Lou Reed / Mick Rock :: Transformer Photo Book / 7″ Giveaway

lou reed_MickRock

I rarely do giveaways…but couldn’t pass this one up. Out this month via Genesis Publications: Transformer – a photo book documenting photographer Mick Rock‘s 40 year friendship with Lou Reed. From album covers to the candid. Their work is presented within a full leather bound tome, housed in a case that also encloses a 7″ vinyl record. Further details via the book’s promo video, here. We’re giving away copies of the 7″ to AD readers. To enter, leave a comment stating your favorite (solo) Lou Reed record – and to make it interesting, let’s exclude Transformer from the running. Winners notified via email, Friday.

134 thoughts on “Lou Reed / Mick Rock :: Transformer Photo Book / 7″ Giveaway

  1. Tough call because there are so many good ones, but I’m going to go with “Street Hassle” not because all the songs on it are uniformly good, but because the epic title track, “Street Hassle” with its 3 parts (“Waltzing Matilda”, “Street Hassle”, “Slipaway”) is one of the greatest achievements in all of rock & roll. How’s that for hyperbole.

  2. Street Hassle – Part B Street Hassle….greatest lyrics ever…..

    It’s either the best or it’s the worst
    And since I don’t have to choose
    I guess I won’t and I know this ain’t no way to treat a guest
    But why don’t you grab your old lady by the feet
    And just lay her out in the darkest street
    And by morning, she’s just another hit and run.

  3. So many quality collections to choose from, but I am going with New Sensations. It is certainly not his best, it is my favorite. That was when I really got into Lou and the Velvets. ‘Turn to Me’ and ‘Doin the things we want to’ are 2 of his best. The Bells, The Blue Mask, Ecstasy, and Street Hassle get honorable mentions.

  4. For me Lou’s #1 is Sally Can’t Dance. For ages I did wish to not listen to it, because everybody told me it wasn’t any good, but when I finally put it on the turntable, it was a revelation.
    #2 is Songs For Drella for all the obvious reasons and also because it contains Lou’s best performance on record of the last three decades.

  5. “NEW YORK” is my favorite!

    Yeah, it might not be as cool on paper or with the hipsters as “Street Hassle”, “Transformer”, Or “Rock N Roll Animal” — those are great albums, don’t get me wrong.


    That record (“New York”) at the time was really rare. No one was doing a straight up Rock N Roll record in 1989. There were tons of hits and instant classics on this album too – “Romeo Had Juliette”, “Halloween Parade”, “Dirty Blvd.”, “Last Great American Whale”, “Busload of Faith” and “Sick of You”.

  6. ‘songs for drella’ has always done it for me. Great to hear him back with Cale. pretty sure it counts as solo work. At least solo era.

  7. Coney Island Baby cause I need, need, need, need now, now some kicks! Oh give it, give it, give it, give it to me now, now, kicks!

  8. My favorite is Ecstasy. It’s his last great record, and it’s ballsier and dirtier than anything that came before it. The guitar tones are supernaturally phenomenal and hard-panned to stunning effect. Other records may have a flair/style that people may enjoy more, but I think you’d have a tough time arguing that he’s ever done a more solid songwriting effort (perhaps only on New York could compare). Among great rockers like “Mystic Child” and “Big Sky,” it even has his best folk song (Baton Rouge). The crown jewel, unless you’re a dunce, is the 18-minute epic jam, “Like A Possum.” It’s an incomparable listening experience akin to being drown in molten gold. But you know what the best part of all of it is? Lou is having a really, really good time.

    Big fan of Lou and A.D.. Cheers.

  9. I always loved Street Hassle best (and I lucked out finding a 99 cent good quality copy at Goodwill a few months ago!), but recently it’s grown to be Animal Serenade. Lou’s in weird, great humor the whole show, and the band – especially Jane Scarpantoni on cello – take songs I thought I knew well in thrilling new directions. The Antony cameos near the end are just fucking stunning, and a perfect setup for my very favorite reading of my very favorite song ever, Heroin.

