Lou Reed ‘Berlin’


Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Sad Song” by Lou Reed

When Lou Reed’s Berlin came out in 1973, it was met with a huge shrug. Hot off the heels of “Walk On The Wild Side” success and the Transformer album produced by David Bowie, Reed worked with producer Bob Ezrin who had a taste for the absurd and theatrical. Departure is an understatement describing what Reed and Ezrin delivered to the American public. A story about a suicidal mother who was a hooker and her boyfriend wasn’t exactly easy listening, although, nobody having any knowledge about Reed’s past with The Velvet Underground should have been surprised that he could, or would, deliver such a morbid, dense and highly radio-unfriendly album.

Several of the album’s songs were reworked versions of songs Reed had recorded before including “Caroline Says” (originally recorded by the Velvet Underground under the title “Stephanie Says”) and the album’s title track which was on Reed’s first eponymous solo release following the demise of the Velvets. Over time, Berlin has rightfully gained in stature, sporting some songs that are now considered Reed classics including “Lady Day,” “Oh Jim,” “How Do You Think It Feels” and today’s Song Of The Day.

Because of its poor reception, Reed never toured the album after it was released, and finally got around to taking it on the road in 2007 backed by a 30-piece band (as captured o
n the superb Julian Schnabel-directed DVD, Lou Reed’s Berlin.)
Eric Berman


 Track listing

All tracks composed by Lou Reed

Side one      

  1. “Berlin” 3:23
  2. “Lady Day” 3:40
  3. “Men of Good Fortune” 4:37
  4. “Caroline Says I” 3:57
  5. “How Do You Think It Feels” 3:42
  6. “Oh Jim” 5:13

Side two      

  1. “Caroline Says II” 4:10
  2. “The Kids” 7:55
  3. “The Bed” 5:51
  4. “Sad Song” 6:55


  • Lou Reed – vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Bob Ezrin – piano, mellotron, production, arrangement
  • Michael Brecker – tenor sax
  • Randy Brecker – trumpet
  • Jack Bruce – bass; except “Lady Day” & “The Kids”
  • Aynsley Dunbar – drums; except “Lady Day” & “The Kids”
  • Steve Hunter – electric guitar
  • Tony Levin – bass on “The Kids”
  • Allan Macmillan – piano on “Berlin”
  • Gene Martynec – acoustic guitar, synthesizer and vocal arrangement on “The Bed,” bass on “Lady Day”
  • Jon Pierson – bass trombone
  • Dick Wagner – background vocals & electric guitar
  • Blue Weaver – piano on “Men of Good Fortune”
  • B.J. Wilson – drums on “Lady Day” & “The Kids”
  • Steve Winwood – organ & harmonium
  • Steve Hyden, Elizabeth March, Lou Reed, Dick Wagner – choir
Give “Sad Songs” listen below

Here’s the album in it’s entirety

Posted by Larry Carta

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