Back in 1973, Lou Reed seemed to be well on his way to become a successful solo act after the final dissolution of the Velvet Underground, but no one, it seem was prepared for Berlin
. RCA, the label that had released Reed's previous album, Transformer
, was hoping for another Top-20 hit along the lines of "Walk on the Wild Side," but instead got a tawdry, downbeat concept album about a bruised and doomed German prostitute name Caroline and her junkie lover. Hit single? The most straightforward "rock song" on the album -- "How Do You Think It Feels" -- was a none-too-subtle ode to amphetamine use, and the rest of the record dealt frankly with violence, se...