Saturday, December 30, 1972

Will the Circle Be Unbroken charted

Will the Circle Be Unbroken

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Released: October 1972

Charted: December 30, 1972

Peak: 68 US, 4 CW

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US

Genre: country

Tracks, Disc 1:

Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to charts.

  1. Grand Ole Opry Song [w/ JM] (Hylo Brown) [2:59] (8/4/73, #97 CW)
  2. Keep on the Sunny Side [w/ MC, DW, and ES] ( Ada Blenkhorn/J. Howard Entwisle/A.P. Carter/Gary Garett) [3:35]
  3. Nashville Blues [w/ ES] (Earl Scruggs) [3:10]
  4. You Are My Flower [w/ ES] (A.P. Carter) [3:35]
  5. The Precious Jewel [w/ RA] (Roy Acuff) [3:30]
  6. Dark As a Dungeon [w/ MT] (Merle Travis) [2:45]
  7. Tennessee Stud [w/ DW] (Jimmie Driftwood) [4:22]
  8. Black Mountain Rag [w/ DW] (traditional) [2:10]
  9. Wreck on the Highway [w/ RA] (Dorsey Dixon) [3:24]
  10. The End of the World [w/ ES] (Fred Rose) [3:53]
  11. I Saw the Light [w/ RA, ES, DW, VC, & JM] () [Hank Williams] (11/27/71, #56 CW)
  12. Sunny Side of the Mountain [w/ JM & VC] (Bryon Gregory/Harry McAuliffe) [2:14]
  13. Nine Pound Hammer [w/ MT] (Merle Travis) [2:14]
  14. Losin’ You Might Be the Best Thing Yet [w/ JM] (Edria A. Humphrey/Jimmy Martin) [2:44]
  15. Honky Tonkin’ (Hank Williams) [2:19]
  16. You Don’t Know My Mind [w/ JM] (Jimmie Skinner) [2:45]
  17. My Walkin’ Shoes [w/ JM] (Jimmy Martin/Paul Williams) [2:02]

Tracks, Disc 2:

  1. Lonesome Fiddle Blues [w/ VC] (Vassar Clements) [2:41]
  2. Cannonball Rag [w/ MT] (Kennedy Jones/Merle Travis) [1:15]
  3. Avalanche (Millie Clements) [2:50]
  4. Flint Hill Special [w/ ES] (Earl Scruggs) [2:12]
  5. Togary Mountain (Walter McEuen) [2:25]
  6. Earl’s Breakdown [w/ ES] (Earl Scruggs) [2:34]
  7. Orange Blossom Special [w/ VC] (Ervin T. Rouse) [2:14]
  8. Wabash Cannonball [w/ ES] (A.P. Carter) [2:00]
  9. Lost Highway (Leon Payne) [3:37]
  10. Doc Watson & Merle Travis First Meeting (Dialogue) [1:52]
  11. Way Downtown [w/ DW] (traditional/Doc Watson) [3:30]
  12. Down Yonder [w/ DW and VC] (L. Wolfe Gilbert/arranged by Doc Watson) [1:48]
  13. Pins and Needles in My Heart [w/ RA] (Floyd Jenkins) []
  14. Honky Tonk Blues (Hank Williams) [2:22]
  15. Sailin’ on to Hawaii [w/ BBO & ES] (Beecher Kirby) [2:00]
  16. I’m Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes [w/ MC, ES, MT, and VC] (A.P. Carter) [4:25]
  17. I Am a Pilgrim [w/ MT] (traditional) [2:55]
  18. Wildwood Flower [w/ MC and ES] (3:34) []
  19. Soldier’s Joy [w/ ES] (John McEuen/Earl Scruggs) [2:05]
  20. Will the Circle Be Unbroken [w/ MC, ES, MT, JM, VC, RA] (A.P. Carter) [4:50]
  21. Both Sides Now (Joni Mitchell) [2:19]

RA = Roy Acuff, MC = Maybelle Carter, VC = Vassar Clements, JM = Jimmy Martin, BBO = Bashful Brother Oswald, ES = Earl Scruggs, MT = Merle Travis, DW = Doc Watson


