30/30 revisited review rock

lou reed – berlin (1973)

After noting a lack of proper endings in Reed’s songs, producer Bob Ezrin questioned the fate of a couple in track #5 from his debut album. Soon after, a rock opera of addiction sprouted and withered in front of united mainstream critics and horrified label suits. ‘Berlin’ is impressively tragic and in a mirthless 70s New York, inspiration needed to be frank as well as stargazing. Art should evaporate if it consciously lies; ‘Berlin’ remains because of the humbling truth that great experiments need to be met with equal faith. Lou Reed followed up the groovy charm of ‘Transformer’ (1972) with one of the weightiest artistic expressions of the era. 


A favourite: ‘Sad Song’

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