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Velvet Underground


Lou Reed Transformer front album cover

Their faces drooping in disbelief, the fans shook their baffled, bewildered heads. "If we hadn't seen him with our own eyes we never would have believe it." They were commenting on Lou Reed's Transformation from a wrestling hero to a savage villain.--"Teenage Wasteland Gazette," Vol.2

Lou Reed has undergone assorted transformations. At one time he was a pirate, and another time he became a transvestite, and even a Lou Reed pamphlet was printed and distributed, claiming that Lou actually had a double who was really responsible for his first album. This year, on the other hand, Lou Reed must carry the role of a social deviant who hides in closets and jerks off at the mere mention of Marilyn Monroe. Essentially, it's back to those blissful days of Warhol legends when living was clean, and everybody could be zombies with black circles around their eyes. That's showbiz, and Lou Reed always did wanna appear in a Broadway musical.

Transformer is further proof even that Lou Reed has turned into something sicker than a homicidal-rapist-mass murderer-porno editor. Far gone is that prevailing commercial bubblegum flair so evident on the first album (e.g. – 'I Love You', 'Lisa Says', 'Love Makes You Feel', etc.). Instead, it's more like what the third Velvet Underground album would have sounded like if David Bowie had been in charge of production back then. There's a couple of cute ditties on here that perhaps belong on We're Only In It For The Money (dumbshit show tunes in which Bowie gets to fill in all the vacant gaps with chugging trombones and tubas), but other than that this album proclaims itself as most masterpieces proclaim themselves: IT GROWS ON YA!!


Anybody remember the infamously snide take on the Velvet Underground? You know, everyone who bought their records must have started or joined a band, considering every other hipster band named them as a chief influence, yet no one really bought their records. (I guess the same thing could apply to the Replacements or the Pixies, except they weren’t quite so influential, and certainly not as consistently great.)

Of course a true rock snob like myself bought and devoured their five releases, ‘cept I started with 1970’s Loaded after hearing “Rock and Roll” on local college free form FM radio (Brown University’s WBRU to be exact) sometime during my teen daze, and once I spotted the first album (with the, gulp, banana cover) at the catalog-deep record shop I dug down enough into my coin and dust filled pockets to buy that, with the others soon following. (Yeah, yeah, yeah I bought backwards, but I still BOUGHT.)