3.925 out of 5.00 (average of 17 ratings)


“An all-star country project that worked and transcended its country and rock origins.” – Bruce Eder, All Music Guide


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“With all due respect to the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, it took the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band with this album to come up with a merger of rock and country music that worked for both sides and everyone involved.” AMG “Previously known for their country-rock and jug band music,” NRR the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band “was a young…band with a hippie look;” WK Roy Acuff described them as “a bunch of long-haired West Coast boys.” AZ

They wanted “to tie together two generations of musicians.” WK “The idea seemed nearly as foreign as Martians setting down in Tennessee, but the Dirt Band were Colorado hippies steeped in the genre, so there was no disputing the authenticity of the music, or its earthy appeal.” AZ “With the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band serving as catalyst and intersecting point for all of the talent involved,” AMG the album “was an all-star country project that worked (and transcended its country and rock origins).” AMG

The project, named after an Ada R. Habershon song famously re-arranged by A.P. Carter, “brought together a stellar group of musical giants of country music” NRR who were “much older and more famous from the forties, fifties and sixties, primarily as old-time country and bluegrass players.” WK Among them were Acuff, Mother Maybelle Carter, Vassar Clements, Jimmy Martin, Earl Scruggs, Merle Travis, and Doc Watson. They “had become known to their generation through the Grand Ole Opry. However, with the rise of rock-and-roll, the emergence of the commercial country’s slick ‘Nashville Sound,’ and changing tastes in music, their popularity had waned somewhat from their glory years.” WK The result was “an unprecedented collaboration” NRR that “introduced acoustic country music to a new generation of audiences and revived the careers of several of the guest performers.” NRR

“The recordings, made in Nashville, showcased traditional songs and country music classics.” NRR “Aside from the sheer joy of the performances (listen to Jimmy Martin’s ‘whoop’ on Sunny Side of the Mountain), there's great fun in hearing Roy Acuff give the boys a lesson in doing a song right the first time (and using the word hell before launching into a religious number). And Mother Maybelle wafts through like a benevolent ghost, or at least a patron saint.” AZ

“This was the first real country album that a lot of rock listeners under the age of 30 ever heard. Thus, it opened up pathways and dialogue in all directions, across several generations and cultural barriers; the dialogue between Doc Watson and Merle Travis alone was almost worth the price of admission.” AMG

“Every track on the album was recorded on the first or second take straight to two-track masters, so the takes are raw and unprocessed. Additionally, another tape ran continuously throughout the entire week-long recording session, and captured the dialog between the players. On the final album many of the tracks begin with the musicians discussing how to do the song or who should come in where, and provides a rare insight into the workmanship and approach that these highly-regarded musicians used to make their music, and how they decided to work together.” WK

“This was also one of rock’s very few multi-disc sets to be fully justified in its length and content; at a time when unnecessary double-LPs were all the rage, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and company gave a triple album that, if anything, left audiences asking for more.” AMG The band answered the call with Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Vol. 2 and Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Vol. 3. They “are not as widely acclaimed as the first,” WK although the Country Music Association did award Vol. 2 as Album of the Year in 1989.

“The Grand Ole Opry Song”

This “set the tone for the album, showing that this band – for all of their origins in rock and popular music – was willing to meet country music on its terms, rather than as a vehicle for embellishment as rock music.” AMG

“Keep on the Sunny Side”

Written in 1899 by Ada Blenkhorn and J. Howard Entwisle, it was popularized by the Carter Family through a 1928 recording.

“You Are My Flower”

The Carter Family recorded it in 1939. Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs took it to #12 on the country charts in 1964.

“Dark As a Dungeon”

Written by Merle Travis in 1946, this song about being a coal miner in a shaft mine gained popularity when Johnny Cash featured it on his live At Folsom Prison album. NPR selected the original version as one of the most important 300 American works of the 21st century.

“Tennessee Stud”

In 1959, Jimmie Driftwood wrote and recorded this song about a man and his horse and their travels. Eddy Arnold had a top five country hit with it that same year. Chet Atkins, Johnny Cash, Chris LeDoux, and Jerry Reed also recorded the song.

