Song of the Day, November 20: Walk on the Wild Side by Lou Reed

ReedWildToday’s song is Lou Reed’s only Top 40 entry, Walk On the Wild Side. It appears on his magnificent second solo album, Transformer. Working with producer David Bowie, Reed found a new voice for his tales of the out-of-luck, downtrodden, and marginalized, celebrating them with empathy and wit.

Wild Side is a series of biographical sketches, telling the backstories of some of the people Reed met during his time at Andy Warhol’s Factory. Adding a bit of wry joy to his usual deadpan delivery, he celebrates their courage and individuality while honestly relating their stories. Thunderthighs, a quartet of talented female vocalists, provide delightful harmonies and a distinctive doo-doo-doo musical break. The upbeat feel of the song caught radio programmers attention, allowing a song about drag queens with an explicit reference to oral sex to crack the Top 20, peaking at #16.

A highlight of Reed’s masterpiece album, it’s one of his finest moments. Enjoy this classic hit today.


About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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