Unlike a lot of people my first Lou Reed song was actually Perfect Day, thanks to the Trainspotting soundtrack, from then onwards, bar The Velvet Underground I heard Lou Reed’s solo career in bits and pieces until I bought Transformer in 2001 and then after I invested in Reed’s other albums, Coney Island Baby being my personal favourite.
Although I do like Transformer and revisit it, I do understand that it is a flawed album, mostly due to some weak lyrics. Funnily enough while reading Furman’s book about Transformer, who by the way, is the perfect person to write this book, I agreed with a lot of things said.
Furman presents a fair look at Reed’s work, praising some lyrics while denouncing others as racist not to mention that during the Transformer period he was beating his fiancee while trying to get off drugs and some of these aspects occur in the album, which Furman is conscious of.
As a book, it is well researched as Furman dissects all the tracks on the record and I learnt a good number of new things, especially Perfect Day. There is clearly a love/hate relationship with this album but as I said, Furman is a fair critic.
Definitely one of the essential volumes of the series.