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Berlin [Original recording remastered]

Lou Reed Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 8.83 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Berlin + Transformer + Rock 'n' Roll Animal
Price For All Three: CDN$ 23.94

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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

1. Berlin
2. Lady Day
3. Men Of Good Fortune
4. Caroline Says I
5. How Do You Think It Feels
6. Oh Jim
7. Caroline Says II
8. The Kids
9. The Bed
10. Sad Song

Product Description


Eternally perverse, Reed responded to having a pop hit with Transformer by making a massive bummer of an album, built around reworked versions of a couple of older songs. Berlin is psychologically grueling and unremittingly dark (scariest moment: "The Kids," which ends with a very long tape of children screaming in terror), but the savage contrasts of its sound have gotten more impressive with time. The big production flourishes hit like a hangover, Reed's voice sounds like he's trying to stave off emotional involvement with his lyrics because it would hurt too much, and the multi-layered textures of "Oh Jim" surge and recede like details of a nightmare. The album takes strength to hear, and rewards it. --Douglas Wolk

Product Description

LOU REED Berlin (1993 UK 10-track digitally remastered CD issue of the 1973 album includes Lady Day How To You Think It Feels and Oh Jim picture sleeve)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tender songs of tragedy and dispair Aug. 23 2003
By Phaede
Format:Audio CD
Make no mistake - Berlin is by far the most depressing and disturbing album Lou Reed ever made. These 10 profound songs create such destructive waves of melancholy and sadness that I'm amazed Lou weathered (survived?) this period in his life and went on to make such joyful and personal gems as New Sensations and New York several years down the road. From the disorienting prologue of the album's title song to the curiously anthemic Sad Song that closes this dark journey, Berlin draws you into seedy flats inhabited by addicts, masochists, abused and suicidal women, and an unrelenting procession of other tenderly-drawn tragic characters. (Readers of William Burroughs, Nelson Algren, and Jack Kerouac should especially "enjoy" this album.)
So why the 5 stars? Music that can conjure a mood, a time, and a place as strongly as Berlin does deserves our attention and our admiration - Lou's characters let us into their lives, let us feel their suffering, and let us identify and understand our own similar feelings, amazingly all from the comfort of our living room couch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Limp Dick? I Don't Think So ... June 11 2003
By Robert
Format:Audio CD
When "Berlin" was first released I HAD TO HAVE IT ... prior to "Berlin" my collection of Lou Reed was simply a couple of Velvet Underground LPs in import editions ... they weren't released locally in Sydney ... his eponymous solo album "Lou Reed" and of course "Transformer". Then came "Berlin" ... and it blew me away ... and I played it and played it and played it ... and still do only now on CD. It's a bleak and wonderful album. Sparse production, minimal arrangements over lush orchestration and above all Lou Reed's completely dispassionate voice relating the decay, breakdown and aftermath of a relationship ... His? Someone else's? Who knows ... listen to the little kid's voice in "The Kids" yelling over and over "Mummy ... Mummy" and by the time "Sad Song" unravels it's wings like a butterfly emerging from the catharsis of the cocoon of songs preceding it you know you've just listened to a piece of modern literature and not a pop album. "Limp Dick"? Well, I recall at the time of "Berlin"'s release one of the many negative reviews I read, and there were quite a few, referred to the album in quite disparaging terms and noted Bob Ezrin's "limp dick" production; a phrase I've remembered and used many times since to describe critic's reviews. I'm glad time, and the many reviews of listeners here on Amazon who love music and care about it, have vindicated Lou's vision. Not that I imagine he'd care. I think Lou Reed knows who he is and his faith in his own work and its validity is just as strong today as it was then ...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BLACK-EYED DAHLIA March 29 2002
Format:Audio CD
