Perfect Day – Lou Reed
To celebrate what would have been Lou Reed’s 75th birthday, our song of the day is his 1972 hit “Perfect Day”. The song was the B-Side to Reed’s hit single “Walk on the Wild Side” but an argument can be made that it’s a better song. “Perfect Day” was on his second solo record , 1972’s Transformer, a beautiful album that was produced by none other than David Bowie and Mick Ronson. The duo went so far as to play on the actual single with Ronson handling the piano and string arrangements, and Bowie on keyboards. Their influence is all over the record, and can be felt wholly on “Perfect Day”.
The song is a slow waltz built on the back of Reed’s overly optimistic lyrics: “It’s such a perfect day, I’m glad I spent it with you” which, some have said, offer definite allusions to Reed’s issues with heroin addiction. The allusion was stamped even more so as the song was heavily featured in the 1996 movie Trainspotting a moment-catching film about heroin addiction, and the life altering effects of it.
“Perfect Day” has been covered by the likes of Duran Duran and Susan Boyle, and was featured on a 1997 BBC promotional venture performed by a multitude of musicians from Bono to Dr. John to the BBC Orchestra. Reed passed away in October of 2013, but his influence on music both as a solo artist and with the Velvet Underground can be felt in the song “Perfect Day.”