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Transformer Original recording remastered

4.7 out of 5 stars 162 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 May 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony Music Cmg
  • ASIN: B00006LLOG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,732 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Vicious
  2. Andy's chest
  3. Perfect Day
  4. Hangin Road
  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. Good Night Ladies(bonus track)
  12. Hangin Round (previously unreleased acoustic demo)
  13. Perfect Day (previously unreleased acoustic demo)

Product Description

Product Description

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
12. Hangin' 'Round (Acoustic Demo Version
13. Perfect Day/Transformer Radio Spot

BBC Review

A useful indicator of Lou Reed’s raw talent is a quick look at his inability to derail his own solo career. From the not untimely death of The Velvet Underground, featuring him as singer, in 1970 onwards, this native New Yorker has seemed intent on poking a stick through the spokes of his push bike at every given opportunity.

His musical choices often rank between the bewildering and the outright irritating. Even when touched with genius – Metal Machine Music must be one of the most intriguing major label albums ever released – he’s done little to endear himself to critics and consumers alike. This, and a notoriously aggressive interview technique, caused a sense of frustration amongst fans that can be summed up handily by Sam Moore’s exasperated cry of “Sing it Lou!” on their joint single Soul Man – which caused the curmudgeon to do little other than carry on croaking.

But before most of this unpleasantness took place there was his 1972 breakthrough album Transformer – to this day, probably the most universally loved collection of songs he has recorded as a solo artist. As with many classic albums, the stars were aligned for this one. Unlike the tracks that made up his patchy self-titled debut, he didn’t have any material left over from the VU days. This forced him to get to work writing.

And what songs these are. The supposed ode to his drug habit, Perfect Day, only works because, no matter who the song is dedicated to, it is a beautiful ballad. Then there is the epic, neon-drenched goodbye to his association with Andy Warhol and his factory acolytes, Walk on the Wild Side. (This much parodied and sampled song had its signature double bass line composed by Herbie Flowers, who scored a much bigger UK hit by penning Grandad for Clive Dunn.) The proto punk swagger of Vicious, the snarky brass parp of New York Telephone Conversation: every track is a classic of the era.

Of course, having his number one fan David Bowie (along with future Spider, Mick Ronson) trying out production techniques for the still putative Ziggy Stardust phase of his career didn’t hurt. Some saw the lack of NYC/VU sleaze as a sell-out, but they lacked the clarity of foresight to see that Reed’s opus of cross-dressing, open homosexuality and discussion of drug use was set to pervert generations of pop fans to come, and was not just preaching to an already converted hipster rock underground. --John Doran

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 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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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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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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By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 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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