Lou Reed’s remixed Satellite of Love has getting an awful lot of pre-release airplay, especially on Chris Moyles’ breakfast show over the last couple of weeks. It’s not out until 19 July (order it here). That’s part of that naïve marketing strategy that means you release a record to the radio weeks before its release in the hope that demand is so pent-up when it finally comes out that it goes straight to number one (or at least its as high as its ever gonna go). That’s taken the fun out of the chart and devalued its worth. Getting to number one is now seen as a triumph for the marketer, not the artist.
Anyway. Satellite of Love’s the kind of song I’d have hated as precocious 10 year-old. At that stage I was an armchair astronomer constantly annoyed by others’ ignorance. A satellite would not be sent to land on Mars; they orbit stuff. But I forgive Satellite of Love, because not only does the new version sound fresh and contemporary, it’s got me listening to Transformer, Reed’s seminal album produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson. You could easily mistake Transformer for a best of album (Viscous, Perfect Day, Walk on the Wild Side), but it’s not. It’s an incredibly together album that’s of its time without being in any sense dated: an album with something to say, that’s still worth listening to again and again.