THE SQUARE TABLE 7/ Lou Reed – “Satellite Of Love ’04”


Lou Reed must surely have one of the most horrible voices in rock: a weak, blank, tissue-thin method-acting smug smirk. I’m fairly sure it’s why I’ve never been to New York. This remix takes a smarmy track, locates its pretty hook, applies said hook liberally and improves things greatly – but that void of a voice is still all over it and any joy the mixers inject is soon spent. 3. (Tom)

So we take the jazz hands equipped ending of Satellite Of Love and make a song out of it, only occasionally breaking into the dirgey bit that preceeded it as some sort of anachronistic ‘verse’. No, sorry, it doesn’t work. The reason the end of Satellite of Love is the best bit, is that it is THE END. You can’t make it the BEGINNING and THE MIDDLE and hope to have the same effect. 2 (Pete)

Really, Lou, it should have been “Sally Can’t Dance.” 2 (George Kelly)

Well, the bouncy opening made me laugh. I can’t tell if it’s serious or taking the piss. I really like the original – I think it’s the loveliest thing Lou ever did. This seems to strip away the beauty in favour of an absurd jolliness, which Lou’s laconic vocals hardly fit. It could almost be part of a Jive Bunny Lou Reed megamix (I have a friend who does very convincing Chas & Dave style versions of anything, and much of Lou’s Berlin works particularly ‘well’ in that style). I’m all in favour of remixing rock classics, and of treating them with complete disrespect, but I think this is misconceived and pretty dreadful. 2 (Martin Skidmore)

I don’t know why they need a radio edit now, and a radio edit that seems to take out most of the lyrics, and one that makes it sound like bad Bonnie Tyler. Dull, dated and strangely completely balls-less. His girlfriend is doing shit for NASA, maybe she could teach poor Lou about interesting developments in new satellite technology. (Is this label revenge for the bizarre ego trip that was The Raven?) 2 (Anthony Easton)

This seems to lack the spark and charm of Supermen Lovers ‘Starlight’ or countless other happy dance pop anthems. I can imagine maybe liking it if I was 6 years old again (big VU fan I was back then of course) but twenty years later this is just offensive in its half-assed approach and lazy production values. Only fun in the ‘Happy Shopper Reduced To Clear’ sense. I think I’d even rather listen to ‘The Raven’… 2 (Steve M)

The original’s a great enough record that it still packs a pretty powerful pop punch rejigged, and I won’t mind if this comes on when I be clubbin’, but it’s still a pretty lazy record. Highly inferior to Junkie XL, “Are You Ready For Love?” and yes, even that Neptunes remix of “Sympathy For The Devil”. 4 (Daniel Reifferscheid)

I honestly found nothing either appealing or unlikable about this track. It’s just as if I’ve wandered into a Gap and can’t get out. Don’t suppose it helps that I’ve never been much of a Lou Reed fan. I imagine I must be missing something here but for the life of me I couldn’t tell you what it might be. Best I can muster is a shrug. 4 (Forksclovetofu)

My sister has this tinny little radio preset to some station devoted to R&B (spelling?) and they’ve been playing this Lou Reed track quite a bit. But it doesn’t sound good on a tinny radio. If all you catch is this voice going ‘Satelli-i-i-te’ over and over again surrounded by all this static, you’re not going to like it. Maybe if I listen to it properly I might like it, but I’m not too keen on the ‘Satelli-i-i-te’ bits anyway. 4 (Bushra)

Some glam-pop influences seem to have re-fought their way onto the dancefloor they’ve been absent from since the messy last days of the Walton Hop. Kompakt recently took things to a logical – and maybe too obvious, too much given away – end with that “Hot Love” mash-up slash cover slash homage. Though the Bowie axis of glam rock is less dancefloor friendly than the Gary Glitter one, Dab Hands is convinced that this song can be turned into a floorfiller by using the most catchy part of the original, the classic coda in all its camp splendour, as the leitmotiv for a remix. The actual verse of the original song, along with its playful piano phrase, is used as the breakdown of the song, a nice touch that nearly lives up to the task of revitalising the charms of Lou Reed’s “Transformer”. Sadly, the rest of the track doesn’t feel as inspired and inspiring. 5 (Diego Valladolid)

Peculiar incongruity corner. but, y’know, in a pretty entertaining way, a club mix you can’t actually dance to, Lou Reed himself sounding peculiarly out of place… it’s a very happy record. Maybe too happy. The kind of happiness that tends to arouse suspiscions. If The Polyphonic Spree were to ever live up to the single mix of ‘Soldier Girl’, it’d probably sound somewhat like this. 7 (William B Swygart)

The Lou Reed original was always a grotesquely indulgent piece of Reed egoism – winkingly ironic, falsely naive, ponderously slow. Stripping it down to its bare essentials and forcing it to dance is a fitting fate, and it makes it sound a hell of a lot better. Don’t know what this says about Reed and his song, but this is as pure a slice of cutesy, sunny day, children’s music as you can get. Perversely, this piece of pop-cheese is a whole lot more soulful than the original – indeed it’s closer to the knockabout fun of the Velvet Underground’s version. 7 (Derek Walmsley)

This is how I like my remixes: stripped of its 70s jacket, Satellite Of Love 04 feels instantly NOW. Despite my reservations – expecting Groovefinder to merely slap some wishwashy housebeat underneath Loud Reed smug vocals – I rrrreally love this track. Every space has been filled, every beat has been placed. It isn’t the glam love song it once was, but then that already exists on Transformer. 8 (Stevie Nixed)

Yep. Lou Reed shakes-a-puddin’. Better than “A Little Less Conversation,” not quite as good as “Rubbernecking,” but Lou’s alive and Elvis is in Arkansas, so score one for the wild side, what the heck. It’s got a good beat, and I would’ve danced to it, except I was sitting down, so I did the appreciative “that’s a pretty snazzy beat” headbob instead. Bonus points are awarded for conjuring the image of Lou Reed: Disco Diva (doo do doo). I hope he’s saving this for his Bridget Jones’ Diary project. 8 (David Raposa)

More SEQUEL than REMIX, this version picks up where the original left off, when it really started to sound like it was going way up to Mars. Perfect. Like “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”, I always felt that “Satellite Of Love” should have lasted at least 3 minutes and eight seconds longer than it did, because it found such a groove at the end. And here it is. The Polyphonic Spree on dexys, this one. Should be longer still. 9 (Henry Scollard)