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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars - Lou's most popular solo album
Transformer (1972.) Lou Reed's second solo album.
Following the disbandment of the Velvet Underground, frontman Lou Reed started a solo career. Although his self-titled 1972 solo debut didn't really add anything special to his name, it was still an excellent album, even if many people overlooked and/or bash it needlessly. Later in 1972, Reed began recording his...
Published on June 16 2004 by Rocker_Man

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3.0 out of 5 stars Not happy with the shipper.
LP was a little warped. Still sounds fine, but wasn't too impressed with that. Whoever holds on to these records should really keep them in a cool, dry place.
Published 3 months ago by Mike


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars - Lou's most popular solo album, June 16 2004
This review is from: Transformer (Audio CD)
Transformer (1972.) Lou Reed's second solo album.
Following the disbandment of the Velvet Underground, frontman Lou Reed started a solo career. Although his self-titled 1972 solo debut didn't really add anything special to his name, it was still an excellent album, even if many people overlooked and/or bash it needlessly. Later in 1972, Reed began recording his second solo album, Transformer. And with the glam rock uprising, who better to produce the album than the king of glam rock himself, David Bowie, along with his guitarist Mick Ronson? Before 1972 came to a close, Transformer hit stores. How does it measure up? Read on and find out!
This is Lou Reed's most popular album, period. And the reason it has earned that reputation is due to a single song - but it's a damn good song. Walk On The Wild Side, Reed's ode to drag queens, is one of the finest songs ever recorded that managed to crack the top twenty on the charts. But, as with any artist, there is more to Reed than just the hits. As the album progresses, Reed serves up a variety of songs - no two of them sound exactly alike. David Bowie produced this album, and you can see his influence in many a place on here - he even does some backing vocals! It's also interesting to note that one of the bass players on this album is none other than Klaus Voorman. Voorman is best known for playing bass on several of the former Beatles' solo albums, as well as for drawing the Beatles Revolver album cover. Through and through, Transformer is an excellent album, but it starts to weaken as it draws to a close. Many of the songs featured near the end of the album sound too much like David Bowie circa 1967, and if you've listened to David Bowie's self-titled solo debut album from that year, you know that that's not really a good thing. Fortunately though, there are more than enough saving graces to make this one of Lou Reed's finest efforts. Four and a half (out of five) stars.
In 2002, this album got a serious revamp in the United States. The sound quality was remastered, the liner notes were expanded, and two bonus tracks were added! The bonus tracks featured here are acoustic demo versions of two of the songs. If you're a big Lou Reed fan, you're bound to get a real kick out of these bonuses. Likewise, the lengthy text in the liner notes will be of interest to you, whether you're a Lou Reed die-hard, or this album is your first introduction to his music. All in all, a good reissue.
Transformer is Lou Reed's most popular album, and while not necessarily his best (contrary to popular belief), it is nothing short of excellent. If you're new to the musical stylings of Lou Reed, this album would make an excellent first purchase from his catalogue. There's a reason this album is so popular - it flat out rules.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great to hear it again -- RIP Lou Reed, Nov. 17 2013
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This review is from: Transformer (Audio CD)
Lou Reed's recent passing reminded me that I hadn't heard this album for far too long. Timeless stuff, with a couple of extra demos for interest. RIP Lou Reed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lou Reed, June 22 2014
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This review is from: Transformer (Audio CD)
Much better music then I expected but I was a bit let down on the remastering... It's pretty quiet compared to many other remasters from this time period. Strong solo effort for Mr. Reed.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not happy with the shipper., April 15 2014
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This review is from: Transformer (Vinyl) (LP Record)
LP was a little warped. Still sounds fine, but wasn't too impressed with that. Whoever holds on to these records should really keep them in a cool, dry place.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must have., Nov. 1 2013
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This review is from: Transformer (Vinyl) (LP Record)
Check it out this is classic that will never be repeated, a must for any music junkie. Sound is great. Thanks Doug.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars wade on the mild side, Feb. 25 2004
By 
christopher wren "christopher_wren" (Denver, Colorado United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Transformer (Audio CD)
Listening to the demo takes included on this remeastered edition reveals the degree to which Transformer's released state actually drains Reed's music of its inherent energy, turning his intense, frank, driven, incisive tunes into fey, twee, cabaret-sounding stuff. Given Reed's subject matter, I suppose the cabaret sound (reflected in clunky, halting drums and kitschy oompa-rhythms) is actually fitting, but only in a conceptual way, not as an actual listening experience. That leaves us with embarassing lyrics with a fetish for toes and noses. The released version of "Perfect Day," for example, carries nothing of the directness or fervor of the demo, foisting instead a half-hearted holiday that comes off as almost apologetic. Such treatment doesn't make the songs more frank but rather listless. Compare the lifeless "Satellite of Love" on Transformer with the rich, resonating version at the end of the fantastic Velvet Underground box set, and you'll what I mean.
