Berlin: Live At St. Ann’s Warehouse

Lou Reed

Released November 4 2008


Format: dbl LP/CD/DA

Lou Reed recorded the album Berlin in 1973.

It was a commercial failure.

“For five nights in December 2006 at St. Ann’s Warehouse Brooklyn, Lou Reed performed his master work about love’s dark sisters; jealousy, rage and loss.” – Julian Schnabel

On the 1973 release of Berlin, Rolling Stone’s Stephen Davis described the album as akin to “taking the listener into a distorted and degenerate demi-monde of paranoia, schizophrenia, degradation, pill-induced violence and suicide.” Though that was undoubtedly meant to be a pan, depending on your sensibility, it might also be a fabulous pull-quote.

Berlin, a film by acclaimed painter-turned-director Julian Schnabel (Basquiat, When Night Falls, The Diving Bell & The Butterfly) documents Lou Reed’s historic 2006 performances of this controversial 1973 followup to Transformer, joined by Fernando Saunders, Antony, Steve Hunter, Rob Wassermann, Rupert Christie, Sharon Jones, a seven piece orchestra (including Eyvind Kang and Jane Scarpantoni) along with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.

While Schnabel’s effort is far more ambitious than your average concert film, this DLP/CD more than stands on its own as a deft re-imagining of one of the 20th century’s most powerful works. Produced by Bob Ezrin and Hal Wilner.