Lou Reed’s “Berlin” Headed to Matador

 

Matador snags the rights to release the soundtrack to the
acclaimed Schnabel film.

By Blurt Staff

 

We were just headed out for lunch
when this fine little tidbit got slipped over the news transom. For those of you
lucky enough to have seen the Berlin film
(you might have caught parts of it in Austin
at SXSW) or simply loved the album itself upon its release, this is pretty
cool.

 

Check out the trailer to the film
at the bottom, too. Read on…

 

***

 

Matador Records is thrilled to
announce that it will be releasing Lou Reed’s
Berlin
:  Original Film Soundtrack
 on
September 30 (digital)/October 7 (physical), coinciding with the Weinstein
Company’s October 6, 2008 DVD release of the Julian
Schnabel film
.

 

Upon the 1973 release of Berlin,
Lou Reed‘s controversial successor to the wildly
popular Transformer, Rolling Stone‘s Stephen Davis
described it as one of “certain 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.”  A earnest pan, yes,
but also a fabulous pull quote.   Thirty years later, the magazine
named it one of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

 

Staging Berlin had
been discussed for over 30 years, and in December of 2006 it became a reality,
over four days at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn.  It was the first time Reed performed the
album live.
  The New
York Times
said that Reed “wasn’t revisiting these songs as
oldies or artifacts; he was reinhabiting them…Berlin carried Reed’s music to an
ornate extreme, but now its trappings are secondary.  What comes through
is the way it feels.”

 

The film Berlin, by acclaimed
painter-turned-director Julian Schnabel (Basquiat, Before Night Falls,
The Diving Bell & The Butterfly), documents
these historic performances.  Though the album’s harrowing qualities are
well documented, the experience of seeing and hearing it brought to life was
invigorating.  More information about the film can be found at
http://www.berlinthefilm.com/.

 

Produced by Bob Ezrin and Hal Willner, and featuring musicians like Fernando Saunders, Antony, Steve Hunter, Rob
Wassermann, Rupert Christie and Sharon Jones, a
seven piece orchestra (including Eyvind Kang and
Jane Scarpantoni), and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, this recording magnifies the
cinematic quality of the original album.  It also includes the three
encores, “Candy Says,” “Rock Minuet,” and “Sweet Jane.”

 

Berlin remains one of the most alarming and frank highlights of a
career marked by innovation and candor.  Just as Schnabel’s effort is far
more ambitious than your average concert film,
this release stands as a majestic and poignant re-imagining of one of the 20th
century’s most powerful works.

 

Lou Reed is a member of the Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame
and has been awarded the Chevalier Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Government, and the
prestigious Hero Award by the National Academy of
Recording Arts and Sciences
.  His incisive, literate approach to
popular (and unpopular) music has spanned five decades, with a remarkable lack
of complacency.  Reed is one of the most important and influential living
musicians. 

 

 

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