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Lou Reed — Walk on the Wild Side
Album: Transformer
Avg rating:
8.3

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1982









Released: 1972
Length: 4:08
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Holly came from Miami F.L.A.
Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she
She said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side,
Said, hey honey, take a walk on the wild side.

Candy came from out on the island,
In the backroom she was everybody's darling,
But she never lost her head
Even when she was giving head
She said, hey baby, take a walk on the wild side
She said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side
And the coloured girls go,

Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
doo

Little Joe never once gave it away
Everybody had to pay and pay
A hustle here and a hustle there
New York City is the place where they said:
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 have seen him go go go
They said, hey Sugar, take a walk on the wild side
I said, hey honey, take a walk on the wild side

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 dash
She 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 doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Comments (253)add comment
 Sasha2001 wrote:

I think the word your looking for is "queer," as Reed references folks that transcend sexuality, gender, and other tendencies usually rejected by a heteronormative society. 

In this case I think queer also works because Reed appears to be celebrating oddness as a trait worthy of examination.

But yeah... the way you expressed it was pretty bad.
 
Marc Bolan. David Bowie. Freddie Mercury. The glam/trans gender thang had a young woman in her 20's simultaneously a bit fascinated and confused. However, as any good audiophile will confess, I don't give a fekk what they might do offstage, just damn grateful these artists were ON stage. 
And the third member of the triangle of trouble { Iggy } is thinking how did I outlive David and Lou?
Never get sick of lou
The lyrics have one too many "doos" in each line. I can't believe someone put in the effort to type them out but not count them. I mean, it's about the most iconic "doo doo doo" sequence in rock history. 
Worked in shoe store when this came out. Perfect.
See the source image
My cousin's in there doing the "doo da doo's"...... which has no bearing on why it's still one of my favourite tacks of all time!
 pattiecovert wrote:
Does "and the colored girls say" make anyone else cringe?
 
Yep, because it's "and the colored girls go"

If you don't like that, then avoid "I Wanna Be Black" where he consults his backup singers. It's brilliant and hysterical, really.
 earthbased wrote:
The song is about Warhol's crew.
 
Yes. I learned that just the other day. The characters in the song are based on actual transgender people who hung around with Andy Warhol in his Factory. I used to think Lou had to be straight, but it turns out he was sexually liberal and was willing to go wherever it took him. 

Woah, I have RP open in one browser window. I another I'm looking at recent posts on boinboing.net. The moment I saw this Disco cover: https://boingboing.net/2018/10... the original came on RP. Are you guys watching me?
This sounds like something my grandmother would sing
 kcar wrote:
Definitely a 10, but Lou's voice is the weakest part of the song. The lyrics, the bass, "the colored girls" (they do a wonderful job), the sax, the strings...they're more memorable. Lou just stays out of the way of the groove and recites...which works perfectly. 

 
I can't image anyone other than Lou doing the voice-over (and not ruining it)
Transformer, where this track first appeared, is such a great record. Boy, do I miss Lou Reed and David Bowie..... totally captures downtown NYC in the 70's. 
Most excellent cringy classic!
 Stingray wrote:
I am not fond of (very-very) gay-music - is that bad?

 
I think the word your looking for is "queer," as Reed references folks that transcend sexuality, gender, and other tendencies usually rejected by a hetero\normative society. 

In this case I think queer also works because Reed appears to be celebrating oddness as a trait worthy of examination.

But yeah... the way you expressed it was pretty bad.
Such genius!!!{#Rolleyes}
 Bat wrote:

F-L-A. 

How long has it been since we used last used anything other than the (now) standard two letter abbreviations for states?

 
On July 1, 1963, the Post Office Department implemented the five-digit ZIP Code, which was placed after the state name in the last line of an address. To provide room for the ZIP Code, the Department issued two-letter abbreviations for all states and territories. 
Great version.  Lou talks for 15 minutes and never really does the song. 

Steely_D wrote:
Fun version on "Take No Prisoners."

