Transformer – Lou Reed (1972)

“Being Lou Reed in 1972 was a raw deal: two years after walking away from one of the greatest and most influential bands in rock history, he found himself a penniless, strung-out wreck, with a career suddenly and seriously on the wane. To make matters worse, his self-titled solo debut, released earlier that year, was a monumental flop, a hastily thrown together collection of second rate re-recordings of Velvet Underground outtakes that lacked the intensity and focus of his earlier music. Reed was at a crossroads, unsure of which direction to take his newfound independence. At the same time, a new trend was emerging across the pond. Glam rock began to flower in 1971, and by the following year had swept up countless British kids, turning them from restless, discontended youths to consummate, androgynous hipsters decked out in platforms, sequins and imposing hair. … Thirty years on, Transformer still sounds startlingly fresh, free from many of the clichés that taint other similarly minded records of the period. It also works as an interesting diversion from most of VU’s work: where they clearly had a full-band aesthetic, and often leaned toward the avant-garde, Transformer took the strong pop undercurrent that ran throughout their records and indulged. … Their production work was so loaded that, were it not for the incredibly focused songs beneath, it might have been overbearing. But with a solid base, the ornate arrangements help bring these songs to life, lending Reed’s music a broader palette. Lou himself, by contrast, sounds as intimate as ever on the record’s more sedate tracks, crooning in a sensitive lilt that maintains his blissful, effortless cool. Transformer kicks off with the aptly titled ‘Vicious’, a stiff, snot-nosed Godzilla of a rock song, decked out in leather and eye shadow, and drenched in the kind of punchy power chords intimately familiar to anyone owning VU’s odds-and-sods compilations. …”
W – Transformer
YouTube: Transformer FULL ALBUM Vinyl Rip
MIXCLOUD: Lou Reed Transformer, 1972 – 2022. The 50th Anniversary Edition

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