Week 5 Additional Task – Song Case Study
For this task I choose a song that I really love to listen, even if it was many times controversial. I find it absolutely superb.
For thirty-five years Lou Reed has been at the forefront of the avant-garde in popular music. His gritty and realistic vision made him a cultural icon of the disenfranchised urban youth of the 1960s and 1970s. A counterpoint to the booming impersonal economy of the 1980s and 1990s, Reed has asserted a brutal honesty into both his music and lyrics that demands the full attention of contemporary listeners. From punk rock to grunge, Reed has had an unparalleled influence on the American music scene. (more about Lou Reed)
“Perfect Day” is a song written by Lou Reed in 1972, originally featured on Transformer, Reed’s second post-Velvet Underground solo album. Its fame was given a boost in the 1990s when it was featured in the 1996 film Trainspotting, and after its release as a star-studded BBC charity single in 1997, which became the UK’s number one single for three weeks.
So if we associate the song and its lyrics with the controversy image of the singer, we will be tempted to associate it with drugs and the pleasure induced by them. But what makes this song special is the ability to create a complex emotional landscape with a simple language. For me it suggests simple and conventional romantic devotion, and also an indescribable state of calm. So I think that people should exceed this ideas, because eventually this song can catch many forms and meanings, depending on who listens it.
“Prompted by a huge public demand the track was released in October as a charity single for Children in need, and Lou Reed said “I have never been more impressed with a performance of one of my songs.”It was the UK’s number one single for three weeks, in two separate spells. Selling over a million copies, the record contributed £2,125,000 to the charity’s highest fundraising total in six years. The release featured two additional versions of the song: one entirely sung by female performers, one by male performers. The BBC also produced a Christmas version of the accompanying music video.” (Wikipedia)