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Transformer


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7 used from £1.42 2 collectible from £1.25

Amazon's Lou Reed Store

Music

Image of album by Lou Reed

Photos

Image of Lou Reed

Biography

by Richie Unterberger

The career of Lou Reed defies capsule summarization. Like David Bowie (whom Reed directly inspired in many ways), he has made over his image many times, mutating from theatrical glam rocker to scary-looking junkie to avant-garde noiseman to straight rock & roller to your average guy. A firmer grasp of rock's earthier qualities has ensured a more consistent ... Read more in Amazon's Lou Reed Store

Visit Amazon's Lou Reed Store
for 146 albums, 10 photos, discussions, and more.

Product details

  • Audio CD (30 Aug. 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: RCA
  • ASIN: B0002PZMSS
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 236,279 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 22 Sept. 2002
Format: Audio CD
Over these eleven perfectly crafted tracks, Lou showed us various little panoramas of Andy Warhol and The Factory, transvestitism, New York's gay scene, urban decadence, drug use and more in a wonderful blend of humour and irony and in a brilliantly diverse musical setting. The guitar-driven hard rock of Hangin' Round and Vicious is balanced by the subdued power of the poetic Perfect Day and the imaginative arrangements of Walk On The Wild side and Goodnight Ladies. Transformer is a literate, intelligent and enduring statement of an era and is one of the few albums of the glam-rock movement that has survived with its artistic integrity intact and that still has something to say today. David Bowie and Mick Ronson produced it with all the expertise they lent to the Ziggy Stardust album. But its varied styles, broader subject matter and feel of personal experience make it a better album than Ziggy Stardust. Unlike on most of Reed's other albums, there is great melodic variety too, and classic pop like the poignant Satellite of Love which by the way, is beautifully covered by Eurythmics on their Sweet Dreams video. It ought to have been as great a hit as Walk On The Wide Side! This most accessible album of Reed's was a deserved commercial success and spawned a million dreams.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Phil Robb on 17 Sept. 2003
Format: Audio CD
Probably Lou Reed's most popular recording, if not his best. Great songs introducing us to an alternative New York (drugs, sex, prostitution, transvestites to name but a few topics), and backed off with perfect production from David Bowie & Mick Ronson, as well as Bowie's distinctive backing vocals on Satellite of Love, Wagon Wheel and others. Lou timed this album perfectly, taking full advantage of the new 'Glam Rock' sound sweeping the market at the time, whilst not committing himself whole-heartedly in this direction (I give you 'Berlin' the following year!). The Reed/Bowie vocal duet on 'New York Telephone Conversation' is perfectly camp for the time, and this helped introduce Lou to a whole new audience who might otherwise have remained in ignorance. Memorable also for the fact of the BBC not fully understanding certain 'Americanisms' in the lyrics, hence 'Walk On The Wildside' becoming a hit single here. Still stands the test of time today. A true classic album. 5 Stars for sure.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By The Flashman on 3 April 2005
Format: Audio CD
Truly a brilliant, brilliant album. On first listen this blew me away with the tremendously cool (yet often gritty and dark) lyrical prowess of Lou Reed, and the laid-back, confident mix of funky, jazzy, bluesy and often punk influences. This is a must have for anyone's record collection - an amazing album - if you haven't heard any Lou Reed before I'd recommend this. Certainly if you enjoy this it's a must that you then explore his work with the Velvet Underground, which is equally original and equally immense.
A big, big recommendation to get this album coming from this reviewer!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 10 Jun. 2005
Format: Audio CD
On this legendary album, Reed celebrates Andy Warhol and his 15-minutes of fame stars in a glamrock style, influenced by David Bowie. This new edition includes two extra tracks, acoustic versions of Hanging Round and Perfect Day. The informative insert includes illustrations and an essay on the history of Reed and the significance of this album.
Transformer is a type of decadent cabaret comparable to Bowie's Alladin Sane, but it is less bleak and much more colourful and engaging. Reed proved himself to be a master of many styles, from the compelling rock of Walk On The Wild Side through the tender and tuneful pop of Satellite Of Love to the oneiric Perfect Day, a haunting poetic excursion.
Other highlights include the edgy rocker Vicious with its hypnotic melody and sarcastic/ironic lyrics (an attitude that would soon infuse punk and new wave), the quirky New York Telephone Conversation, the energetic Hanging Round and the stately Goodnight Ladies. The songs are highly descriptive of a time, a place and a mindset, and the music is powerful in places and very elegant.
The stylistic variety renders Transformer compelling throughout while not detracting from the cohesion, making it a great piece of musical theatre. Devoted followers would agree that it does not reveal the complete Reed, as he has been so prolific and his oeuvre encompasses a much larger spectrum. But as a document of the middle seventies, it remains superb, an essential album for all serious rock fans.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By No Longer Used VINE VOICE on 4 Jan. 2004
Format: Audio CD
Co-Produced by David Bowie and with a Stella line up of musicians including the awesome guitar of Mick Ronson and the master multi-instrumentalist Herbie Flowers Lou Reed's chronicle of gay life in New York is a classic from the opening riff of 'Vicious' to the Flowers arranged cabaret of 'Goodnight Ladies'.
Needing a boost after the failure of his patchy 'Lou Reed' debut for RCA Reed agreed to allow Bowie to co-produce with guitarist extraordinaire and current Spider, Mick Ronson (this edition of the CD allows you to see how the team turned Reeds rough masters into polished classics with the addition of the acoustic demo versions of 'Hangin' Round' and 'Perfect Day')and what a meeting of minds it was.
Each of the eleven original tracks is a stunner the stand outs being the Herbie Flowers bass dominated 'Walk On The Wild Side' (the title was stolen from the Nelson Algren's novel but the lyrics were about the Factory Set), Reed is quoted as saying that this song was so edited in the States that only the 'Doo, Doo Doo's were left)), the simply orchestrated and beautiful 'Perfect Day', the chugging mettle that is the angst ridden 'Vicious', the joyful menace that is Hangin' Round' and the fabulously camp 'Satellite Of Love'.
If you already have a copy of this album buy it for the extra tracks, if you don't have it, start your Lou Reed collection here.
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