Friday, 21 October 2011

Lou Reed & Metallica - Some Thoughts

Just played a web-rip of this album and feel strangely
compelled to put down my thoughts, safe in the knowledge
that because there is no actual album to download from
this post, only 3 people will actually bother to read this!

Reading all the gnashing of teeth and hair pulling over
this release, there appear to be three main points that are
coming up again and again:

1. Metallica have been shit since "Master of Puppets" came out.

I guess that is a matter of opinion but luckily for me this issue
has never caused me to lose any sleep. Hey, "Master" is pretty
good but in 1986 there were many more albums released that
seemed so much better or of more importance to me - and here
is my list:
Sonic Youth - EVOL
Scratch Acid - Just keep Eating
Big Black - Atomizer
Dead Kennedys - Bedtime for Democracy
The Scientists - Weird Love
Poison Idea - Kings of Punk
Butthole Surfers - Rembrant Pussy Horse
Husker Du - Candy Apple Grey

See what I mean?

2. Why are they doing this?

Dunno - take a guess? Bored, respect for each other,
need the cash, huge joke, trying something different?
Everyone will come to their own conclusion.

3. Lou Reed is just mumbling in a monotone voice!

Hah! - welcome to his vocal style of the last 15 years. This
seems to be a common complaint from rabid metal heads
who I can only suppose have never really followed Reed
closely ...... you did not think he would change just to please you?

On to the music itself - it spans 78 minutes which will really give
a casual listener a challenging time (which I am sure was their intention)!
It is what I expected really - Lou narrating over slabs of Metallica backing
music. There are no real solo wig-outs, just solid riffing and chord changes
but there are some suprising ambient passages with picked guitar and droned

If Lou Reed had released this, using a less famous backing band, he probably
would of been hailed as a "The Fearless Godfather of Punk - taking back heavy
rock'n'roll and giving it his own touch" - for make no mistake, this album is
very clearly a Lou Reed record - and his backing band happen to be Metallica.

If you are still hysterical that Metallica have not made the same album over and
over again for the last 25 years - you probably should not listen to it.

If you can accept that it is a collaboration and will not sound like either of
the participants normal body of work - think about giving it a go.

If you liked some of Reeds earlier works - "New York", the long tracks from
"Ecstacy", "The Raven" - give it a listen.

And so, dear reader, my story comes to its end and it is time for me to say
goodbye without giving my own opinion.

How annoying!


  1. The more I hear about this album, the more I think I may actually enjoy it. Even some of the most scathing reviews have suggested that I might like it even if no one else seems to.

  2. I have only played it twice but I do like it - there seems to be a lot of reviews based on only the 2 songs streamed earlier this month!

  3. I'm not sure what people were expecting; it's two very obviously different ends of a spectrum collaborating, one known for being a mouthy punk, the other being what may be the most widely known thrash band to date. I haven't listened to it yet, but I will at least give all involved parties respect for trying to do something outside of their immediate and respective niches.

  4. Well said - evolution of musical ideas or collaborations can sometimes suck but at least they have tried something rather unexpected.

  5. Well said indeed. The "If Lou Reed had released this, using a less famous backing band,..." statement is just so true.

    I don't particularly like Metallica. Kill 'em all was a shocker, but Metallica is just really not my thing. Never bothered with Lou Reed at all. I've listened a few tracks of their collaboration once and so far I actually like it. Not sure there's enough going on (tension) to make it last, but I really appreciate the effort.

    So that makes at least five readers already. Thanks for the blog ;)

  6. Heh, that makes at least three readers. Should've read the comments more carefully... Anyway first song that really stuck with me: Cheat On Me

  7. Hey Monster, thanks for making my prediction of 3 readers coming true! Not being a huge Metallica fan,I had kinda forgot about Kill 'Em All but it made more of an impact with me than "Master" did.

  8. Have given it a listen and I can understand the hate from Metallica fans. I think if it's taken as a Lou Reed record 'featuring Metallica' it makes a lot more sense, so I completely agree with you there. It's really not that bad overall, and I can think of worse things Reed has done.

  9. Listen man, I'm going to be honest. I've only heard like one track off the album and I thought it was horrible. I will give the full thing a try.

    I have no idea what I was expecting. You know that I have love for Lou and in my eyes he can do no wrong. But man. I'm having a hard time with this.

  10. Honest is good. Your love for Lou has been well documented on VDO but this will certainly not be for everyone. I do like it and think this collaboration has been interesting but note my wording of "like"!

    I also quite like Blue Mask and The Bells by Lou but rarely play them. I do not love it - if there is a choice between this or hearing the new Dub Trio album again, "Lulu" will not get a look in!

  11. Still haven't listened. I AM however watching their Jools performance at the minute. Sounds like a shitter, slower version of white light/white heat

  12. Something about ice melting or something is the track?

  13. and now an awful version of white light white heat haha

  14. The performance has not made you change your mind then? :)

    I was interested to watch my wifes reaction as she is not a particular fan of either band - her only, rather cutting comment was "All rather boring and pointless"

    Mrs Maim cuts to the chase?

  15. Well said, and in fact this is the most challenging material played from Metallica since ...and justice for all. In terms of a band playing tight- this is above anything that comes from the load-reload-st.anger era. Then again its a Lou Reed album, clearly not for the masses that metallica aplly. But kudos for both sides for doing what they felt like. Sorry for my english.

  16. Hey man. your english is fine and well argued.