Forgotten classic. It might be kind of cliche to say so, but man, Transformer just has to take its place as one of the peaks of Lou Reed’s career. It’s also one of the seminal glam rock records. It was something that captured a moment. With so many indelible hit songs like Walk On The Wild Side, Satellite of Love and Perfect Day taking all the thunder, some of the other tracks get a bit overshadowed, fame-wise. Ignore the fame, though. It’s an album that is absolutely solid all the way through, and all the tracks hang together harmoniously. This track is, characteristically of Lou Reed, a tale of the city. It is, atypically, unverbose and lighthearted. It’s pretty goofy and fun, not really the scathing social commentary Reed made his name with. But it paints a bright picture with simple words. For anyone who’s ever had a great night freezing their ass off wondering around the big city, just talking and walking and not giving a fuck, this one’s for you.
Hot indeed. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spend just jumping up and down to this song. Back when I was younger and didn’t have to work as hard, and I had more energy for just jumping around. It’s a very euphoric song that makes it hard not to do some jumping about. It makes me happy every single time I hear it, which happens to be rather often. A lot of T.Rex music does that. Which is why I’ve always idolized Marc Bolan and always will. In the sixties nobody was better at fusing mind-expanding psychedelic folk rock with the mythological heft of Tolkien-inspired fantasy, until Led Zeppelin came along and did much, much louder. Then Bolan went and invented glam rock, which fused much the same things with mad guitar riffs and shiny pants. He ruled at glam, until David Bowie came along with heavier makeup and better ideas. Sadly, Bolan gets remembered as either yet another curly haired wizard of English folk in the shadows of Donovan and Barrett, or yet another shiny pantsed glam rocker in the shadow of Bowie, when if fact he blazed both of those trails before everyone else.
Hang-Ups rocking harder live than on record. For those who thought Dandy in the Underworld ran heavy on the keyboards, the live version definitely sounds more classic T.Rex. I thought Dandy was just perfect keyboards and all, personally. It’s full of bouncy, catchy tunes and it’s a little different but still a classic. We saw how well trying to eternally recreate The Slider worked out. It got boring and people stopped buying records. I worship Marc Bolan greatly, but there was a block in the mid seventies when he was in a slump and his records weren’t worth listening to, even for me. He was trying too hard to be the same Bolan he was in 1972, and failing. As soon as he let his hair down and started having fun again, everyone was having fun again. Unfortunately, we’re left to only imagine what road Marc Bolan would have followed from there, but he danced himself into the tomb only months after his big comeback. I like to imagine that if he were alive today, he’d be an extremely batty old man.