An American master and true rock & roller, Lou Reed transformed popular art, music and culture through a body of work that continues to affect the way fans hear and see the world. Reed, who cut his first single as a teenager in the late-50s, began his professional career working as a New York in-house assembly line songwriter in the early-60s while developing his pure artistic vision as frontman for the Velvet Underground and throughout his uncompromising solo career.
1973's Berlin is Reed's theatrical third solo effort which came in drastic contrast to its glam-rock predecessor, Transformer. Comprised of re-drafts of earlier compositions first penned by Reed and the Velvet Underground, Berlin tells the story of an ill-fated romance amidst heavy orchestral arrangements, harrowing horn sections and fervent lyrics. Produced by Bob Ezrin, the equally ambitious and controversial 10-song set includes appearances by Michael and Randy Brecker, Jack Bruce, Aynsley Dunbar, Tony Levin and Steve Winwood.
Upon the album's original release, Rolling Stone's Stephen Davis described it as one of those "...records so patently offensive that one wishes to take some kind of physical vengeance on the artists that perpetrate them...a distorted and degenerate demimonde of paranoia, schizophrenia, degradation, pill-induced violence and suicide." Thirty years later, the magazine hailed it as one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.