Berlin is a 1973 album by Lou Reed, his third solo album and the follow-up to Transformer. In 2003, the album was ranked number 344 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, though the magazine had called the album a "disaster" 30 years prior.
Though it was dismissed as morbid and self-indulgent upon its initial 1973 release, critics and audiences alike have come to view Lou Reed's unquestionably grandiose concept album, BERLIN, as one of the high points of his solo career. The album's narrative arc traces the trajectory of a doomed, defiantly self-destructive romance in the modern German city, and pits dark,cabaret influenced orchestration against Reed's deadpan vocals to remarkably chilling effect. The album's bleak, incisive lyrics and unapologetically melodramatic atmosphere would prove influential in the years to come.
In 1972, Lou Reed was a minor cult hero to a handful of rock critics and left-of-center music fans who championed his former band, the Velvet Underground, but he was unknown to the mainstream music audience. By 1986, Reed was a rock & roll icon, widely hailed as a master songwriter and one of the founding fathers of punk, glam, noise rock, and any number of other vital rock subgenres; he even scored a few hits along the way. If you want to know what happened during those 14 years to make such a difference, the answer can be found in The RCA & Arista Album Collection, a 17-disc box set that brings together nearly all of Reed's recorded work from this period…
Cardboard sleeve (mini LP) reissue from Lou Reed. Part of a 9-album Cardboard sleeve (mini LP) Lou Reed reissue campaign featuring the albums "Lou Reed," "Transformer," "Berlin," "Rock and Roll Animal," "Sally Can't Dance," "Lou Reed Live," "Metal Machine Music," Coney Island Baby," and "Rock adn Roll Heart." Lou Reed's solo debut suggests that neither Reed nor his new record company were quite sure about what to do with him in 1972. It would be years before the cult of the Velvet Underground became big enough to mean anything commercially, leaving Lou pretty much back where he started from in the public eye after five years of hard work, and he seemed to be searching for a different musical direction on this set without quite deciding what it would be.