October 27, 2013

20,000 Vinyl LPs 25: Lou Reed ~ Transformer

Lou Reed ~ Transformer
photo by Mick Rock
photo of album cover by Styrous®

The man who walked on the wild side, died today. I remember hearing Walk On the Wild Side for the first time. I had never heard anything like it before. The slow, dreamy bass with the background chorus of the "Colored Girls" going "Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo" with a slow build up grabbed me by the ears and never let me go. I immediately had to find out who was singing. Lou Reed was born in New Jersey in 1942. He was 71 when he died and is survived by his wife, Laurie Anderson. I didn't even know they were married until now.

Reed started out with The Velvet Underground and wrote a majority of their popular songs. Although, the Underground never had any major hits, they were an influential group. Brian Eno said, "Only 35,000 people bought the first Velvet Underground album but everyone of them formed a band".

Reed moved on to success in his solo career with 1972's Walk on the Wild Side from Transformer, his most commercial hit. Ernie Thormahlen (a friend of Reed's) posed for the photo used on the back cover of Transformer with a banana stuffed into the front of his levis.

 Lou Reed ~ Transformer
Ernie Thormahlen (right) with banana
photo by Mick Rock
photo of album cover back by Styrous®


Transformer was recorded in August of 1972 at Trident Studios, London and it was released on November 8, that same year.  It was produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson.

The Velvet Underground was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. In 1997, Transformer was named the 44th greatest album of all time in a 'Music of the Millennium poll conducted in the United Kingdom by HMV Group, Channel 4, The Guardian and Classic FM. Transformer is also ranked number 55 on New Musical Express' 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.

Track listing

All songs written by Lou Reed except when noted*

Side one

  1. "Vicious" – 2:55
  2. "Andy's Chest" – 3:17
  3. "Perfect Day" – 3:43
  4. "Hangin' 'Round" – 3:39
  5. "Walk on the Wild Side" – 4:12

Side two

  1. "Make Up" – 2:58
  2. "Satellite of Love" – 3:40
  3. *"Wagon Wheel" – 3:19 (David Bowie)
  4. "New York Telephone Conversation" – 1:31
  5. "I'm So Free" – 3:07
  6. "Goodnight Ladies" – 4:19

Walk on, Lou, walk on.


Styrous® ~ Sunday, October 27, 2013

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