on 6 March 2002
For a Lou reed fan, this is a rare treat to see how the Transformer album was made track by track, with documentary input by all concerned (musicians and technicians) and new acoustic versions of key tracks performed by Lou. It's great to hear Bowie, Mick Ronson, Herbie Flowers and others describe the working environment around the making of the album, and Lou'd temperamental idiosyncracies. The material is detailed enough for hard-core fans but sufficiently general as to be a virtual time-capsule of the early 70s for fans of the era. Above all, it's amusing! - it's really funny to watch Lou back in the studio poring over the master tapes, offering up anecdote after anecdote. As for the scenes with the original Walk on the Wild Side characters, Little Joe and Holly, they are hilarious! The dvd comes with added bonus interviews so it's worth the extra couple of pounds.
on 12 February 2014
Lou Reed's Transformer album ,given the classic albums treatment. Produced by David Bowie & Mick Ronson
Transformer is Lou's best known statement by far. This program takes you through the tracks & looks at how they
Were Made. It even has Barry Wom ( of Ruttles fame ) behind the drum kit & Herbie Flowers on bass & anecdotes.
I'm not sure why Bowie gets a production credit, as he doesn't appear in the program to explain his role. He sings
Back up vocals, but the arrangement's ,strings & guitar work are all Ronson, who we know is a good Producer.
Even if your not a huge Lou Reed fan ( and I'm not ) it's well worth a view as most of this series is.
on 16 March 2016
The making of one of rock's best albums. It's all right here. Insightful, entertaining, a great addition to the Album - and after this DVD, you will love the Album, Lou, and the talented artists that made it what it is, all the more. A must purchase! You had to be there - well, you were, now!
on 25 November 2010
Some fascinating background information. Did you know that Holly, Candy and Sugar Plum Fairy were real people in Andy Warhol's bohemian circle? Not that Lou was close to them. Did you know that 'Satellite of Love' is a song about stalking? The Classic Albums DVDs are often fascinating, although brief (this one is around 45 mins, with 30 minutes of bonus interviews, although some of these are partial repeats). Would it be too much to ask to have all the tracks of the album at least as bonus features? And by the way, Lou cracks a half-smile about two minutes from the end of the mini-documentary!
'Transformer' was the album that broke Lou Reed into the premier league as an artist. Blessed with production and arrangement assistance from David Bowie and his guitarist / MD Mick Ronson (an incredibly talented but modest and self-effacing individual), 'Transformer' was very much an album of its moment, that hasn't, to me, worn all that well in comparison to his work with the Velvets. However, this DVD, like most of the 'Classic Albums' documentaries that I've seen, does much to illuminate and reveal the creative, recording and personal circumstances of the artist in question. When that artist is Lou Reed, it becomes something so much more. In the interview footage, Reed comes across as a slightly guarded, cynical individual (so what else is new?!), but nonetheless proud of the achievements with 'Transformer', and also quite appreciative of the contributions of Bowie and Ronson (which he hasn't always been in interviews). Reed sounds, from the Ronson interview footage, and the interview contributions from the amusing session bassist Herbie Flowers, to have been in pretty poor shape at the time - couldn't be bothered to tune up his guitar, etc, but the songs took shape in the studio, and in the process, a flawed classic was made. Engineer Ken Scott also takes apart the layering process on the album - fascinating stuff - and the contributions from journalist / musican Lenny Kaye and Rolling Stone editor David Fricke do much to help place the Lou Reed of 'Transformer' into the broader music scene of the time. If there's one criticism I have of this DVD, it is the interviews with Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics - I always thought he was an extremely overrated and marginally talented musician who got (very) lucky, and his opinions and thoughts are of no interest to me (or likely anyone else, for that matter), and, apart from The Eurythmics, just about everything else he touched was awful (Alisha's Attic, anybody?). That minor gripe aside (and as a Velvets fan, I would have appreciated more vintage footage of the band - however, in fairness to the producers, the doc is about solo Lou Reed), this is a solid and very worthwhile purchase.