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Goodbye, Lou.
December 15, 2006 1:00 PM   Subscribe

In 1973, Berlin, Lou Reed’s somber follow-up to his upbeat, glam-rock Transformer, was described by Rolling Stone as “a disaster,” by others as “horseshit,” and was never performed live — until now.
posted by ijoshua (23 comments total)

 
"this was his last shot at a once-promising career. Goodbye, Lou"

So I guess this shit didn't start with Pitchfork. It's par for the course, baby!
posted by four panels at 1:22 PM on December 15, 2006


Oh, I forgot to link to this interview.
posted by ijoshua at 1:25 PM on December 15, 2006


Man, Christgau was always terrible, wasn't he? He truly is the Dean of American Rock Critics. That is an insult, not a compliment. That said, I dig parts of Berlin, despite the relentless downbeatery of it. Was anyone at last night's show?
posted by ghastlyfop at 1:27 PM on December 15, 2006


Having been a rock critic I know that if you put out a positive review, no one cares. If you trash someone then you're a genius.

So there's no reason to like anything.
posted by nyxxxx at 1:30 PM on December 15, 2006


Holy cow...all these years I'd assumed "Perfect Day" was on Berlin. Guess it wasn't quite depressing enough.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:31 PM on December 15, 2006


You have no idea how disorienting it was for me when that last link wasn't to YouTube.
posted by scrump at 1:32 PM on December 15, 2006


nothing can make up for his photography pap. sorry lou, you're dead to me.
posted by DenOfSizer at 1:37 PM on December 15, 2006


At least it's not as bad as his new record: Nü-Metal Machine Music.
posted by basicchannel at 1:40 PM on December 15, 2006


You have no idea how disorienting it was for me when that last link wasn't to YouTube.
posted by scrump


Yep!
posted by snsranch at 1:57 PM on December 15, 2006


What, brilliant photography like this? Or this? Or this? Watch out, Ansel Adams, there's a new shutterbug in town!
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:12 PM on December 15, 2006


somebody said youtube?

this seems like a life performance of the 1st song berlin to me...
posted by kolophon at 2:12 PM on December 15, 2006


Berlin is the most depressing album in the history of rock. I mean, it begins with a woman losing her children, and goes downhill from there. It has some brilliant moments though.
posted by LarryC at 4:49 PM on December 15, 2006


LouTube BBC ad from way back.
posted by crispynubbins at 4:58 PM on December 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


But what courage! (Honestly.) For a rawk-star of Lou's notoriety to be dealing with depression, suicide and famlilial collaspe was revolutionary for the historical moment.

While all of the rockers (looking at youMr. Richards, Mr. Lennon and Mr. Bonham) were trying to fill stadium seats and get into all of the tattlers for their most recent outlandish behavior, Lou made a musical statement about the OTHER side. The personal tragedies that often accompany the fame.

Fiction or not, it wasn't until Clapton's tragedy in the early '90's that another artist did the same.

'Glam-rock'? Fuck you.
posted by vhsiv at 5:47 PM on December 15, 2006


Personally, I loved Berlin. I just try not to listen to it when I have razor blades handy ;)

Then again, I feel the same way about Elton John's Madman Across the Water album. Perhaps because they both come from people who are dealing with problems that are much deeper, darker, and more personal than the usual "ooh girl you left me and now I am sad, baby" pseudo-angst rock and pop music usually has to offer.
posted by evilcupcakes at 6:08 PM on December 15, 2006


This thread is useless without a jonmc diatribe about Lou Reed, punk rock, and jonmc.
posted by fandango_matt at 6:15 PM on December 15, 2006


Fascinating, but I'd rather hear Antony perform The Marble Index.

Now there's a masterpiece.
posted by mykescipark at 6:43 PM on December 15, 2006


Having been a rock critic I know that if you put out a positive review, no one cares. If you trash someone then you're a genius.

Being a musician I can tell you, if you put out a positive review, no one cares. If you trash someone, no one cares.
posted by micayetoca at 7:42 PM on December 15, 2006


This thread is useless without a jonmc diatribe about Lou Reed, punk rock, and jonmc.

The Rollins thread didn't do it for you, eh?

I kind of like Berlin. I've only listened to it a couple times though (unlike certain other works of Reed's).

Now, if he were performing Metal Machine Music live in its entirety for four days straight...
posted by sparkletone at 8:46 PM on December 15, 2006


I'm holding out for the Wiggles' version of Metal Machine Music for babies.
posted by DenOfSizer at 8:06 AM on December 16, 2006


Christgau wasn't/isn't terrible and Berlin is horseshit.

If, even as a Lou Reed fan (which I am, kind of), you can't recognize that the man has put out a lot of bilge in his career you've only traded your intelligence for fandom.

There is a formula we love: People derided it then but now we know it's genius. Time -- and memorial concerts -- do not automatically make the formula true.
posted by argybarg at 9:05 AM on December 16, 2006


damn. i almost got a heart attack. careful with your headlines. for a second i thought that Lou died.
and i just saw him live two days ago at the Carnegie Hall with the Wainwrights.
posted by keepoutofreach at 12:45 PM on December 16, 2006


Being a musician I can tell you, if you put out a positive review, no one cares. If you trash someone, no one cares.

Who cares about the musician? Rock critics write for the subscribers and readers.

You didn't actually think all the reviews are about you, do you? Carly Simon wrote a song about you, I think.

And the readers sure as shit care about the reviews. That's what I was talking about. When I wrote positive things they never said a peep. When I trashed someone they would be stopping me in the street and quoting my article back to me.

So which one do you think I'm going to write?

Actually I just dropped the whole thing and stopped writing music reviews.
posted by nyxxxx at 6:29 PM on December 16, 2006


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