Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

3. Lou ReedBerlin

Let’s get back to some serious suicide on vinyl. Probably one of the defining albums of my youth. Bob Ezrin’s production is amazing, the subject matter, the themes, the instrumentation, the lyrics… I guess Lou should have committed suicide after that because he’s pretty much sucked since then, let’s face it Lou. Apart from maybe a few songs on Sally Can’t Dance. Even Bob Quinn couldn’t save his tired old ass. I met him for a few minutes recently. He was a grumpy fuck. I don’t know, I think he’s suffered like Iggy and a few others I’d rather not name, they give this vocal parody of themselves, like they can’t find something that they originally had or something else to do with it and it becomes this ridiculous parody. I don’t think Lou Reed ever had that much to say in the first place, but he said it really well and he covered some great topics. Berlin basically says it all, about drug addiction, desperation, y’know just the worst of the worst. I think as a 14-year-old or however old I was when I was obsessed by that album, it showed me, the way that literature did, that these subjects have to be covered. I did a few songs… I did ‘Caroline Says I’ and ‘Oh, Jim’ with Rowland S. Howard a couple of times live. And again, the production – thank you Bob Ezrin for all of Alice Cooper, who I didn’t have space to include – on Berlin; if you are gonna have a concept album then that kind of production is really important. They don’t make producers like that any more.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: , Bat for Lashes, Echo & The Bunnymen
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