Transformer, one of the most popular and adventurous records by Lou Reed the oft-titled “Godfather of Punk,” is now available on MP3 format from Amazon this month for only $5. (The CD is currently $5.99 and is an AutoRip, which means with the CD purchase you’ll also get a FREE MP3 download of the entire album.)
Released in November 1972, Transformer surprised everyone by actually bringing Lou Reed into the mainstream of sorts. The album hit the Top 40 and almost made the sounds and styles on this record, homosexuality, androgyny, fucked up relationships, decadence and early gothy art, household words. Produced by David Bowie and the late, great Mick Ronson, who sizzles on guitar on Transformer, Reed takes his best playbook from his Velvet Underground days and spills a wild musical ride all over his canvas here. From the catty “Vicious” to the waxing about Andy Warhol on “Andy’s Chest,” the sneering and sarcastically droning yet dripped in a kind of Christopher Isherwood Berlin style “New York Telephone Conversation,” to the well known and powerful dare one say ballad “Satellite of Love” and of course, the top 20 hit road map for the aforementioned styles and lifestyles, “Walk on the Wild Side,” Transformer is a fun ride of many musical sounds and sonic metaphors for that early glam/punk/attitudinal styles that were such a part of living in a certain kind of Max’s Kansas City-esque New York City in the early 1970s.
Browse all 100 albums on sale this month for only $5 each.
As part of Amazon’s monthly $5 MP3 Album Deals, Massive Attack‘s 1991 debut album Blue Lines is currently on sale for only $5. You can check out a track listing here below.
Blue Lines is widely considered to be the first trip-hop album. At the time of its release electronic music was associated with upbeat dance tracks, but Massive Attack sought to evolve their own sound by fusing down-tempo hip hop, soul, reggae, and other musical and lyrical influences important to the group’s history. What resulted from their painstaking efforts became a hallmark for British electronic music production and gave rise to “chill out” electronica.
As part of Amazon’s monthly $5 MP3 Album Deals, Bob Dylan‘s latest musical masterwork Tempest, released only a few months ago, is currently on sale for only $5. You can check out a track listing here below.
I have written in the past about why I consider Bob Dylan to be my favorite musician of all time. At the age of 71, he continues to experiment with and mold his signature blend of troubadour folk and rebellious rock into a sound practically unique among the music being produced today, making every album he releases a cause for celebration. Tempest, released on September 11 of last year (oddly enough Dylan’s 2001 album Love and Theft was also released on September 11 of that year), is one of his finest recordings since 1997’s Time Out of Mind, one of the high watermarks of his music career and possibly the greatest album of the 1990s. Since Time, Dylan has settled into a comfortable groove of writing and performing songs written in the traditional of the finest musical storytellers. The best tunes on these albums are mini-epics of love, despair, honesty, and hope.
Space Oddity, the debut album by the rock and roll spaceman David Bowie, (pictured here above with its 1972 reissue cover) is now available on MP3 format from Amazon this month for only $5.
On this album, released in 1969 and Bowie’s second with his pseudonym last name (he was born David Jones and had recorded a few songs and albums with that name and a back up band called The Lower Third prior to Space Oddity), Bowie takes some of the musical cues left over in the metaphoric bargain bins from 1967’s Summer of Love and does his best Donovan meets Syd Barrett style post-post psychedelic musings. The title track of course was an international hit and is still one of the highlights of Bowie’s greatest hits albums and in the top five of his all time songs for many fans of his.
As part of Amazon’s monthly $5 MP3 Album Deals, Aerosmith’s 1975 breakthrough rocker Toys in the Attic is on sale for only $5. (You can also purchase Toys in the Attic on CD for just $6.88.)
Released in April 1975 by Columbia Records, Toys in the Attic was the Boston band’s third album, and it would soon go on to become the biggest-selling album of their four decade recording career, unless you count their eleven-times-platinum Greatest Hits compilation from 1980. The record spawned two hit singles that would become the band’s most iconic tunes – “Walk This Way,” written by lead singer Steven Tyler and lead guitarist Joe Perry and inspired by a viewing of Mel Brooks’ comedy classic Young Frankenstein, and their whiskey-smooth paean to young lovin’ and hell raisin’ “Sweet Emotion,” penned by Tyler with bassist Tom Hamilton. In a way Toys is the definitive Aerosmith album: each song is a classic rock radio perennial and a brilliant demonstration of the band at the peak of their blues-rock fusion powers.