Last laughs can also be candy, and consistent with music journalist, Anthony DeCurtis, his pal, the overdue Lou Reed, “reveled” in the crucial drubbing that greeted his third solo album, 1973’s Berlin.
Not right away, alternatively.
Berlin, which adopted arduous on the heels of Reed’s broadly adored Transformer, had a painful, protracted supply.
This was once due partly because of RCA pros getting chilly toes about freeing Reed’s grim idea file as a double album. This necessitated numerous pruning, every week earlier than cut-off date.
Producer Bob Ezrin, who had planted the concept for an idea album in accordance with a track from Reed’s eponymous first solo effort, was once cleansing in the medical institution, and thus no longer provide for the ultimate mastering.
But a lot of the hell resulting in Berlin’s free up was once a hell of Reed’s personal making.
His dependence on medication and alcohol hampered the writing procedure, as according to Reed’s first spouse, Bettye Kronstad, who filed for divorce halfway thru the procedure.
If you need a glimpse of what that marriage’s ultimate days may were like, glance to Berlin.
Kronstad was once distressed to find many private details from their dating on show in the tragic rock opera. There was once some fictionalization, however Reed additionally put his thumb on the scales when it suited him, in songs like “The Kids,” which recast Kronstad’s overdue mom in a in particular unfair means.
Reed as soon as took a shot at the album’s critical reception, suggesting that folks didn’t find it irresistible as a result of its depiction of a depressing couple, whose union is marred by means of infidelity, home abuse, habit, and suicide, was once “too actual”:
It’s no longer like a TV program the place all the unhealthy issues that occur to individuals are tolerable. Life isn’t like that. And nor is the album.
Sometimes he bluffed:
I’ve by no means been fascinated with crucial receptions, deceptions, hellos, goodbyes, huzzahs, hurrahs. I don’t learn them, so I don’t care.
At different occasions, he raged:
There are folks I’ll by no means forgive for the means they fucked me over with Berlin. The means that album was once overpassed was once the largest sadness I ever confronted.
In a extra inclined temper, he admitted:
Berlin was once a large flop and it made me very unhappy. The means that album was once overpassed was once most likely the largest sadness I ever confronted. I pulled the blinds close at that time, they usually’ve remained closed.
Unsurprisingly, his early plans for staging a theatrical companion piece to the album, with conceivable participation by means of Andy Warhol, had been shelved.
34 years later…
Cue director Julian Schnabel, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and St. Ann’s Warehouse, the New York City venue that had in the past co-commissioned Songs for Drella, a musical Warhol tribute by means of Reed and John Cale.
In 2006, Reed took centerstage in Brooklyn for a 5-night theatrical run of Berlin that still featured a 35-piece ensemble, unique guitarist Steve Hunter, and dreamy movies by means of the director’s daughter, Lola, starring Emmanuelle Seigner as an summary comic strip of the doomed protagonist, Caroline.
The ensuing live performance movie, which St. Ann’s Warehouse is streaming for free through November 29, proved way more well liked by critics than the 1973 file have been. (Three years previous to the St Ann’s staging, Rolling Stone upgraded its unique opinion of the album from career ending disaster to 344th Greatest Album of All Time.)
Stephen Holden’s sparkling New York Times overview of the movie made more than one point out of angels and demons, as is in all probability to be anticipated when a piece combines Lou Reed, a Sid and Nancy-ish romance, a kids’s choir, and the airy voice of Anohni, overdue of Antony and the Johnsons.
Readers, see for your self, and tell us—did RCA’s promotional poster for the unique album get one thing proper just about 50 years in the past? Is this “a movie for the ears?”
Stream Julian Schnabel’s Lou Reed’s Berlin, Live at St. Ann’s Warehouse here thru November 29.