Tonight, Lou Reed's "Berlin" ends its magnificent 4 night run at Brooklyn's St Ann's Warehouse. ( A few shows are scheduled for Australia in January.)
Photo (c) Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
I especially like David Fricke's insightful Rolling Stone Online review...so if politics depress you...try the "Berlin" CD. You'll feel better!
"In 1972, Lou Reed released his first hit album, the Top Thirty glitter gem Transformer. Reed's next record, 1973's Berlin, nearly killed his career stone dead. A ten-song short story charting a downward spiral from innocent bliss to suicidal hopelessness, Berlin was the graphic underside of glam -- a tour of the mess that's left when the pills wear off and the sparkles fade, sung by Reed in his drop-dead monotone against a full army of top session players, strings and choristers. Berlin was unrepentant in its tragic detail and theatrical ambition. And Reed paid dearly for his nerve, in near-zero sales and a blizzard of bad reviews.
The one thing no one wrote about, or even seemed to notice, was the simple magnificence and -- considering the narrative -- contrary pop lift of the songs on Berlin. On December 14th, thirty-three years after the album's release, Reed opened a sold-out four-night stand at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn, New York, performing the whole of Berlin live for the first time, with full orchestration and atmospheric stage direction by Julian Schnabel. The story still thrills as it repels: the way Reed, with a poet's ear and a reporter's eye and no intruding moral comment, renders both artificial ecstasies (booze, speed, reckless sex) and real-life horror (beatings, blood on the sheets)."