    “Every fucking note you hear is US. Right in front of you, you get it? Live! We’re live! Nothing up my sleeves, baby – I don’t have any.”

  10. Berlin gets my vote. Street Hassle is no doubt the best song of Lou’s post-Velvets career, but the record is spotty and let’s face it, Side 2 of Berlin is just awe-inspiring in how each song is more depressing than the one that preceded it… spousal abuse, losing one’s children, mourning a suicide — all somehow made catchy & cool in Lou’s hushed monotone. Side 1’s only got a couple clunkers too, which means overall a much better batting average than most records by Lou, Lou, Lou.

  11. “Sally Can’t Dance” This is him at the height of “Rock n Roll Animal”, junkie glam exploitation. Highlight track being “Billy” which sticks out as a brief moment of honesty in an otherwise commercial yet pleasurable record.

  12. I don’t know where to get Lou Records. I like Transformer. Especially the song Vicious. Hit me with a flower.

  13. Sally Can’t Dance. The title track is a real gem. It’s produced to be a hit but still remains a danceable, gutter-punk classic.

  14. The Bells

    Love Don Cherry’s “African hunting guitar” and trumpet on all through the night

  15. I have to go with Berlin simply because it all works together as a cohesive album in a way that even celebrated concept albums such as Sgt Pepper’s and Tommy don’t.

  16. After VU, it always felt like the two parts (lyrics, music) could never meet at the same time–one or the other was always terrible… I kind of keep trying with Lou Reed because I want to keep trying…

    Anyway, Street Hassle.

  17. Berlin, although i do like the stuff on his self-titled album that was previously played with the velvet underground on their 1969 live album. good stuff.

  18. I was going to say one of his early records some typical awesome one but then I remembered the record that I’ve listened to more than any other, that my dog ate half of, and which is the greatest live record ever made period: Take No Prisoners!!! He sings his ass off and is funny as hell. And oh my god the back up singers… just perfect

  19. New York. It was my introduction to Lou Reed. There are others I like more now but NY was the right album at the right time for me. I still love it.

  20. Coney Island Baby because ‘Charley’s Girl’ is on constant rotation in our house…

  21. New York. Accessible and meaningful, it’s an album that appealed to me from an early stage and continues to do so.

  22. I remember hearing “Street Hassle” for the first time on my friend’s dad’s radio show. Blew me away. Favorite for sure.

  23. The Blue Mask. Love Quine’s guitar playing on that record, it really brings it to a place a lot of Lou’s solo stuff never quite gets to.

  24. Tough call. Lots to choose from for various reasons. New York and Magic and Loss are both great as concept albums with narratives, have fine lyrics and sound awesome. For sheer theatrics, I’ll go with Live Take No Prisoners, since, as Lou states in his hilarious monologue during the epic version of “Walk On The Wild Side,” he does “Lou Reed better than anybody.” I also always had a soft spot for his first self titled album, which I feel is underrated. “Wild Child” is such a classic Lou track! So you asked for one and got four.

  25. New Sensations was the Lou Reed record that cemented his place in my listening life. Somehow, that album focused Lou as a believable character in his own story. And with him came an endearing gang of supporting actors, including his wife, tough guy George, even Lou’s Kawasaki GPZ. The sound was sleek, muscular and tight, as guitar stepped a little to the left, making room for a tough Fred Maher beat and Fernando’s popping bass lines. New Sensations had humor, and a sly smirk about it, even while Lou seemed to be in love, even nostalgic. For once, you didn’t just access Lou Reed as Boho hipster and loft poet – You got a sense he was a GUY, too. Slick? Nah, not really. Straight up, maybe. But it arrived in ’84, in the heyday of rock so glossy your ears just slid across most of it. Next to the big hair crowd, Lou was Fonzie to an MTV full of Ralph Malphs. Lou’s mid-80s sound was accessible enough to reach toward the FM audience, but it presented a clique of stories that beat the pants off the AOR competition. I still pimp it on people, and they never spit it back at me.