"Little Joe never once...Little Joe was an idiot!" 

 


Image result for walk on the wild side gif
 On_The_Beach wrote:

Well, this one actually:
https://e.snmc.io/lk/f/l/13887ca4349bc0bca8ecabeae2246aad/1975840.jpg

 
Yes; I should have specified "the album this song was originally on".  Oh, well.
{#Clap}
 

ScottishWillie wrote:

Not bad but perhaps sad. You are absolutely entitled to like whatever you want as long as you don't enforce your preferences on others. However If you exclude music on the basis on race, religion or sexual preference you limited your life and that is sad.  

 


 Stingray wrote:
I am not fond of (very-very) gay-music - is that bad?
 
Not bad but perhaps sad. You are absolutely entitled to like whatever you want as long as you don't enforce your preferences on others. However If you exclude music on the basis on race, religion or sexual preference you limited your life and that is sad.  
PSD brought me to Lou, how good is that.
 Proclivities wrote:
Bowie and Mick Ronson produced this album.
 
Well, this one actually:
https://e.snmc.io/lk/f/l/13887ca4349bc0bca8ecabeae2246aad/1975840.jpg
Saw a great headline today. Andy Warhol wanted Lou to be his Mickey Mouse.

Makes perfect sense! {#Roflol} 
Perfect 10
Absolutely LOVE this Song!!!
 lososs wrote:

apparently David Bowie ({#Notworthy} , and also {#Cry}) helped LR a lot with this song!

 
Bowie and Mick Ronson produced this album.
 kcar wrote:
Definitely a 10, but Lou's voice is the weakest part of the song. The lyrics, the bass, "the colored girls" (they do a wonderful job), the sax, the strings...they're more memorable. Lou just stays out of the way of the groove and recites...which works perfectly. 

 
apparently David Bowie ({#Notworthy} , and also {#Cry}) helped LR a lot with this song!
 Peter_Bradshaw wrote:
...... another legend who has left planet earth  R. I. P. Lou

 

 
Agreed. Except...that each of us is according the selfsame opportunity, a one-time-only offer.
 justin4kick wrote:

Maybe you need some more time before coming out?

 
{#Lol}
 Stingray wrote:
I am not fond of (very-very) gay-music - is that bad?

 
Maybe you need some more time before coming out?
Can I kick it?
Brilliance. Genius.

 
 GTT wrote:
Immortal, and not even the greatest of LR.  One of those songs that bring a burst of joy from millisecond one.
 
A burst of joy, and now that Lou has left us, a touch of nostalgic melancholy.
One of the best songs ever.
Immortal, and not even the greatest of LR.  One of those songs that bring a burst of joy from millisecond one.
Definitely a 10, but Lou's voice is the weakest part of the song. The lyrics, the bass, "the colored girls" (they do a wonderful job), the sax, the strings...they're more memorable. Lou just stays out of the way of the groove and recites...which works perfectly. 
{#Bananajam}Hey babe - take a walk on the wild side ..... a Lou Reed Classic - STELLAR!
Fun version on "Take No Prisoners."

"Little Joe never once...Little Joe was an idiot!" 
 Stingray wrote:
I am not fond of (very-very) gay-music - is that bad?
 
Hmmm, so very gay is alright, just as long as it's not very very gay?
Just checking.
I am not fond of (very-very) gay-music - is that bad?
...... another legend who has left planet earth  R. I. P. Lou

 
 coolpeople_rule wrote:
Already there Lou...but not literally.

 
R.I.P. Mr. Reed
Already there Lou...but not literally.
You are missed Lou Reed
 

Lou Reed by ~JSaurer
©2008-2010 ~JSaurer

take a walk on the wild side...
uncle Lou, the great american poet.

airbrush, water colours, 1994
 


Thankfully, there is PSD...C'ya!
Soooooooooo good.  
 ziakut wrote:
Lou Reed: One of the few artists who dare to rhyme the word 'head' with the same exact word...'head'. A lyricist doesn't need to explain I suppose...
 

