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Transformer Original recording remastered, Extra tracks

157 customer reviews

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Transformer
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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks, October 22, 2002
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Transformer + The Velvet Underground & Nico + Loaded
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This 30th anniversary edition of Lou's tour de force solo album includes two unreleased bonus tracks-acoustic demos of Perfect Day and Hangin' Round -plus all the other great tunes ( Satellite of Love; Walk on the Wild Side ) that made this record such a classic. New notes and photos, too!

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This sophomore release by the Velvet Underground cofounder has long been hailed as one of the key touchstones of the punk and alternative eras that followed it. Reinforcing the literary adage to "write what you know," Reed paints an alternately detached/debauched portrait of the drag-and-drugs-infused underground of Warhol's New York, a place, time, and mindset so compelling it has largely overshadowed the rest of the singer-songwriter's mercurial career. That the album would also give Reed an unlikely Top 20 pop hit via the teasing, twisted sexuality of "Walk on the Wild Side" is but one of its deep, rewarding ironies. Indeed, as produced by David Bowie and guitarist and cohort Mick Ronson at the height of their own Ziggy Stardust fame, Reed's songs are cast in a seductive cabaret setting that's more Jacques Brel than Lower East Side. This 30th-anniversary edition features two unreleased acoustic demos ("Hangin' 'Round," "Perfect Day"), a vintage radio spot by announcer and word-jazz cult fave Ken Nordine, and a new illustrated booklet and perceptive essay by Michael Hill. --Jerry McCulley


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Vicious 2:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Andy's Chest 3:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Perfect Day 3:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Hangin' 'Round 3:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Walk on the Wild Side 4:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Make Up 2:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Satellite of Love 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Wagon Wheel 3:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. New York Telephone Conversation 1:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. I'm So Free 3:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Goodnight Ladies 4:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Hangin' 'Round (Acoustic Demo Version (Previously Unreleased)) 3:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
13. Perfect Day / Transformer Radio Spot 4:50Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 22, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
  • Label: RCA / BMG Heritage
  • ASIN: B00006LLOG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,463 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Hallstatt Prince on April 21, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Lou Reed staring from the cover of this album like Frankenstein in mascara gives us a feeling we are going to be in for a rough ride of the heavy metal kind. Nothing could be further from the truth. The album is probably most famous for the seventies hit "Walk on the Wild Side". However most of the album is unlike that classic rock song. The songs seem like somewhat sweet ballads that lull us almost into complacency until they slap us in the face. One of the great things about this album is how the music is so sweet and somewhat like show tunes and the lyrics are so subtly deviant and oh so clever.

Take for example the song vicious. These days a song called "vicious" would have speed metal guitars. But that would be much too heavy handed for Lou Reed.

Here are a few selected lines from that song.

"You hit me with a flower

You do it every hour

Ohh, baby you're so vicious"

But Lou Reed does not stop there as he brings up the lyric a notch or two a few lines later.

"Hey, why don't you swallow razor blades

You must think I'm some kinda gay blade

But baby, you're so vicious"

In the next song "Andy's Chest" (most likely referring to the scars Warhol received after the attempt on his life) Reed again accompanies his slightly twisted lyrics with sweetly sounding music.

The song begins just like a love song with the line

"If I could be anything in the world that flew"

But is followed by a line that leads us into a type of horror movie

"I would be a bat and come swooping after you"

One of my favorite songs is Perfect Day.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAME on September 22, 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 [homosexual] scene, urban decadence, [narcotics] 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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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Weston J. Kathman on October 6, 2004
Format: Audio CD
A wonderfully bizarre and entertaining album, TRANSFORMER features many of the qualities that make Lou Reed such a unique figure in rock. Like his work with the underrated Velvet Underground, this album is quirky, unpredictable, and awfully clever. "Vicious" offers a perfect intro to a fun and wacky endeavor. Regardless of how one feels about Reed's music (or his notorious extracurricular activities), he is never dull or derivative. Of course, the fifth track, "Walk on the Wild Side," became the biggest song of his career, including his work with the VU. Though "Wild Side" is a classic about the seamier side of New York City, it is probably not even the best song on the album. That honor may likely go to the third track, "Perfect Day," a haunting, dream-like tune that foreshadows the sorrow that would characterize Reed's subsequent BERLIN, one of the most thoroughly miserable albums of all time (though not bad, actually). Though the music is pretty strong throughout, the second half of TRANSFORMER pales in comparison to the first. "Satellite of Love," perhaps the second most famous song from this record, is a little overrated, but memorable nonetheless. "Goodnight Ladies" provides a nearly flawless ending to an extremely impressive effort. The key ingredient in the mix may be Reed's tremendous sense of humor which shows up in various ways in most of the numbers. Unfortunately, it is this essential Reed characteristic that is sadly missing on BERLIN, which pales in comparison to this triumphant accomplishment.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By (KKC) M. S. Artaxerxes Dionysus on June 7, 2006
Format: Audio CD
THE Lou Reed album (though 'Berlin' is just as good), 'Transformer' is simply the closest any album comes to Bowies 'Ziggy', and I encourage anyone, who has just fallen in love with that Bowie-album, to proceed straight on to 'Transformer', even before exploring the rest of Bowie's catalogue.

On the other hand, Lou Reed DOESN'T betray his own muse by jumping on the glam rock-wagon, cos' this is simply a great album, imbued precisely with that energy field known as pure rock'n'roll, that Lou has always worshipped.

'Vicious' may be his best rocksong, and is certainly the track on the album, you'll enjoy the most. It is vain, glorious, playful and absolutely stunning.

'Andy's Chest' offers a somewhat weird, romantic song in just the same vein, another classic. 'Perfect Day' is even more melancholic, pure doomed romance, and precisely the kind of song, which would later inhabit 'Berlin' with feelings.

'Hangin' 'Round' returns us to straight-ahead rock'n'roll. It's a fun & blistering rock song, with a lyric both haunting and hilariously funny. It is followed by the transatlantic Top 20 hit, 'Walk On The Wild Side'.

Some say this song has aged, well, they're wrong. It is a mysteriously, romantic, harrowing epic about the residents of the N.Y. streets.

'Make Up' may be very commecial, it may also be very weird, but there's no denying, that it is funny in its crass commerciality, and that it actually is a very good song.

'Satellite of Love' is another classic, stranded somewhere between 'Walk...' and 'Perfect...' on the mood-scale. Bowie in the background is amazing, while Lou himself beats even that, and the song just perfects the album.
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