"Berlin" is an unflinching look inti the darkest corners of the human soul/psyche. Over stunning orchestration and stellar production (by Bob Ezrin, who is for some reason more famous for producing "The Wall" than "Berlin") Lou Reed, the voice of cool neutrality, submits for our approval (or rejection, i somehow think it's all the same to Lou, and that our feelings and opinions matter not) the starkly delineated tale of two expatriate speedfreaks living in Berlin, and how they torture each other in a spiritually bankrupt vacuum of tympanis and violins, ghost choruses of sick angels and science-fiction doowop, and how the torture of ownership as love and s/m junkiedom leads inexorably to death. In this case her suicide is of course a literal death, but as the male half of this diseased equation wraps himself in the bloody sheets of her deathbed and declares himself good because "somebody else would have broken both of her arms", then we are left with the sound of the death of a spirit, the wasting of a soul, a sad song indeed.
For your listening pleasure?
The "Citizen Kane" of rock and roll. It's that simple.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Big sounds, good melodies, serious lyrics Feb. 21 2002
Format:Audio CD
On the Velvet Underground albums and his first solo albums Lou Reed was an amazing songwriter. He was a witty lyricist and had a lot of melodic pop sensibility even in his weirdest songs. Then he obviously decided to become a serious rock artist. He lost his wit and pop sensibility and started writing unmelodic serious songs about serious matters. Berlin was a transitional album for him. The songs are mostly melodic but some of the lyrics are extremely serious. "Caroline Says II" is a good example of this: it's about a woman who is beaten by her husband. Of course it's important to talk about things like that but in rock lyrics it simply doesn't work. Reed obviously tries to make the song slightly more poetic with the words "she's not afraid to die" but aren't those words a bit of a cliche? "The Bed" has the best lyrics on the album. Though it's about somebody cutting her wrists, it has that good old wit.
Musically the album is a lot better. The best song is "Sad Song" which was originally meant to be on a Velvet Underground album (the original song is on the 2cd version of the album Loaded) It's a huge rock anthem which you probably don't like if you're afraid of bombast. Its lyrics are quite dark and wonderful.
What really makes Berlin a great album is Bob Ezrin's production. He uses big orchestra sounds with a lot of nuances. The most wonderful moment on the album is after "The Bed" when there's first some strange noise and then the flute starts playing the intro of "Sad Song".
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Berlin - Lou Reed - 1973
After the album Transformer had put Lou Reed into the mainstream music medium in 1972 (Thank you David Bowie! Read more
Published 19 months ago by SamusAranOwns
5.0 out of 5 stars Cycle of sorrowful songs
These songs are harrowing but beautiful and ultimately rewarding if you can survive its labyrinthine descent into heartbreak and despair. Read more
Published on Dec 13 2006 by Pieter Uys
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
i won't go into detail on this album as many of the reviews have done a great job doing so.what i want to say about it is simply that as a piece of american art it should be looked... Read more
Published on Sept. 26 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars she's my germanic queen...
This album really makes you wish Lou Reed could bring himself to collaborate more often, or at least work with a producer. Read more
Published on Feb. 16 2004 by elizabeth
5.0 out of 5 stars bleak, dark, depressing, great
pink floyds album the wall is usually said to be the singular most depressing album ever. and its true, it is an extremely depressing album. Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2004 by F. A Ognibene
3.0 out of 5 stars Mostly sad, the shape of thought in our time
There are a few albums that have some dreary songs I might recognize, but one that is so important, having the CD is the obvious way to get it. Read more
Published on Sept. 28 2003 by Bruce P. Barten
5.0 out of 5 stars His Best Solo Album
Yes, its very dark. But its his best solo album. Outside of Live albums I can't think of any of Lou's Solo albums that even compare to Berlin. It's a dark masterpiece.
Published on July 19 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars This is not for the weak of heart or mind
This cd is "wonderfully depressing". Lou reed has made the ugly appear beautiful. This is incredibly diffucult to do and that is why I give this album 5 out of 5... Read more
Published on March 26 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Genius
You either get this or you don't. What can I say, but that this was my first Lou Reed album, purchased when I was just 12 years old? Read more
Published on Jan. 18 2003 by Tom Garretson
5.0 out of 5 stars Melancholy Masterpiece
What is often overlooked in judging this bleak but great concept album, is the brilliance of the individual songs. Read more
Published on Oct. 31 2002 by Pieter Uys
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