“Black Mountain Rag”

This 1964 song by Doc Watson was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2006.

“Wreck on the Highway”

Dorsey Dixon wrote this now-classic bluegrass song about a fatal car crash in 1937. Five years later, Roy Acuff & His Smoky Mountain Boys recorded what became the best-known version. The husband-and-wife duo of Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper had a top-ten country hit with it in 1961. It was also recorded by Hank Locklin, the Louvin Bothers, and as a duet between George Jones and Gene Pitney.

“The End of the Road”

Jimmie Davis, Sons of the Pioneers, Red Foley, and Les Paul with Mary Ford recorded the song in 1941, 1957, 1961, and 1962 respectively.

“I Saw the Light”

Hank Williams wrote this country gospel song in April 1947, but didn’t release it until September 1948. In the interim, Clyde Grubb and Roy Acuff released versions of it. Chet Atkins with Jerry Reed, Pat Boone, Johnny Cash with Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis, Floyd Cramer, Crystal Gayle, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Bill Monroe, Willie Nelson with Leon Russell, Aaron Neville, Earl Scruggs, and Ernest Tubb also covered the song. The version on Will the Circle Be Unbroken was an all-star jam featuring Acuff, Scruggs, Watson, Clements, and Martin. It was the first single from the album.

“Sunny Side of the Mountain”

Hank “The Singing Ranger” first recorded the song in 1944. Later versions were recorded by Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper, Lester Flatt, Jimmy Martin, Johnny Paycheck, the Stanley Brothers.

“Nine-Pound Hammer”

The song share verses with “Take This Hammer,” a prison/railroad work song which dates back to a 1915 manuscript by Newman Ivey White. In the 1920s. Most versions of the song also contain references to legendary spike driver John Henry. The first version of “Nine-Pound Hammer” dates to 1925 when folklorist Dorothy Scarborough transcribed it in her book On the Trail of Negro Folk Songs. Al Hopkins and His Buckle Busters made the first commercial recording of the song. Mississippi John Hurt recorded his version of “John Henry” in 1928 and the Lomaxes famous field recordings include several variations of the song. Lead Belly recorded it as “Take This Hammer” in 1940 and Merle Travis recorded it in 1946 as “Nine Pound Hammer Is Too Heavy,” adapting it to be about coal mining.

“Honky Tonkin’”

Hank Williams wrote and recorded the song in 1947 and had a #14 country hit with it. In 1982, his son, Hank Williams Jr., took it to #1. Waylon Jennings, Sissy Spaceck, The The, and Townes Van Zandt have also recorded the song.

“Orange Blossom Special”

Ervin T. Rouse wrote this song about the passenger train of the same name in 1938 and recorded it with Gordon Rouse a year later. The song, which has been called “the fiddle player’s national anthem,” was popularized by Bill Monroe in 1942 and was a #3 hit for Johnny Cash in 1965. It was also recorded by Chet Atkins, Charlie Daniels, Doug Kershaw, Charlie McCoy, and Billy Vaughn.

“Wabash Cannonball”

This train song originated in 1888, but was claimed by A.P. Carter when it entered the public domain in 1928. His group, the Carter Family, recorded it in 1932. Roy Acuff released it in 1938 and it hit #12 on the pop charts. Acuff’s version is in the Grammy Hall of Fame and National Recording Registry.

“Lost Highway”

Leon Payne wrote and recorded the song in 1948, but it was Hank Williams version which became popular, hitting #12 on the country charts. Don Gibson also had a minor hit with the song in 1967.

“Down Yonder”

Written in 1921, this became a top-ten song for the Peerless Quartet and Ernest Hare with Billy Jones. In 1934, Gid Tanner & His Skillet Lickers brought it back to the top 10 as an instrumental bluegrass song. In 1951, the song was revived again with a top-five version by Del Wood followed by top-20 versions by Joe “Fingers” Carr, Freddy Martin, Ethele Smith, Champ Butler, and Lawrence “Piano” Cook. In the UK, Johnny & the Hurricanes took their version to the top 10. Willie Nelson revisted the song just a few years later on his classic Red Headed Stranger album.

