Lou Reed’s ‘Berlin’: Do His Songs Still Resonate in the City That Inspired Them?

Travel Blog  •  Michael Yessis  •  07.03.07 | 10:22 AM ET


In 1973 Lou Reed recorded Berlin, an album inspired by the German city that Rolling Stone called “one of the gloomiest records ever made—slow, druggy and heavily orchestrated.” At the time, the Wall cut through Berlin and the city struggled with a heroin epidemic among teens. “In other words, it was not a happy place, although it was certainly an interesting one—Berlin, in that era, had become a mecca for some of the most creative heads in rock music,” Time’s Stephanie Kirchner writes in an intriguing “Postcard from Berlin” on the magazine’s Web site.

Last month, Reed traveled to Berlin to perform the record in its entirety at the Tempodrom arena in the Kreuzberg district. Kirchner attended and asked an intriguing question: “Do these songs still resonate in a Berlin that bears little resemblance to the city that inspired them?”

One attendee called Reed’s show “worse than Las Vegas,” but Kirchner has a kinder verdict: “For some, at least, the city that inspired the songs of ‘Berlin’ may be lost forever, but the songs themselves have lost none of their power.”

No comments for Lou Reed’s ‘Berlin’: Do His Songs Still Resonate in the City That Inspired Them?.

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.