  26. Everyone’s gonna jump to New York or Blue Mask (which are great), or Street Hassle (which isn’t, outside of the title track and album cover), but Lou’s at his best with Coney Island Baby–ballads, rock n roll, weirdo experiments, heart. Perfect Lou record.

  27. Rock ‘n’ Roll Heart — “’cause deep down inside I gotta rock
    ‘n’ roll heart.” Most Lou fans dismiss this one, but I have been returning to it regularly since I was 16 and now I’m 54. The Bells is a close second.

  28. Been a fan of Lou’s for 41 years. It all began with Berlin, baby. I could pick it as my favourite but I think I am going to call it a three way tie between Rock ‘n’ Roll Heart, Magic and Loss and Ecstasy – those are the three tours I got to see and hear the man.

  29. Like most others, there’s numerous ones I could choose, but I’ll go with Street Hassle, and use the headphones for the real sound !

  30. New York — Saw him perform the full album live at the Tower Theater outside Philly. Brilliant.

  31. It may be from a tribute album (Til the Night is Gone) and a soundtrack (Lost Highway), but Lou Reed covering the Drifters “This Magic Moment” sounds like Junior Kimbrough got stoned and tried to listen to Metal Music Machine.

  32. Definitely Street Hassle. Though Berlin is a semi-close second. Blue Mask is also fantastic.

  33. Lou Reed by Lou Reed. simple, inevitable, nostalgic. an appropriate introduction to his sound, like the beginning of falling in love.

  34. The Bells is an unsung gem of the 70’s. Berlin is a close second.
    The Blue Mask is definitely the Reed masterpiece of the 80’s. Robert Quine on guitar.

  35. New York. C’mon…Romeo Had Juliet – Romeo Rodriguez squares his shoulders and curses Jesus…runs a comb through his black pony-tail”. How cool is that?

  36. Tough call…they all got played to death on my turntable but I’ll say “Berlin” because it knocked me OUT the first time I spun that platter….

  37. Metal Machine Music. No, I’ve never played the whole thing straight through, and yes, it is horrible noise, but in its way it is the purest expression of a particular rock and roll aesthetic that anyone will ever attain, a cosmic ‘fuck you’ to record labels, fans, friends, critics, everyone and anyone. It is a fully realized work that somehow manages to meet and exceed all of Lou’s potential. John Cale wishes he thought of it.

  38. Coney Island Baby

    You’re 15-16. Maybe vaguely aware of the UV. Seen some covers at Rather Ripped and decided it’s beyond your grasp. Walk on the Wild Side is a tease. Nobody in your world talked about these things let alone put them into a trite pop song. Rock’n Roll Animal hits. It can’t be ignored. It slams you against the wall in a way that Eric Clapton just didn’t. It becomes your talisman . . . and then it all falls apart. Metal Machine Music confirms something, but you’re not sure what. Sally Can’t Dance . . . um what? Coney Island Baby. It has one of the worst covers ever. Everything about it says run away. Years go by. You’re still young enough that every time you play an album is a sacred occasion. And it wasn’t background music. You’d sit in a room with 3-4 lonely misfits, get high and listen to the whole thing all the way through without much conversation. It takes thought and commitment. It’s an emotional, political statement. Someone pulls out Coney Island Baby. You’ve still never heard it, but express skepticism. And then the needle drops and everything changes. Disdain, acceptance, longing, beauty, irreverence . . . and humor. There’s a quiet, dare say mature, seductive groove through out the whole record.There’s no in your face pounding guitar. No one’s trying to prove anything. It’s Lou just being Lou without any artifice and it all feels so right. Reassuring even. And finally, you were a kid from a middle class suburb where heroin, transvestites, Hubert Selby and S&M just didn’t figure into the equation very much. Playing Football for the coach did. Never has a song captured the aching pain of growing up and the lonely fear of what awaits you the way Coney Island Baby does and then wraps it all in the overpowering Glory of Love. You’ll go on to wear out the grooves on everything the Velvets ever did, cry to Berlin, fall in love with Transformer, debase with Take No Prisoners, become and adult with Blue Mask and the 80s. Be fondly charmed by treasures like Animal Serenade while your adult children beg you to take it off. But nothing will cut to the heart Coney Island Baby.

