Lou Reeds seminal album ‘Transformer’ turns 30

This week marks the 50th Anniversary of Lou Reed’s seminal album, Transformer.

Produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson, the first single from the album Transformer, Walk on the Wild Side became an international success, lifting Reed’s already cult status to that of an international star.

Lou Reed released Transformer in November 1972 with RCA Records. It is considered one of the most influential recordings of the glam rock scene at the time, cemented by Reed’s biggest hit, Walk on the Wild Side, which spoke to the controversial topics of sexual orientation, gender identity, prostitution, and drug use. 

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Credit: Genesis

David Bowie had been an early fan of Reed’s first band, The Velvet Underground, and used his own celebrity to promote Reed, who had at this point, not quite managed to achieve mainstream success. Nice one Bowie. 

The record holds tracks Perfect Day, Satellite of Love and Hanging Around. To celebrate this groundbreaking album, we take a look at some of the rare shots taken by Mick Rock, who took the photos for the Transformer album cover.

‘I like Mick and I like what he photographs, so shooting with him was never a problem. All these moments would be gone forever if it wasn’t for him.’ – Lou Reed 

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lou reed transformer
Credit: Mick Rock/Genesis

transformer lou reed

lou reed mick rock

lou reed mick rock


mick rock lou reed