LOU REED
TRANSFORMER

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Produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson
Song Arrangements: Lou Reed, David Bowie, and Mick Ronson
String and Bass Arrangements: Mick Ronson
Guitars: Mick Ronson and Lou Reed
Backing Vocals: David Bowie and Mick Ronson
Piano and Recorders: Mick Ronson
Mixed by Ken Scott, Mike Stone, Lou Reed, David Bowie and Mick Ronson.

Comments

"At thebeginning of August (1972), Bowie and his guitarist Mick Ronson took Lou into Trident Studios in London to commence work on Transformer. All three men were under pressure. Bowie and Ronson, who were also recording with Mott the Hoople, were due to play concerts later than month in New York and London. Their time was split between recording and rehearsing...Reed would play Bowie and Ronson the bare bones of the song, and they would craft the song's eventual setting. Bowie and Ronson were attuned to what Lou's songs needed and their arrangements reinforced his material. 'Mick Ronson was really instrumental in doing the album,' one observer confided...Whereas (John) Cale had drawn together the lyrics of 'Heroin' and all the great songs on the first album, that task fell to Ronson. Ronson wrapped the lyrics in confident, sparring music that leaped out of the speakers and grabbed you around the throat, just as the Velvets' music had. Ronson described their approach: "We are concentrating on the feeling rather than the technical side of the music. He's (Reed) and interesting person, but I never know what he's thinking. However, as long as we can reach him musically, it's all right."...Reed's reaction to collaboration with Bowie and Ronson was ecstatic. "Transformer is easily my best-produced album. Together as a team, they're terrific. After Reed's first solo album 'Lou Reed' stiffed, there's no doubt that Bowie and particularly Ronson launched/saved his career with Transformer. These days, Lou currently earns well over a $1m a year from his royalties...

'Tony Zanetta, an American actor who had starred as Warhol in (Andy) Warhol's play 'Pork', was the go-between for the Reed and Bowie association. "I don't know how involved David was with the record, I think it was mostly Ronson. He had a lot of things going on, gigs, touring, shows coming up and recording. And the Mott the Hoople thing,"
Zanetta said.'
(Written by Victor Bockris)

 

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