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|Studio album by Lou Reed|
|Recorded||Morgan Studios, London
Record Plant Studios, New York
|Lou Reed chronology|
Berlin is a 1973 album by Lou Reed, his third solo album and the follow-up to Transformer. In 2003, the album was ranked number 344 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, though the magazine had called the album a "disaster" 30 years prior.
"The Kids" tells of Caroline having her children taken from her by the authorities, and features the sounds of children shouting for their mother. UK group The Waterboys takes its name from a line in this song.
Musically, Berlin differs greatly from the bulk of Reed's work, due to the use of heavy orchestral arrangements, horns, and top session musicians. Instrumentally, Reed himself only contributes acoustic guitar.
As with Reed's previous two studio albums, Berlin re-drafts several songs that had been written and recorded previously. The title track first appeared on Reed's solo debut album, only here it is simplified, the key changed, and re-arranged for solo piano. "Oh, Jim" makes use of the Velvet Underground outtake, "Oh, Gin". "Caroline Says (II)" is a rewrite of "Stephanie Says" from VU. The Velvet Underground had also recorded an alternate demo of "Sad Song", which had much milder lyrics in its original form. "Men of Good Fortune" had also been played by the Velvets as early as 1966; an archival CD featuring live performances of the band playing at Andy Warhol's Factory provides the evidence of the song's age. The CD featuring the early performance of "Men of Good Fortune" is not for sale and can only be heard at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
|Rolling Stone||(Very Unfavorable)|
Despite lukewarm reviews, Berlin reached No. 7 in the UK album chart (Reed's best achievement there until 1992's Magic and Loss). Poor sales in the US (#98) and harsh criticism made Reed feel disillusioned about the album; in subsequent years he rarely played any Berlin material in his live shows.
By 1979, The Rolling Stone Record Guide described the album as "grandiose, decadent", and finally "one of the most depressing records ever made, and oddly beautiful in its own awful way."
Reed and producer Bob Ezrin planned a stage adaptation of the album upon its initial release but shelved the plans due to mixed reviews and poor sales. In 2007 Reed fulfilled his original hopes by touring the album with a 30-piece band and 12 choristers. Director Julian Schnabel filmed the concert and released it in 2008 as Lou Reed's Berlin, which opened to strong reviews. The album was digitally re-mastered and re-released on compact disc to commemorate the event.
Mark Doyon's group tvfordogs covered "How Do You Think It Feels" for the album After Hours: a Tribute to the Music of Lou Reed (2003). Alaska, Mexican and Spanish singer is named after the song "Caroline Says II".
All tracks composed by Lou Reed
|3.||"Men of Good Fortune"||4:37|
|4.||"Caroline Says I"||3:57|
|5.||"How Do You Think It Feels"||3:42|
|7.||"Caroline Says II"||4:10|
- Lou Reed – vocals, acoustic guitar
- Bob Ezrin – piano, mellotron, production, arrangement
- Michael Brecker – tenor sax
- Randy Brecker – trumpet
- Jack Bruce – bass; except "Lady Day" & "The Kids"
- Aynsley Dunbar – drums; except "Lady Day" & "The Kids"
- Steve Hunter – electric guitar
- Tony Levin – bass on "The Kids"
- Allan Macmillan – piano on "Berlin"
- Gene Martynec – acoustic guitar, synthesizer and vocal arrangement on "The Bed," bass on "Lady Day"
- Jon Pierson – bass trombone
- Dick Wagner – background vocals & electric guitar
- Blue Weaver – piano on "Men of Good Fortune"
- B.J. Wilson – drums on "Lady Day" & "The Kids"
- Steve Winwood – organ & harmonium
- Steve Hyden, Elizabeth March, Lou Reed, Dick Wagner – choir
- Bob Ezrin – producer
- Jim Reeves – engineer
- Allan Macmillan – arrangement
- "FAQ". mikescottwaterboys. Retrieved 20 March 2008.
- Deming, Mark. Berlin (album) at Allmusic
- Ryan Schreiber, Pitchfork Media review
- Robert Christgau review
- Davis, Stephen (20 December 1973). "Lou Reed: Berlin : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 28 June 2009. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
- Pilkingon, Ed (6 June 2007). "The day the wall came down". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 26 April 2010.
- Lou Reed's Berlin (2007)
- Lou Reed's Berlin Movie Reviews, Pictures – Rotten Tomatoes
- "Caroline Says II" by Suede and Siouxsie Sioux in 1993 for Red Hot Aids