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Berlin: Live At St. Ann’s Warehouse

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Editors’ Notes

As his career has aged, Lou Reed has posited himself as a rock n’ roll man of letters. In 2006, he revived his controversial 1973 concept album Berlin, with a performance at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn supported by an impressive cast including guitarist Steve Hunter, bassist Fernando Saunders, vocalist Antony, cellist Jane Scarpantoni, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. It was produced by the album’s original producer Bob Ezrin and Hal Willner and filmed by Julian Schnabel. Reed had never performed the album in its entirety before, and 33 years later it becomes a cathartic revelation for all concerned. Reed has never had a dynamic voice and over the years it has grown even more limited, but he's responded by demanding that his bands emphasize a strong dynamic that’s in full effect here. (“The Kids” remains one of rock’s most horrifying tales). For the encore, Reed serves up two welcomed Velvet Underground classics (“Candy Says” as a duet with Antony and “Sweet Jane”) and a brutal tale in “Rock Minuet” that’s as explicit as any of his work.

Customer Reviews

"In Berlin; By The Wall"

.."You Were Five Foot Ten Inches Tall!".."It Had To Be That Way!"- "Oh; Jim!"; The Long Wait Is Over! For Lou Reed's Lost Uber-Decadent Masterpiece has finally Come to Light! ( Julian Schnabel is Directing the Film Version!) Now we have: "Live At St.Ann's Warehouse" {We're longtime Lou Fans from the "Velvet Years" to the "Rock & Rolling Animal" to the Mature Solo Artist of "Magic" & "Poe"} And It's all here: Simple; Unadorned; Right Out There-The entire "Berlin Overture!"-"Caroline Says"-Listen Again! Grimmbo.

Return to Berlin

Lou Reed's Berlin was most definitely ahead of it's time. Even the current review of the studio version of this album doesn't really say whether it's good or not. To me, the studio "Berlin" was the pinnacle of Reed's solo career. This is him spitting in the face of those fans that fell in love with "Walk on the Wild Side", while still maintaining a coherent song structure (For an example of Lou spitting in the face of convention without that song structure, see "Metal Machine Music"). Here's what you should know about this album: It's a must own for Lou Reed fans. Especially those of us who were less than satisfied with "Hudson River Meditations", his last official release. Also, the energy exerted here is incredible. The musicians accompanying Lou Reed on the stage most definitely have it together which is good since Reed's voice is 25 years older than the first time Berlin was unleashed to the pop music scene. To summarize, this is not Lou Reed's best live album. That is "Rock and Roll Animal". What this album is, though, the best music with Lou Reed's name on it in years. Well worth your time and money.

Late Era Reed is amazing

In my opinion Lou Reed has aged like wine and his music gets better and better as he matures. He is one of the finest live performers of our time and anyone who writes him off because he sounded younger thirty years ago should listen to what is really going on in this recording. Give it another listen and don't try to compare this recording to the studio version of "Berlin" because they are two completely different projects. Thanks Lou for recreating a masterpiece. I can't wait for you to team up with David Bowie and perform 'Transformer' live.


Born: March 2, 1942 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The career of Lou Reed defied capsule summarization. Like David Bowie (whom Reed directly inspired in many ways), he made over his image many times, mutating from theatrical glam rocker to strung-out junkie to avant-garde noiseman to straight rock & roller to your average guy. Few would deny Reed's immense importance and considerable achievements. As has often been written, he expanded the vocabulary of rock & roll lyrics into the previously forbidden territory of kinky sex, drug use (and...
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