Lou Reed and Metallica join forces for “Lulu” album

Lou Reed and Metallica


(Warner Bros.)

Released worldwide: October 31, 2011

North America: November 1, 2011

Just in time for the most frightening of holidays, comes the by-product of perhaps one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most bone-chilling collaborations of all time.

No I’m not talking about Michael Bolton and Bob Dylan. I’m talking about Lou Reed and Metallica.

As promised last month, we at the Underground told you we would have more details about the end-result of the recent meeting between the two musical icons. Now with the release date of their haunting lovechild “Lulu” just days away, and with the anticipation behind the record’s potential impact on audiences worldwide running higher than ever, here’s the scoop.

After performing together at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 25 Anniversary Concert in 2009, the group of iconic musicians immediately began kicking around plans to work with each other again in the future.

While initial plans had the two sides engaging in a re-recording of some of the former Velvet Underground guitarist’s unreleased material, the project changed shape completely upon Reed’s introduction of lyrics for his musical adaptation of German playwright Frank Wedekind’s 1913 play about the life of an abused dancer.

According to Metallica vocalist James Hetfield,

We were very interested in working with Lou. I had these giant question marks: ‘What’s it going to be like?’ ‘What’s going to happen?’ So it was great when he sent us the lyrics for the Lulu body of work. It was something we could sink our teeth into. I could take off my singer and lyricist hat and concentrate on the music part. These were very potent lyrics, with a soundscape behind them for atmosphere

Reed on the other hand cited his need for the right band to bring his vision to life.

He said,

We had to bring Lulu to life in a sophisticated way, using rock and the hardest power rock you could come up with would have to be Metallica. This is the best thing I ever did. And I did it with the best group I could possibly find. By definition, everybody involved was honest. This has come into the world pure. We pushed as far as we possibly could within the realms of reality.”

Watch the official trailer for “Lulu” here:

Though initial reviews have run the gamut from fawning to downright abysmal, what many critics ignore completely is that the material in question was never meant to be a certified crowd-pleaser.

In fact, the sources for Reed’s lyrics in the first place (Wedekind’s plays “Earth Spirit” and “Pandora’s Box”) “challenged the sexual and moral standards of their day and have remained highly controversial,” despite the knowledge that the stories included in their pages are over 100 years old.

Sure, even the most die-hard Metallica fan might strain to sit through the nearly 90 minutes of borderline spoken-word poetry that is uttered over chugging riffs and sludge-worthy bass rumblings. This record is not for the faint of heart.

However, it is the sound of artists pushing their own boundaries and not being afraid to step outside their comfort zones that makes all the effort, regardless of the rising sea of bad press, already worth the wait.

And best of all it can still make for an engaging time…even if you only listen to it once.

For more information on the collaboration between Lou Reed and Metallica or to learn more about their album “Lulu” please visit http://www.loureedmetallica.com.

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Author: Michael Cimaomo

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