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Transformer [Expanded Edition]
     

Transformer [Expanded Edition]

4.7 4
by Lou Reed
 

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David Bowie has never been shy about acknowledging his influences, and since the boho decadence and sexual ambiguity of the Velvet Underground's music had a major impact on Bowie's work, it was only fitting that as Ziggy Stardust mania was reaching its peak, Bowie would offer Lou Reed some much needed help with his career, which was stuck in neutral after his

Overview

David Bowie has never been shy about acknowledging his influences, and since the boho decadence and sexual ambiguity of the Velvet Underground's music had a major impact on Bowie's work, it was only fitting that as Ziggy Stardust mania was reaching its peak, Bowie would offer Lou Reed some much needed help with his career, which was stuck in neutral after his first solo album came and went. Musically, Reed's work didn't have too much in common with the sonic bombast of the glam scene, but at least it was a place where his eccentricities could find a comfortable home, and on Transformer Bowie and his right-hand man, Mick Ronson, crafted a new sound for Reed that was better fitting (and more commercially astute) than the ambivalent tone of his first solo album. Ronson adds some guitar raunch to "Vicious" and "Hangin' Round" that's a lot flashier than what Reed cranked out with the Velvets, but still honors Lou's strengths in guitar-driven hard rock, while the imaginative arrangements Ronson cooked up for "Perfect Day," "Walk on the Wild Side," and "Goodnight Ladies" blend pop polish with musical thinking just as distinctive as Reed's lyrical conceits. And while Reed occasionally overplays his hand in writing stuff he figured the glam kids wanted ("Make Up" and "I'm So Free" being the most obvious examples), "Perfect Day," "Walk on the Wild Side," and "New York Telephone Conversation" proved he could still write about the demimonde with both perception and respect. The sound and style of Transformer would in many ways define Reed's career in the 1970s, and while it led him into a style that proved to be a dead end, you can't deny that Bowie and Ronson gave their hero a new lease on life -- and a solid album in the bargain. [This edition adds the acoustic demo versions of "Hangin' 'Round" and "Perfect Day."]

Editorial Reviews

Rolling Stone - Pat Blashill
As an extremely suggestive and literate rock song, "Satellite" doesn't prove that he was rock's greatest living poet, but it shows that, for a time, Lou Reed himself dared to believe he was that good. Which is probably why Transformer is so brilliant.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/22/2002
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0078636513225
catalogNumber:
65132

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lou Reed   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
David Bowie   Background Vocals
Ronnie Ross   Baritone Saxophone
Herbie Flowers   Bass,Tuba,String Bass
Mick Ronson   Guitar,Piano,Recorder,Background Vocals
Barry DeSouza   Drums
Ritchie Dharma   Drums
John Halsey   Drums
Thunderthighs   Background Vocals
Klaus Voormann   Bass
John Halzey   Drums

Technical Credits

David Bowie   Arranger,Producer,Audio Production
Lou Reed   Arranger
Herbie Flowers   Arranger
Mick Ronson   Arranger,Producer,String Arrangements,Audio Production,Bass Arrangement
Michael Hill   Liner Notes
Rob Santos   Reissue Producer
Ernst Thormahlen   Art Direction
Glenn Korman   Tape Research
Jeff Smith   Art Direction

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Transformer 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago