Lou Reed revolutionized rock ‘n’ roll with The Velvet Underground in the 1960s by fusing street-level urgency, European avant-garde and lyrical honesty to create music that read like poetry. His subsequent solo career was restlessly inventive and creatively unpredictable, defying expectations as though it were a sport. With recordings ranging from the wildly experimental to the perfectly straightforward – Reed was a storyteller above all.
His 1972 album, Transformer, produced by David Bowie, graduated the New Yorker from cult status to genuine rock stardom. The record oozes unaffected authenticity which really shines through on Reed’s ode to the underbelly of New York City’s nightlife – breakthrough single “Walk On The Wild Side”. The loving reflection on Andy Warhol’s ‘Factory’ scene, set to a shimmering doo-wop tone became a massive radio hit, despite the song’s allusions to censored topics of the era.