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Count Three & Pray

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Album Review

A major change of direction for Berlin, Count Three & Pray was an artistic triumph but a commercial disappointment. After making a name for itself playing very European-sounding synth pop, the L.A. trio recruited producer Bob Ezrin (known for his work with Alice Cooper and others) and unveiled a more hard-edged, guitar-oriented sound. From the rockin' "Trash" (which features none other than Ted Nugent — the last person one would expect to work with Berlin!) to the ballad "Pink and Velvet" (a tale of two heroin addicts' romance that is as poignant as it is disturbing), Count Three & Pray leaves no doubt just how much lead singer Terri Nunn and her colleagues were enjoying this radical change. But sadly, record buyers weren't ready for it. Despite the inclusion of the hauntingly pretty number one hit "Take My Breath Away" (included in the film Top Gun) the album didn't sell nearly as well as Pleasure Victim or Love Life. Geffen was bitterly disappointed, and Berlin soon broke up.

Customer Reviews

Berlin's Finest Album

Yes, Berlin had great songs on their previous albums ("The Metro", "Sex [I'm a...]", and "No More Words" spring to mind), but Count Three and Pray is the album that found the band moving out of the pop/new-wave arena into more guitar-based rock. The results are absolutely stunning, with Terri Nunn's fiery vocals firmly leading the charge. Every track on this album is a winner, with the standout being the haunting ballad "Pink and Velvet." I still get chills whenever I hear it, and I've been listening to this album for over twenty years now. A must-have for Berlin fans.

A Lusher Berlin

I got this in the 1980s on cassette and was thrilled when I finally was able to get it on a CD. It's not a perfect album, but it has my favorite Berlin songs. Terri Nunn really poured her heart in the vocals and the instrumentation became a much more textured and musically lush "Wall of Sound" (like Talk Talk and early Eurhythmics). My personal favorite is actually "Heartstings", a cry in the darnkess to a sleeping lover (maybe the same one as in "Pink and Velvet"). I also liked "You Don't Know" and "When Love Goes to War" along with "Pink and Velvet". Other songs like "Trash", "Will I Ever Understand You" and "Sex Me, Talk Me" hearken back to their semi-punk phase of the first album. They're not my favorites, but definitely "classic Berlin". P.S. I'm glad to see they're back together and recording.

Count Three and Pray

If nothing else, Pink and Velvet is worth the price of the record. David Gilmour of Pink Floyd is featured prominently. Consider the guitar work Part II of Comfortably Numb.

Biography

Formed: 1982 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s

This Los Angeles-based synth pop group, founded by bassist John Crawford, singer Terri Nunn, and keyboard player David Diamond, made its first national impression with the provocative single "Sex (I'm A...)" from the gold-selling debut EP Pleasure Victim in 1982. The group was filled out by guitarist Rick Olsen, keyboard player Matt Reid, and drummer Rob Brill. Berlin's first full-length LP was the gold Love Life in 1984. In 1985, the group was pared down to a trio of Crawford, Nunn, and Brill. Berlin...
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Count Three & Pray, Berlin
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