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Lou Reed – Berlin (1973/2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Lou Reed – Berlin (1973/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 49:31  minutes | 0,99 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  | Source: HDTracks | Artwork: Front cover | © RCA Records
Recorded: Morgan Studios, London; Record Plant Studios, New York

Berlin was released in 1973 and is Lou Reed’s third solo album. It was ranked #344 on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time in 2003. The album is formatted as a tragic rock opera and features heavy orchestral arrangements. 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.”

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-.

1 Berlin 03:24
2 Lady Day 03:40
3 Men of Good Fortune 04:38
4 Caroline Says I 03:57
5 How Do You Think It Feels 03:42
6 Oh Jim 05:15
7 Caroline Says II 04:13
8 The Kids 07:55
9 The Bed 05:51
10 Sad Song 06:56

Lou Reed – vocals, acoustic guitar
Bob Ezrin – piano, mellotron, production, arrangement
Michael Brecker – tenor saxophone
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


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