Though the album production obviously includes far more instruments than Reed's spare demos, the final album actually sounds underproduced in comparison, sort of hollow and spongy. The sole exception is "Walk on the Wild Side," the song Transformer will forever be known for, and the song with the fullest, frankest exploration of sexual freedom. This song gets the fullest, most complimentary soundscape--that suave constant bass line rilling underneath the brushed drums, and then one of rock's coolest sax solos. If this means that my theory about the purposely frumpy cabaret sound is mistaken, that the record's producers (who included David Bowie) really had no stable conception for Reed's music, then the album is even worse than I think.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Post-Velvet Underground Masterpiece, Jan. 22 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Transformer (Audio CD)
Lou Reed's seminal post-Velvet Underground album was produced by David Bowie. Every song is a masterpiece. "Perfect Day" and "Satellite of Love" are two of the most beautiful love songs ever written by Reed. While there are other albums of Reed's that are brilliant, none match Transformer in its narrative thread and glam-rock splendor. The album evokes a period and setting -- downtown NYC in the early 1970s including Andy Warhol's Factory scene and Max's Kansas City -- with wit and humor. Each song is a short story of mood and character. Transformer is as fresh and unique now as it was when it was released. Get the remastered version. You won't regret it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rock Theatre, June 7 2008
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Transformer (Audio CD)
On this legendary album, Reed celebrates Andy Warhol and his 15-minute of fame stars in a variety of styles partly influenced by David Bowie. The 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 Aladdin Sane, but less bleak, more colourful and life-affirming. 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 dreamy 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 whilst the music is powerful and 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Slice of glam, loads of NY attitude and heroin chic, July 3 2004
This review is from: Transformer (Audio CD)
What kind of scene might the world of avant gard music if not for the wonderful inventions of Lou Reed and Velvet Underground. Lou Reed knows how to craft a pop song with the best of them and and inject his persona thus making it quite unique.
This was the album which positioned the rest of his solo career. David Bowie true enough did not write one of these songs but did his best to put onto tape the way he heard these songs in his head by acting as producer over the project. Mick Ronson (guitarist in the Spiders from Mars) also helps in molding the soundscapes which make this album a one of a kind. The thin white dukes thoughtful overtures often go misconstrued in the many albums he's helmed production duties on. I'm not sure if the album was remixed or not but for those who remember, Iggy Pop and Stooges 'Raw Power' had this kind of treatment in a re release some years back. Iggy opted to reduce the treble and increase the bass and percussion instead.
Lou at this time was struggling to find his solo voice and wanted something different from what he was used to putting forward with Velvet. His finest songs are found on this incredible album...Walk on the wild side, Satellites of love and perfect day just to rattle of a few. Whether Bowie's contributions have held some lasting impact on the albums resonance some 30 years after being released is questionable. It certainly doesnt hurt in my opinion. Good place to start for those just now investigating Lou's reputable catalogue.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the undisputed champion of lou reed albums., May 22 2004
This review is from: Transformer (Audio CD)
Argubably better than his first musical effort lou reed reached his peak on transformer. maybe the album was as good as it was simply because bowied pruduced it. The production of yet another brilliat artist did nothing but help. the mellownes especially was magnificent. yes the velvet underground never were exactly high octane musicians but reed simply pulls it of better here.
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Transformer
Transformer by Lou Reed (Audio CD - 2004)
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