On This Day in 1997: Friends of Lou Reed Make Perfect Day '97

Lou Reed, the groundbreaking and beloved singer of the Velvet Underground, had an even more successful career once he went solo. Of the hits he delivered post-Velvets was the melancholy "Perfect Day" whose chorus has been known to elicit goosebumps to even the coolest cats.

Originally recorded in 1972 for his second solo album Transformer, produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson, "Perfect Day" was a double A-side single with "Walk on the Wild Side."

A month before his 25 year-old song about hanging with his fiance in Central Park skyrocketed in the UK, Lou sang "Perfect Day" at Shoreline Amphitheater near San Francisco during the Bridge School Benefit.

Needless to say, the iconic bass line and subject matter of "... Wild Side" took most of the attention away from "Perfect Day" until it was included in the 1996 film Trainspotting where it gained a new life.

In 1997, a newer version of the tune was created by British advertising agency to promote the BBC. The ad prompted a public demand of the new version into a holiday-giving charity single for Children in Need.

Christmas version of the Perfect Day '97 tune.

Who knew the lyric "you're gonna reap just what you sow," could be used in such an on-the-nose way to get people to donate to a good cause?

"I have never been more impressed with a performance of one of my songs," the typically dour rocker said earnestly.

The first time Lou Reed performed Perfect Day live was in 1972. Little did he know the song would have a new life 25 years later in the UK.

The new version of "Perfect Day" topped the UK charts for three weeks and reaped in over two million pounds for the charity.

But it didn't stop there. Two more versions were created in the wake of the success. One sung by the lads and one by the ladies.

Female version of "Perfect Day '97."

In Ireland the tune sat on top of the charts for seven weeks.

The BBC joined in by producing a Christmas version of the track.

Male version of "Perfect Day '97."

The song has been performed hundreds of times by over 100 different artists since Reed live-debuted it in 1972 in Cleveland.

Bono and Chris Martin played it in November of 2013 for the RED charity a month after Reed died.

It remains such a touching tribute to the talented singer songwriter.

Bono and U2 are currently taking a breather from their inaugural residency at the mindblowing Sphere in Las Vegas. In their 17 shows there they have only covered one song, "Shallow" by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper when they joined the band in October for a quick hello.

Will they bust out with a cover of this beautiful song when they return to Sin City? Get tickets on the Sphere website and cross your fingers.

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Last updated: 9 Dec 2023, 14:53 Etc/UTC