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Walk on the Wild Side - Lou Reed

Walk on the Wild Side

Transformer
classic rock rock 70s Lou Reed singer-songwriter


"Walk on the Wild Side" is a Lou Reed song from his 1972 second solo album Transformer. It was produced by David Bowie. The song received wide radio coverage, despite its touching on taboo topics such as transsexuality, drugs, male prostitutes and oral sex. In the United States, RCA released an edited version of the song as a single which eliminated the song's reference to oral sex. The lyrics, describing a series of individuals and their journeys to New York City, refer to several of the regular "superstars" at Andy Warhol's New York studio, The Factory, namely Holly Woodlawn, Candy Darling, Joe Dallesandro, Jackie Curtis and Joe Campbell (referred to in the song by his nickname Sugar Plum Fairy). Candy Darling was also the subject of Reed's earlier song for The Velvet Underground, Candy Says. The saxophone solo played over the fadeout of the song was performed by Ronnie Ross, who had taught David Bowie to play the saxophone during Bowie's childhood. The backing vocals were sung by Thunderthighs, a girl group that included founder Dari Lallou together with Karen Friedman, Jacki Campbell and Casey Synge. The single peaked at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts in early 1973. Like many of Reed's songs, "Walk On The Wild Side" is based on a plagal cadence, alternating from C to F. The F is played as a sixth chord. The pre-chorus introduces the major second, D Major, although in some live performances this was changed to D minor, resulting in a completely diatonic song. The song is also noted for its twin interlocking bass lines played by Herbie Flowers on double bass and overdubbed fretless bass guitar. In an interview on BBC Radio 4 ("Playing Second Fiddle", aired July 2005), Flowers claimed that the reason he came up with the twin bass line was that as a session musician he would be paid double for playing two instruments on the same track. In the 2001 documentary Classic Albums: Lou Reed: Transformer, Reed says that it was Nelson Algren's 1956 novel, A Walk on the Wild Side, that was the launching point for the song, even though, as it grew, the song became inhabited by characters from his own life. As with several other Reed songs from the 1970s, the title may also be an allusion to an earlier song, in this case Mack David and Elmer Bernstein's song of the same name, the Academy Award-nominated title song of the 1962 film based on Algren's novel.[citation needed] During his performance of the song on his 1978 Live: Take No Prisoners album, Reed humorously explains the song's development from a request that he wrote the music for the never completed musical version of Algren's novel. Hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest also sampled the song, on their 1991 single "Can I Kick It?".


Lou Reed (March 2, 1942 - October 27, 2013) was an American rock artist originally from Brooklyn, New York, USA. Especially while a member of the The Velvet Underground in the 1960s, Reed broke new ground for the rock genre in several important dimensions, introducing more mature and intellectual themes to what was then considered a largely simplistic genre of music. In 1964 Reed moved to New York City and began working as an in-house songwriter for Pickwick Records. Show more ...

Walk on the Wild Side - Lou Reed

Holly came from Miami, F. L. A.
Hitch-hiked her way across the usa
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she
She says, Hey babe
Take a walk on the wild side
Hey honey
Take a walk on the wild side

Candy came from out on the Island
In the backroom she was everybody's darlin'
But she never lost her head
Even when she was giving head

She says, Hey babe
Take a walk on the wild side
I Said, Hey baby
Take a walk on the wild side
And the coloured girls go
Doo do doo do doo do do doo..

Little Joe never once gave it away
Everybody had to pay and pay
A hustle here and a hustle there
New York City's the place where they say,
Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side
I said, Hey Joe
Take a walk on the wild side

Sugar Plum Fairy came and hit the streets
Lookin' for soul food and a place to eat
Went to the Apollo
You should've seen em go go go
They said, Hey shuga Take a walk on the wild side
I Said, Hey babe
Take a walk on the wild side
All right, huh

Jackie is just speeding away
Thought she was James Dean for a day
Then I guess she had to crash
Valium would have helped that bash
Said, Hey babe,
Take a walk on the wild side
I said, Hey honey,
Take a walk on the wild side
And the coloured girls say,
Doo do doo do doo do do doo



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