Upon the 1973 release of Berlin, a Rolling Stone critic deemed the record "patently offensive." Thirty years later, Lou Reed's concept album about speed freaks on a downward spiral of infidelity, spousal abuse, parental neglect and death ranked 344 on this magazine's 500 all-time-greatest-albums list. Reed has always fed upon this kind of irony, and in 2006 he staged a concert adaptation of his rock musical in Brooklyn. (Painter-filmmaker Julian Schnabel shot the performances.) Where Reed once ham-acted the part of cuckolded savage Jim on the original, he sings here with both detachment and fatherly compassion. While ballads such as "The Bed" grow eerily placid, the Kurt Weill-like class commentary of "Men of Good Fortune" gains severity: Guitarist Steve Hunter embodies privilege with flashy heroics, and Reed represents unskilled labor via blunt six-string bursts. An encore duet with Antony on the Velvet Underground's "Candy Says" adds a sweet aftertaste to Berlin's bitterness. But the explicit gay sex and slaughter of 2000's "Rock Minuet" emphasize that Reed hasn't exactly gone soft.
Berlin: Live at St. Ann's Warehouse
- Berlin: Live at St. Ann's Warehouse
- Lou Reed
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Around the Web
Men's Journal12 Things Everyone Should Know About Vaginas
Guitar WorldThe 13 Creepiest Album Covers of All Time
Diffuser10 Cover Songs Better Than The Originals
Guitar WorldThe 10 Best Stage Names of All Time
SalonThe 7 Most Offensive TV Shows Of All Time
Men's Journal9 Traits That Attract Women
- Watch Bruce Springsteen's Surprise Performance With U2
- Up in the Air: Meet the Man Who Flies Around the World for Free
- Hear Drake Demolish Meek Mill on 'Back to Back' Freestyle
- 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper Dead at 61
- Meek Mill's Drake Diss 'Is Trash': Sports World Reacts to 'Wanna Know'
- Watch Lauryn Hill's Show-Stopping 'Feeling Good' on 'Tonight Show'
- The 10 Wildest Rap Beefs of All Time
- Tom Brady: Sympathy for the Devil
- 500 Greatest Albums of All Time