre harmonies speak for themselves

Lou Reed hasn’t gone down in history as being a hopeless romantic when it comes to a songwritting but there are tracks that can tug at your heart a little. While Reed’s dry vocal give his more rock stuff the essential ‘effortless’ and ‘couldn’t care less’ air this if definitives of his style, this works suprisingly well as the vocals on more melancholy tracks like ‘Satellite Of Love’ (although that particular track is more highlighted by the exceptional over dubbed backing vocals).

The album definitely screams David Bowie. Bowie was very much influenced by Reeds and The Velvet Underground but completely overtook them after this. I guess their style kind of merged but the ever evolving eccentric that is Bowie wasn’t about to stagnate with it and qucikly moved onto his next persona. In any case, the pair work extremely well together and his contribution to the ablum give it the finishing touch.

In short, it’s only 11 tracks so it won’t take you long to get through… It’ll be worth it, trust me.

Album Details

Release Date: November 8th 1972 Label: RCA Records Track List: 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 Producers: David Bowie & Mick Ronson