Transformer

~ Release group by Lou Reed

Album

Release Format Tracks Date Country Label Catalog# Barcode
Official
Transformer 12" Vinyl 11 RCA Victor LSP 4807 [none]
Transformer 12" Vinyl 11 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) LSP-4807 [none]
Transformer CD 11 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) ND83 806 0035628380623
Transformer CD 11 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) RCD 13806 [none]
Transformer Vinyl 11 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) NL 83806 0035628380616
Transformer 12" Vinyl 11 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) NL 83806 0035628380616
Transformer Vinyl 11 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) NL 83806 0035628380616
Transformer CD 11 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) PCD14807 078635480726
Transformer CD 11 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) B20D-41005 4988017014295
Transformer CD 11 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) 74321 601812, PCD 10200 9315589648828
Transformer CD 11 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) 07863 66600-2 078636660028
Transformer CD 11 BMG Special Products 44541-2 755174454127
Transformer CD 11 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) 74321 601812 743216018123
Transformer CD 11 BMGファンハウス BVCM-35055 4988017093702
Transformer Digital Media 13 078636513225
Transformer CD 13 BMG Heritage 07863 65132 2 078636513225
Transformer CD 13 BMG Heritage, RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) 07863 65132 2 078636513225
Transformer CD 13 BMG Heritage 82876 640842 828766408423
Transformer 12" Vinyl 11 RCA Victor, Speakers Corner LSP-4807 [none]
Transformer CD 13 BMG JAPAN BVCM-37726 4988017641538
Transformer CD 13 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) 88697546622 886975466221
Transformer Digital Media 11 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) [none]
Transformer (Original Masters, made by Sony DADC) CD 13 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle), Sony Music (global brand, excluding JP, owned by Sony Music Entertainment; for use as release label only when no sub-label/imprint is specified) 07863 65132 2 078636513225

Relationships

part of: Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: 2012 edition (number: 194)
Allmusic: http://www.allmusic.com/album/mw0000191542 [info]
Discogs: https://www.discogs.com/master/44278 [info]
Wikidata: Q631153 [info]
lyrics page: http://lyrics.wikia.com/Lou_Reed:Transformer_(1972) [info]
other databases: https://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/lou_reed/transformer/ [info]
https://www.musik-sammler.de/album/44499/ [info]
reviews: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/nzwx [info]

CritiqueBrainz Reviews

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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.