Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Transformer

When Lou Reed left the Velvet Underground in 1970, it seemed rock and roll's loss was accountancy's gain - he found employment with his dad's accountancy firm. What's more the minute sales of his debut solo album were hardly likely to trouble balance sheets at his record company.
It no doubt came as a relief to Lou when David Bowie, then at the peak of his Ziggy success, offered to produce a new album. Transformer was aptly named - it would change Lou Reed from shadowy cult figure to (albeit unusual) pop star, and also become possibly the best album ever inspired by New York, even though it wasn't recorded there.

In July 1972, Reed moved to London and rented a house in Wimbledon, an area not renowned for its abundance of low life cross dressers and drug users. Recording commenced at Trident Studios, overseen by Bowie and his trusty guitar sidekick Mick Ronson, who also lent his trademark crunch to several of the tracks. Also involved where Beatles associate Klaus Voorman and ace session man Herbie Flowers, whose double tracked bass line on Walk on the Wild Side practically made the song, even if credit was never fully given for his contribution beyond the standard session fee.
RIP Lou Reed, late of this parish. I wonder where exactly where he stayed in SW19.
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