“Pins and Needles in My Heart”

Bob Atcher first charted with this song in 1943, taking it to #19 on the pop charts.

“Honky Tonk Blues”

Hank Williams wrote the song in 1951 and took it to #2 on the country charts the next year.

“I’m Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes”

The Carter Family had a top-ten pop hit with their 1929 version. Gene Autry took it to #3 on the country charts in 1944.

“I Am a Pilgrim”

This traditional song first appeared as a hym in the 1860s. The Norfolk Jubilee Quarte recorded it in 1924. It was also recorded by the Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet (1939), Merle Travis (1947), Bill Monroe (1958), and Doc Watson with Merle Watson (1970).

“Wildwood Flower”

The Carter Family took the song to #3 on the pop charts in 1928. Hank Thompson recorded the song with Merle Travis in 1955 and had a top-five country hit with it.

“Soldier’s Joy”

This song, dating back as early as the 1760s, is one of the top ten most-played old time fiddle tunes. Gid Tanner & His Skillet Lickers recorded it in 1929 and Hawshaw Hawkins hit #15 on the country charts with the song in 1959.

“Will the Circle Be Unbroken”

This hymn by Ada R. Habershon and Charles H. Gabriel focused on the death, funeral, and mourning of the narrator’s mother. A.P. Carter adapted the song and The Carter Family recorded it in 1935. Their version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Multiple versions of the song have been recorded by Roy Acuff, Gregg Allman, Joan Baez, The Band, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, John Lee Hooker, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bill Monroe, and The Staple Singers.

“Both Sides Now”

Joni Mitchell wrote it in 1967. Judy Collins had a top 10 pop hit with her recording of it; her versions was also elected to the Grammy Hall of Fame.


Originally appearing in 1972 as a three LP album, Will the Circle Be Unbroken was remastered and re-released in 2002 as a two compact disc set,” WK including “four bonus tracks, though only Foggy Mountain Breakdown is a proper song; two of the others [Warming Up for the Opry and Sunny Side] consist of warmups and studio chat, while Remember Me (featuring Doc Watson) is just a fragment.” AMG

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First posted 11/21/2008; last updated 3/21/2024.

Saturday, December 2, 1972

The Temptations “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” hit #1

Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone

The Temptations

Writer(s): Barrett Strong, Norman Whitfield (see lyrics here)

Released: September 28, 1972

First Charted: October 13, 1972

Peak: 11 US, 11 CB, 3 GR, 3 HR, 5 RB, 14 UK, 12 CN, 69 AU, 6 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 0.2 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 66.7 video, 130.49 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“By 1972, the classic Motown sound — that gorgeous, efficient pop-soul assembly line — was just about dead. Instead, the music had turned lush and psychedelic and orchestral.” SG However, within Motown artists like Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder had fought for more artistic control and it had a positive impact on other artists on the roster. The Temptations, who had major Motown hits with songs like “My Girl” and “”Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” were transforming as well. By the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, their sound evolved into that of psychedelic soul, due in large part to the songwriting of Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield.

Perhaps the peak of Strong and Whitfield’s output was “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” “an all-time monster of a hit, a masterful orchestral howl that would anticipate so many of the changes to come.” SG It was first given to Motown act The Undisputed Truth, Whitfield’s pet project which he’d assembled in 1970. SG That “fuzzed-out, horn-drenched” SG version stalled at #63 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #24 on the R&B chart. When the Temptations covered it, it swelled into “a dazed, world-swallowing 12-minute symphony.” SG Even the edited single version ran seven minutes.

Amidst the undeniably funky groove, however, lurked the dark story of siblings (as voiced by four of the Temptations trading verses throughout the song) WK discussing the now-deceased father who he never met – and apparently wasn’t worth meeting. Dad was a drunk bum who slept around and even had another whole family.

