Lou Reed-Transformer (Classic Albums) (Rajon) (2001)

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Released 10-Dec-2007

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Bonus Interviews (9) - Expanded from the main feature
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 49:31 (Case: 80)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Jim Smeaton
Rajon Vision Starring Lou Reed
David Bowie
Mick Ronson
Herbie Flowers
Dave Stewart
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $19.95 Music Lou Reed

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles French
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, sound grab from Lou Reed

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    From the Classic Albums series of rockumentaries, this is a made-for TV documentary about the production of Lou Reed's classic second album Transformer. Running track by track through the album, weaving in the story behind the production of the album together with the story behind each track, primarily through recently recorded interview. Prominent interviewees include Reed himself and album producers David Bowie and Mick Ronson.

    Lou Reed fans will find this to be essential viewing. Anybody else interested in rock history will find something to enjoy in this well-made documentary.

    This documentary has been previously released by Warner Vision (we reviewed it back in 2002). This reissue by Rajon Vision is identical to the Warner release in terms of content (right down to the video transfer itself), save for the different distributor logos and different style ratings label on the cover slick. The RRP for this re-release is half that of the original release, however.

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Track Listing

1. I'm So Free
2. Vicious
3. Satellite of Love
4. Walk on the Wild Side
5. Andy's Chest
6. New York Telephone Conversation
7. Make Up
8. Perfect Day
9. Goodnight Ladies

Transfer Quality


    The present day interviews are of superb quality video and the following comments apply principally to these segments which make up the majority of the feature. Archival film and video material is, understandably, of inferior quality.

    The feature is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    Sharpness, shadow detail and absence of low level noise are exemplary.

    The colours are a little muted due largely to the subdued lighting of many of the home and studio venues.

    There is aliasing throughout the feature of a minor nature and this only becomes really noticeable, as is usual, on string shots of guitars (13:37) or the edge of mixers (12:25).

    The archival footage contains a smorgasbord of film artefacts with dirt, grain, scratches and film fading aplenty.

    As there are no English subtitles on this disc.

    The disc is a DVD 5 and hence has no layer transition point.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    Overall, the audio quality is excellent. There is a 5 second burst of mains hum at 45:42 but the track was otherwise clean and clear.

    There feature has one English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224 Kbps), surround encoded, audio track.

    The dialogue is clearly audible throughout the feature. Audio sync was not a problem with this feature.

    The surrounds are used very inconspicuously in Dolby Prologic Surround mode with low volume instrument reverb. There is no noticeable subwoofer usage.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Bonus Interviews

    About 20 minutes of bonus interviews are included as extras. These interviews are clearly outtakes from the documentary and probably would have worked better if they had been edited back into the main feature.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1, Region 2 and Region 4 versions are all identical save for Pal/NTSC differences.


    A must own disc for any Lou Reed fan. An interesting doco for anybody else interested in rock history. Thankfully, this isn't just a puff-piece for Reed.

    Video is very good. Audio is great. Extras are fair.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Monday, February 04, 2008
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
Display Samsung 116cm LA46M81BD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX-D512. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, and a 100W centre and 2 surrounds, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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