  39. the first album that comes to mind is “street hassle” but if i think about it for one hot minute, give me “berlin” and that’s that.

  40. Take No Prisoners. I love the extended version of Walk on the Wild Side where he talks about all of his different inspirations for the song.

  41. Rock’n’ Roll Animal, then New York, but I even thought Metal Machine Music was interesting. Uncle Lou can do no wrong.

  42. It’s really a toss up between the s/t lp from ’72 and Legendary Hearts. Two totally different styles of Lou on display with those two. ‘Legendary Hearts’ is one of my all-time favorites songs, so I’ll go with that one today.
    Hit me with a miracle!

  43. I’m in the New York camp. The characters he illustrates on that album are pure rock n’ roll.

  44. I was in love with the New York album, it was my intro to all things Lou and the Velvets. A good friend of mine at the time had given me a total Lou submersion, taking me through his many recordings (solo and Velvets). We went to see him in Kansas City, KS. It was a revelation hearing the music come alive in that old concert hall, and we were lucky to experience Maureen “Moe” Tucker on her booming kettle drum. Outside the venue was a Potawatomi graveyard, which added to the “sacred” feeling that enveloped me at the time. There are so many crisp details that come back to me now thinking back. Lou is an inspiration in his writing, performance, and overall presence in the culture.

  45. Denying me the chance to express my complete love for the gothic and glammy doo-wop contained within Transformer is pretty F’d up man!

    Take No Prisoners – Live, because it’s the next best thing to jumping into a time machine and seeing that rambling shambling beautiful beast in his natural habitat. You can smell the smoke, and alcohol, and the backup singers sound so damn sexy.

  46. Coney Island Baby is one of my favorite records ever. It always makes me feel good everytime I listen to it. The last lines on the record always makes me emotional.

  47. Magic and Loss. Totally underated. Some of the best writing of Lou’s career, a deeply moving reflection on mortality from a man who sounds like he has seen everything.

  48. The Blue Mask – terrifying rock’n’roll, with otherworldly guitar work by the great Robert Quine.

  49. Perfect Night Live In London…fresh interpretations…and that wonderful tone (both Lou’s voice and the incredible guitar tone)…Lou reinvents himself yet again…I never tire of it…each of his records are my favorite Lou Reed record.

  50. Coney Island Baby –
    Ahhh, but remember that the city is a funny place
    Something like a circus or a sewer
    And just remember different people have peculiar tastes

    Sums up NYC fairly well

  51. OK, it seems nobody else has the balls to peer this deeply; it’s Growing Up In Public, because the music contained within is just so clearly burnt and bleakly fried in so many ways that it exists as the perfect match with the sallow, sagging, deeply-creased and utterly resigned face that taunts/pleads with you on the sleeve.
    You KNOW, this time, that you’re not being lied to.

  52. THE BLUE MASK!!!!

    rock and roll animal is great, but i don’t know if it technically counts… haha

  53. I have to say Berlin. Been listening to Caroline Says II all evening after hearing the news.

  54. I think TRANSFORMER is the ultimate album for me. I also think that GROWIN UP IN PUBLIC and NEW SENSATIONS are brilliant albums ,full of great lyrics enhanced by strong melodies and catchy hooks, Lou vocally at his best

  55. The Blue Mask, no doubt about it, my favourite Lou Reed solo album including Transformer! Waves of Fear and the title track are the most powerful songs he’s recorded since the VU.

  56. Rock’n’roll Animal!
    I’ve been playing the A-side loud for over 33 years on every single first day of a holiday.

  57. Coney Island Baby

    “you believe it or not I wanted to play football for the coach”

    I nevere believed it, Lou

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