Despite the success of the song – which included three Grammys – the Temptations were frustrated with what “was more of a Norman Whitfield record than a Temptations record.” SG They weren’t happy about their songs becoming increasingly focused on instrumentation instead of vocals and complained to Motown chief Berry Gordy. Member Dennis Edwards said he hated the song when he first heard it. FB Whitfield soon left to start his own label and the Temptations returned to the kinds of songs they wanted to sing, which led to them drifting into “artistic and commercial irrelevance.” SG


  • FB Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 323.
  • SF Songfacts
  • SG Stereogum (3/14/2019). “The Number Ones” by Tom Breihan
  • WK Wikipedia

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First posted 2/4/2023.

Thursday, November 30, 1972

Todd Rundgren “Hello It’s Me” released this month

Hello It’s Me

Todd Rundgren

Writer(s): Todd Rundgren (see lyrics here)

Released: November 1972

First Charted: September 28, 1973

Peak: 5 US, 2 CB, 6 GR, 4 HR, 8 RR, 17 AC, 2 AR, 1 CO, 17 CN, 68 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 3.0 radio, 60.5 video, 36.4 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Todd Rundgren formed his first band, Nazz, in 1967 when he was 19 years old. The first song he ever wrote, “Hello It’s Me,” was inspired by a failed high school relationship. Todd got dumped rather casually and he wrote a song about how he would have preferred her breaking up with him – in a sensitive phone call. He ended up flipping the perspective so that the guy breaks off the relationship and walks the listener through one side of a phone call in which “he hashes out why they can’t be together and lets her know that she should have her freedom.” SF

Rundgren said the song’s chord progression was taken from the introduction of a rendition of “When Johnny Comes Marching Home by jazz organist Jimmy Smith. SF He said, “Those changes became what are the changes underneath ‘Hello It’s Me.’ [They] are actually almost lifted literally from something that was, from Jimmy Smith’s standpoint, a throwaway.” WK

The “dirge-like version with lead vocals by Stewkey Antoni” SF was released as the B-side to “Open My Eyes” in July 1968. However, Boston radio station WMEX started playing “Hello” instead and other stations followed suit. The song eventually reached #66 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Nazz released two studio albums before Rundgren departed for a solo career. He got his first taste of top-40 success with “We Gotta Get You a Woman,” a #20 hit in 1970. His second solo album gave him two more minor hits before he broke through with his greatest mainstream success on 1972’s Something/Anything? The album produced the #16 hit “I Saw the Light” (which is the one Rundgren thought would be his first hit) DT and a minor chart entry with “Couldn’t I Just Tell You.”

Then came a new, mid-tempo recording of “Hello It’s Me” which Rundgren called “just a dense arrangement of simple parts.” TB It was released as the album’s third single in November 1972. It didn’t catch on however, until it was reissued in August 1973 – by which time Rundgren had already released another album. The song rose to #5 on Billboard Hot 100, giving Rundgren the biggest hit of his career. He chose to reject commercial music after that and pursued “cultish credibility instead.” TB

In 1998, the song was used significantly in the pilot episode of That ‘70s Show. It was also played during the end credits of the show’s series finale in 2006. Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, the Isley Brothers, and Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs have covered the song.


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First posted 3/11/2023; last updated 4/1/2023.

Friday, November 24, 1972

David Bowie “Ziggy Stardust” released as a B-side

Ziggy Stardust

David Bowie

Writer(s): David Bowie (see lyrics here)

Released: November 24, 1972

Peak: 2 CL, 4 CO, 2 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.2 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 53.1 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

David Bowie’s fifth album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, was the one that made him a superstar. He conceived Ziggy Stardust as a bisexual rock star sent to Earth to stave off an impending apocalyptic disaster. Bowie drew inspiration for the character from Vince Taylor. Bowie met the English singer after he’d had a breakdown and thought he was a cross between a god and an alien. WK

The name of the character was inspired by Norman Carl Odam, a performer known as the Legendary Stardust Cowboy. Bowie also drew inspiration for the character from American singer Iggy Pop and fashion designer Yamamoto Kansai. WK Bowie based the character’s clothing on the Malcom McDowell character in the film version of A Clockwork Orange as well as William Burroughs book Wild Boys. SF The persona became a huge influence on the development of glam rock with its flamboyant costumes and singers who presented themselves as sexually ambiguous. SF

