by Lou Reed Lou Reed

CD(German Import)

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Transformer and "Walk on the Wild Side" were both major hits in 1972, to the surprise of both Lou Reed and the music industry, and with Reed suddenly a hot commodity, he used his newly won clout to make the most ambitious album of his career, Berlin. Berlin was the musical equivalent of a drug-addled kid set loose in a candy store; the album's songs, which form a loose story line about a doomed romance between two chemically fueled bohemians, were fleshed out with a huge, boomy production (Bob Ezrin at his most grandiose) and arrangements overloaded with guitars, keyboards, horns, strings, and any other kitchen sink that was handy (the session band included Jack Bruce, Steve Winwood, Aynsley Dunbar, and Tony Levin). And while Reed had often been accused of focusing on the dark side of life, he and Ezrin approached Berlin as their opportunity to make The Most Depressing Album of All Time, and they hardly missed a trick. This all seemed a bit much for an artist who made such superb use of the two-guitars/bass/drums lineup with the Velvet Underground, especially since Reed doesn't even play electric guitar on the album; the sheer size of Berlin ultimately overpowers both Reed and his material. But if Berlin is largely a failure of ambition, that sets it apart from the vast majority of Reed's lesser works; Lou's vocals are both precise and impassioned, and though a few of the songs are little more than sketches, the best -- "How Do You Think It Feels," "Oh, Jim," "The Kids," and "Sad Song" -- are powerful, bitter stuff. It's hard not to be impressed by Berlin, given the sheer scope of the project, but while it earns an A for effort, the actual execution merits more of a B-.

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Product Details

Release Date: 03/24/1998
Label: Imports
UPC: 0078636748924
catalogNumber: 5003111
Rank: 55581


  1. Berlin
  2. Lady Day
  3. Men of Good Fortune
  4. Caroline Says I
  5. How Do You Think It Feels
  6. Oh, Jim
  7. Caroline Says II
  8. The Kids
  9. The Bed
  10. Sad Song

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lou Reed   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Jack Bruce   Bass
Steve Winwood   Organ,Harmonium,Keyboards
Michael Brecker   Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Steve Hunter   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Aynsley Dunbar   Drums
Randy Brecker   Trumpet
Greg Calbi   Overdubs
Bob Ezrin   Piano,Drums,Choir, Chorus,Mellotron
Dennis Ferrante   Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Overdubs
Steve Hyden   Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Tony Levin   Bass
Dick Lewzey   Overdubs
Allan MacMillan   Piano,Keyboards
Elizabeth Marsh   Vocals
Gene Martynec   Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Keyboards,Vocals
Jay Messina   Overdubs
Jon Pierson   Trombone,Bass Trombone
Ed Sprigg   Overdubs
Blue Weaver   Piano,Keyboards
Dick Wagner   Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
B.J. Wilson   Drums
Shelly Yakus   Overdubs
Elizabeth Marca   Choir, Chorus
Jon Peirson   Bass,Trombone
Joe Lopes   Overdubs
Pat Martin   Overdubs
Danny Tuberville   Overdubs

Technical Credits

Robin Black   Engineer
Bob Ezrin   Arranger,Producer
Allan MacMillan   Arranger
Gene Martynec   Vocal Arrangements
Dinky Dawson   Sound Consultant
Peter Flanagan   Engineer
Fabio Berruti   Artwork,Graphic Design
Paul Williams   Tape Research
Michael Hill   Liner Notes,Essay

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