Hey, it rhymes.
Lou Reed: One of the few artists who dare to rhyme the word 'head' with the same exact word...'head'. A lyricist doesn't need to explain I suppose...
 romeotuma wrote:
dude is cool as a cucumber...

oh, and vegans have more fun!

 


 romeotuma wrote:


  
You're looking a bit green in this pic Romeo. I like your g/f though.

 romeotuma wrote:



{#Lol}

 


Wow can't believe this is the first time I have heard this on RP.  Been listening since 06 or so.  Many good memories.





 palatin8 wrote:
Happy birthday, Lou!
 
70 last Friday, if I'm not mistaken. Yeesh.
Happy birthday, Lou!
Classic - great producer too.
So needed at the end of work day {#Motor}
I was quickly tired of this POS when it came out; its aging has produced vinegar rather than a fine wine.

Outstanding, my best from Sweden.
Lou Reed trumps Sufjan Stevens.

BTW Absolut is not rubbish
Firstly, huge Lou Reed fan. Love his guitar work. Great bassline of course in this song, but other than that, he could have done just fine without ever writing this one.{#Doh}2
 coy wrote:
is this where the movie 'where the wild things are' came from ?
 
You are kidding, right?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where_the_Wild_Things_Are

is this where the movie 'where the wild things are' came from ?
 swoeller wrote:
Bill — that was a sonically and emotionally significant mix — Chicago into Walk on the Wild Side. Bravo and Thanks, sw
 
agreed

OK, really, I can go another 10 years ago before needing to hear this again.
{#Puke}
Bill — that was a sonically and emotionally significant mix — Chicago into Walk on the Wild Side. Bravo and Thanks, sw

Joe Strummer - Lou Reed Walk on the wild side, Live (2002)

Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros at St. Ann´s Warehouse, Brooklyn NYC, Apr.5.2002.

 "Joe gave it his all to the end, didn't he? Such a gentle man who nevertheless shared an intense passion for justice and the common man. His legacy goes beyond the music, as great as that is.   drgrl 2

"Well Joe Strummer when he was with the Clash used to play live in big stadiums in front of big audience but with Mescaleros played live in small clubs and that was the only thing that he always wanted even when he was with the Clash (but success and populariry are bad things)....the reason? simply to be close with the people....thats was Joe and we ll never forget him....RIP....He died from a heart attache but his HEART WAS TOO BIG for the humanity....thank you for your beautiful music!!!"    xsandinistax

Holly came from Miami, Fla
Hitchhiked her way across the USA.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her leg and then he was she - she said:

Hey Babe, take a walk on the wild side,
Said hey honey, take a walk on the wild side.

Candy came from out on the island,
In the backroom she was everybodys darling,
But she never lost her head
Even when she was given head - she said

Hey Babe, take a walk on the wild side,
Said hey honey, take a walk on the wild side.
And the coloured girls go, doo dodoo

Little Joe never once gave it away,
Ev'rybody had to pay and pay.
A hustle here and a hustle there
New York city is no place where they said:

Hey Babe, take a walk on the wild side,
Said hey honey, take a walk on the wild side.

Sugar plum fairy came and hit the streets
Looking for soul food and a place to eat
Went to the Apollo, you should have seen him go go go - they said:

Hey Sugar, take a walk on the wild side,
Said hey honey, take a walk on the wild side.

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 - she said:

Hey Sugar, take a walk on the wild side,
Said hey honey, take a walk on the wild side.
And the coloured girls go, doo dodoo

 



Always dug this song.  That sax solo really is a great touch.
 TheBorgBuilder wrote:
absolute rubbish.
 
If you're from planet rubbish and rubbish is good yes. Then definitely yes.
Otherwise you must be off your rocker!

Is this in celebration of the repeal of DADT?  Ouch.  I know - my bad.  Good decision though.  All for it!
 casey1024 wrote:
Lou Reed has the dubious distinction of being the worst concert I have seen.  It was somewhere around 1978 or 79 at Waterbury Palace in Waterbury, CT.  Positively awful.
 
