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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative musical theatre
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...
Published on 10 Jun 2005 by Pieter Uys

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Classic US glam rock
Though most of it is either lost on me or not to my liking, there is something quite challenging yet engaging about this album. Produced by Bowie and Ronson, these views of New York life juxtaposed with a British perspective on how it should be displayed make for an intriguingly-observed set of tracks.
Published 19 months ago by phatboi


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative musical theatre, 10 Jun 2005
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Transformer (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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Musical Genius on Top Form, 3 April 2005
This review is from: Transformer (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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transformer - Lou Reed, 17 Sep 2003
This review is from: Transformer (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Reed's glamrock masterpiece, 22 Sep 2002
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Transformer (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious music from 1972, 6 July 2000
By 
John Peter O'connor - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Transformer (Audio CD)
This album, of mellow laid back rock ballads really set the benchmark for this type of music. Without its influence, rock music in the seventies would have been much less adventurous.
The album has a delicate, light touch and it always rewards careful listening. If you look at the list of names on the credits, including David Bowie, Mick Ronson and Herbie Flowers, it is no surprise that it reaches such musical heights.
Of course, the highlights of this album are "Perfect Day" and "Walk on the Wild Side" but "Vicious" is also worthy of special mention.
Lou Reed's mellow voice and the lyrics at once cynical, surreal and witty capture the attention first on this album but when you look further, there is just so much good music here. For example, the bass line on "Walk on the Wild Side" is wonderful and it really holds the whole song together.
If your music collection includes just one CD from the seventies, it should be this one.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lou Reed's most commercial LP is a classic, 4 Jan 2004
By 
Mr. C. W. Smith "karyobin@hotmail.com" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Transformer (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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Fine Music, 24 Mar 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Transformer (Audio CD)
No bad tracks on this album, which is a pretty rare thing. For me, it is Lou Reed through and through - simple cut down instrumental layers, thoughtful poetry and touches that really are the hallmark of someone in their prime (clarinet and other jazz instruments on Goodnight Ladies perfectly capture the mood and setting of the lyrics).

Yes, if you have 50+ CDs and rock music is in there, this should be too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transformed and Perfect, 28 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Transformer (MP3 Download)
One of my all time favourite albums.

Goodnight Ladies, Perfect Day, Walk On The Wild Side, Satellite Of Love. So hard to listen to now without crying.

A simple, groundbreaking album beautifully produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson.

Lou Reed was one of those life-changing artists. Put your headphones on, lie back and float up to the sky with Lou.

Goodnight Lou, Lou goodnight. It's time to say goodbye...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transformer uses lyricism and rhythm to create pure harmony, 30 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Transformer (Audio CD)
After the flop of his debut album, Lou Reed came together with rising star David Bowie and the producer Mick Ronson to make his most acclaimed album. Such moving music had not been heard from the mouth of Lou Reed since White Light/White Heat with the Velvet Underground and his karmic precision in bringing beautiful clarity of lyrics with strong melodies and rhythm has only been equalled in recent years by Radiohead's OK Computer.
His lyricism puts him up with Shakespeare: a modern bard for a modern time. By saying this, I am sure I am making it clear that Lou Reed's Transformer has and will stand the test of time and will continue to influence generations as it had influenced the punk scene in the late 70's. All hail Reed the revolutionary rhetorician.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative musical theatre, 10 Jun 2005
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Transformer (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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