In the run-up to his performances at St. Ann’s Warehouse this weekend, Lou Reed has been complaining that his 1974 recording, Berlin, was roundly savaged by the critics. Not this one. In a review in Crawdaddy! in January 1974, I wrote, “With the release of Berlin, Lou Reed, ex-child pianist and ex-lead vocalist of the Velvets, has written a new chapter in rock’s Inferno, opening another circle of purgatory to public perusal… Listening to this album is like taking a trip to Edge City. Musically, it’s simply excellent… Ultimately, though, Berlin’s meat is in the lyrics… What Reed is coping with is despair. It could be characterized differently. Call it anguish, nausea, S&M or B&D; it still comes down to the same thing… Perhaps Reed has discovered the rage in himself. Perhaps he has realized the depth of his own detachment. He’s no child of decadence anymore. Rather, he’s become the poet laureate of the depths of despair. David Bowie sang about a “crash course for the ravers.” Berlin is a crash course, but the ravers ain’t old enough for it just yet. Their time will come. And Lou… All those tales I’ve heard don’t mean a thing next to this album. I would tell you to be careful, but I think you know that by now. Just hang in there. I don’t know where you’re going, but I’d like to hear about it.” Think he listened? I don’t. But I’m glad he did stick around long enough to see a Velvet Underground acetate sell for $150,000 and to finally play Berlin in public.