September 08, 2008

Lou Reed: "Berlin" DVD and Blu-ray

Lou Reed's classic album Berlin was met with bad reviews in 1973. A bleak concept album about a lady called Caroline and her lover Jim was a bit too much for the majority of the rock critics. Those who did like it, have been singing its praise for years and now it's widely considered as a peak in Reed's career.

Fast forward to 2006. Lou Reed decides to perform the album in its entirety with a band of choice players (Fernando Saunders, Antony, Steve Hunter, Rob Wassermann, Rupert Christie and Sharon Jones), a seven piece orchestra and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. After a few warm-up gigs in Sydney, Australia, he plays at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn for five nights. The shows are filmed by Julian Schnabel and after a short run in film theatres world wide the DVD (or Blu-Ray) hits the shops.

Lou Reed: Berlin DVD

Schnabel went for the Velvet Underground look, with footage of "Caroline" played by French actress Emmanuelle Seignein the background and using only the lights that were there for the show. Reed looks solemn throughout, with the occasional smile during Oh Jim where he starts jamming with Steve Hunter of Rock 'n' Roll Animal fame. Berlin has aged well and after watching the DVD you will dig out your battered vinyl copy to listen tot it once more. The encore includes Candy Says sung by Anthony, a nice take of Rock Minuet and - no surprise - Sweet Jane.

Berlin is released on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK on Artificial Eye. Bonus Features: song lyrics, theatrical trailer and an interview with Reed. Release date: October 27th.


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