The song “Ziggy Stardust” was written in early 1971 before Bowie even began recording sessions for the Hunky Dory album which preceded Ziggy. It served as the centerpiece of the album. While the character had been introduced earlier in the album, this song focused on his rise and fall. Ziggy wins over fans, but falls from grace as a result of becoming too conceited and egotistical. Bowie said it was “about the ultimate rock superstar destroy by the fanaticism he creates.” SF

The song wasn’t released as a single, but did appear as the B-side of “The Jean Genie,” the lead single from the follow-up album, Aladdin Sane, which also drew from the Ziggy Stardust persona. A 1972 live version of the song was released as a single in France in 1994 to promote the bootleg album, Santa Monica ‘72.

The goth-rock group Bauhaus recorded the song in 1982 and took it to #15 on the UK charts.


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First posted 7/23/2022; last updated 7/13/2023.

Wednesday, November 8, 1972

Lou Reed Transformer released


Lou Reed

Released: November 8, 1972

Charted: December 16, 1972

Peak: 29 US, 13 UK, 12 CN, 12 AU, 14 DF

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.3 UK

Genre: proto punk/glam


Song Title [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to charts.

  1. Vicious [2:55] (4/73, --)
  2. Andy’s Chest [3:17]
  3. Perfect Day [3:43]
  4. Hangin’ ‘Round [3:39]
  5. Walk on the Wild Side [4:12] (11/72, 16 US, 10 UK)
  6. Make Up [2:58]
  7. Satellite of Love [3:40] (2/73, --)
  8. Wagon Wheel [3:19]
  9. New York Telephone Conversation [1:31]
  10. I’m So Free [3:07]
  11. Goodnight Ladies [4:19]

All songs written by Lou Reed.

Total Running Time: 36:40


4.350 out of 5.00 (average of 25 ratings)


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

After four albums with the hugely influential group the Velvet Underground, Lou Reed launched his solo career in 1972 with his self-titled debut album. Before year’s end, he was back with Transformer, an album celebrated as “an influential landmark of the glam rock genre.” WK

Part of the credit goes to David Bowie. Earlier in the year he released his own iconic album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Considering the impact the Velvet Underground had on Bowie’s work, it was fitting that he “would offer Lou Reed some much needed help with his career.” AMG As co-producers on Transformer, Bowie and Mick Ronson, the guitarist on Ziggy “crafted a new sound for Reed that was better fitting (and more commercially astute) than the ambivalent tone of his first solo album.” AMG The album’s “commercial success elevated him from cult status to become an international star.” WK

“Musically, Reed’s work didn't have too much in common with the sonic bombast of the glam scene, but at least it was a place where his eccentricities could find a comfortable home.” AMG Nowhere was that more apparent than on Walk on the Wild Side, Reed’s most successful single. The song “touched on controversial topics of sexual orientation, gender identity, prostitution and drug use,” WK not exactly the usual fare for a pop hit.

That song, along with Perfect Day and Goodnight Ladies, are examples of how Ronson’s “imaginative arrangements… blend pop polish with musical thinking just as distinctive as Reed’s lyrical conceits.” AMG Ronson also “adds some guitar raunch to Vicious and Hangin’ Round that’s a lot flashier than what Reed cranked out with the Velvets, but still honors Lou’s strengths in guitar-driven hard rock.” AMG

Four of the songs here originated with the Velvet Underground. Earilier versions of Andy’s Chest and Satellite of Love can be found on the Velvet Underground’s box set Peel Slowly and See while the band had played New York Telephone Converation and “Goodnight Ladies” during a 1970 summer residency at Max’s Kansas City.

“The sound and style of Transformer would in many ways define Reed’s career in the 1970s, and while it led him into a style that proved to be a dead end, you can't deny that Bowie and Ronson gave their hero a new lease on life — and a solid album in the bargain.” AMG

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First posted 11/16/2010; last updated 11/5/2023.