I've seen him 3 times. 1st time was his rock & roll animal tour. Amazing. Second concert in Wellington NZ the first night...he forgot to turn up. Pity about all the wasted drugs. But he came back the next night and blew me away again {#Chillpill}


 TheBorgBuilder wrote:
absolute rubbish.
 
ROFL...stick to cubes M8. {#Tongue}
Yep.  This was the cutting edge back then.  A hearty "9" for Lou.
 zaknafein wrote:
Never really "got" this one.

 


+1

 calypsus_1 wrote:

Lou Reed by ~JSaurer
©2008-2010 ~JSaurer

take a walk on the wild side...
uncle Lou, the great american poet.

airbrush, water colours, 1994
 
I never realized how much Lou Reed looks like Stephen King.


 planet_lizard wrote:

If you avoid listening to to every classic rock station and stick to RP then this glorious piece of music is played with just about the right regularity.

 
Hear, hear! 

And it serves as an awesome chaser to wash away the suffyawn stevens "taste" out of my ears. . .

{#Bounce}

 bytheway wrote:
I rate this song 'overplayed.'  Standard fare on every classic rock station, which is not why I listen to RP.  My 2c.
 
If you avoid listening to to every classic rock station and stick to RP then this glorious piece of music is played with just about the right regularity.

absolute rubbish.
 pinnyrat wrote:

I'm Canadian, but I use "Mass"...and I'm not entirely sure what the two-letter abbreviation is, to be honest.  Is it "MA"?
 

Basically it's all moot anyway.  The 5 digit zip code makes the city and state superfluous.  If you use the 9 digit zip code then that adds the street address as well.

Any your guess is correct.  Massachusetts is "MA" (old school = Mass).  "MS" would be Mississippi (old school = "Miss")




I rate this song 'overplayed.'  Standard fare on every classic rock station, which is not why I listen to RP.  My 2c.
classic  {#Whistle}
Never really "got" this one.

 Bat wrote:

F-L-A. 

How long has it been since we used last used anything other than the (now) standard two letter abbreviations for states?


 
I believe it became standard some time in the late 1980's.

 Bat wrote:

F-L-A. 

How long has it been since we used last used anything other than the (now) standard two letter abbreviations for states?

 
I'm Canadian, but I use "Mass"...and I'm not entirely sure what the two-letter abbreviation is, to be honest.  Is it "MA"?
Wilco has done that more recently, with Florida as well. Many states don't seem to lend themselves to 3 letter abbreviations... ORG? CAL? TXS? NYK? seems more like college radio call stations... i'm sure i'm off...

 
Bat wrote:

F-L-A. 

How long has it been since we used last used anything other than the (now) standard two letter abbreviations for states?


 


Same here. it's a constant source of pride and shame.

 
lophrequa wrote:
can i kick it? yes you can 

i have the dubious distinction of having Tribe Called Quest introduce me to this tune 
 


F-L-A. 

How long has it been since we used last used anything other than the (now) standard two letter abbreviations for states?


Wikipedia says:

The saxophone solo played over the fadeout of the song was performed by Ronnie Ross, who had previously taught David Bowie to play the saxophone during Bowie's childhood. 
can i kick it? yes you can 

i have the dubious distinction of having Tribe Called Quest introduce me to this tune 
Lou Reed has the dubious distinction of being the worst concert I have seen.  It was somewhere around 1978 or 79 at Waterbury Palace in Waterbury, CT.  Positively awful.
 EssexTex wrote:
A classic period piece...like an old wardrobe.
 
A very smelly one at that, as in burn toxic waste.
A classic period piece...like an old wardrobe.


classic...


