Saturday, 3 June 2017

Work in Progress #1 - Lou Reed 'Perfect Day'

The artist's sketchbook. The author's first draft. The filmmaker's rough cut. Very few artistic creations arrive fully formed, they need to be worked at - it is a work of art after all. It's no different with music. Acoustic home recordings, studio demos and alternative versions are all stepping stones towards the finished product that will eventually sit on our shelves at home.

In this occasional series, I'll be comparing and contrasting a musical work in progress, with the more familiar completed recording that we've come to know and love. I'll start with the song that gave me the idea in the first place, Lou Reed's 'Perfect Day'. The acoustic demo finds the song practically complete (give or take a lyrical re-jig) and beautifully rendered by Lou, at a slightly jauntier clip than on the finished 'Transformer' version. Lou really was singing so well during this period, as opposed to the almost wilful disregard for melody that increasingly became the norm in his later life.

As for the song itself, is it really about a 'perfect day' spent with his fiance in Central Park, or is the object of Lou's affection something altogether darker? We'll never know for sure, but in the wake of several notable covers, 'Perfect Day' has become something of a go-to rock standard.

Lou Reed - Perfect Day (Acoustic Demo)

Lou Reed - Perfect Day


Walter said...

Great idea for a series, Swede. It is great to see how this song developed

The Swede said...

Thanks Walter. I've got a few songs in mind, we'll see how it goes.

TheRobster said...

I second what Walter said. Looking forward to what you offer up. Great start!

Ramone666 said...

Yess... I third that!

John Medd said...

Did you not miss a trick? 'Transformer', surely, was today's strapline; I'll get my coat.

Alyson said...

I have great love for this song so interesting to see how it developed from the original acoustic version.

Last year I wrote about the ingredients that I think are necessary for my own perfect day - Each to his own however and we would all pick different things. Funnily enough I don't think Perfect Days require lots of money to be spent, it's always about who you are with and having the time.

Greatest Hits