Classic. Love that upright bass; kinda defines the cool sound. This one never gets old.

 jagdriver wrote:
jagdriver
(Auburn, CA)
Posted: Aug 16, 2008 - 14:29 < Reply | Edit | Delete >


~~~~~~~

I couldn't agree more. I hated it then. Unlike fine wine, it has not aged well. This and the Kinks' Lola...


Nothing has changed my mind about this since last August...

(sigh
..........)
 
I was really worried about that.

 Shesdifferent wrote:
Horrible and overplayed everywhere!
 
not horrible in my opinion but nothing special . . .

jagdriver
(Auburn, CA)
Posted: Aug 16, 2008 - 14:29 < Reply | Edit | Delete >

 Shesdifferent wrote: Horrible and overplayed everywhere!  
 
~~~~~~~

I couldn't agree more. I hated it then. Unlike fine wine, it has not aged well. This and the Kinks' Lola...


Nothing has changed my mind about this since last August...

(sigh
..........)
 laozilover wrote:
I wonder why Bill uses the "BEST OF" album and not the original:
 
Does it make any difference?


waiting on a friend into this....smoove
 big_gare wrote:
Check out the Sax solo by David Bowie at the end of this tune. He's an amazing writer, performer, producer and a pretty respectable player, too.
 
The baritone sax solo is played by Ronnie Ross (Wikipedia says he taught Bowie to play (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walk_on_the_Wild_Side_(Lou_Reed_song)). Bowie might have written the solo, though, since he's credited in the arrangements alongside Lou Reed and Mick Ronson.


GREAT, GREAT TUNE !!!!!!!


It's ok but I think for some people it's a song they feel they have to say they like.....it you get me.

kmh wrote:
I 100% agree, but never had the courage to admit it here.. ( until now that is)

The ratings say different. I'm that way with tunes as well. If I get the chance to hear it again and the thoughts are the same, I go elsewhere.

 Shesdifferent wrote:
Horrible and overplayed everywhere!
 
I couldn't agree more. I hated it then. Unlike fine wine, it has not aged well. This and the Kinks' Lola...

Looked down and saw my wild side :moon:
Great song.. but way over played
Does anyone recall a version of this song by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch?
:think: I wonder why Bill uses the "BEST OF" album and not the original:
I love those colored girls coming to the front. It's a fun song, but use sparingly.
brilliant slice of time.
big_gare wrote:
Check out the Sax solo by David Bowie at the end of this tune. He's an amazing writer, performer, producer and a pretty respectable player, too.
Strange how the same thing can be perceived so differently. Ever since this came out, I have rather strongly disliked it. As a composition and performance, as I could care less about the subject. But, since you mention the Bowie sax solo, this alone puts this piece over the edge for me. It is slightly off key, probably the intention, but it has always grated. I like sax, including atonal and raucous playing, but this example has never worked for me. Alas, this piece gets easily as much play as any number of other songs that are complained about by RP listeners as a result of their over exposure.
Check out the Sax solo by David Bowie at the end of this tune. He's an amazing writer, performer, producer and a pretty respectable player, too.
Limpopoking wrote:
Lou Reed is at his best when it's the wee hours, everyone present knows the music and is wasted :cheers: Otherwise, I have to admit, he's overrated. New York is a good album. I was given a DVD of Lou's and it's totally crap. He's better listened to than seen :no: But I still luv you Lou :roflol:
I agree, like some other artists he sounds better when listening drunk or stoned etc
Lou Reed is at his best when it's the wee hours, everyone present knows the music and is wasted :cheers: Otherwise, I have to admit, he's overrated. New York is a good album. I was given a DVD of Lou's and it's totally crap. He's better listened to than seen :no: But I still luv you Lou :roflol:
Ah, Transformer! What an album..... Great inside story on the making of this album on the TV series 'Classic Albums'.
More_Cowbell wrote:
Ground breaking and cutting edge, in it's time. Still a good listen today - 8.
today's the first day of the rest of our lives - 10!
bmeador wrote:
Not really. It's lingo from the times. Put it in perspective and don't be so antiseptic about it. The past is more interesting when you don't cleanse it with p/c glasses.
ABSOLUTELY agree!