Metallica and Lou Reed have joined forces for a new record called Lulu which will arrive in stores November 1.
I'm still trying to decide which side of the genius-madness fine line this idea rests on. It seems a logical pairing in one sense and the most preposterous idea I've heard this side of New Coke in another. No matter, the two legendary forces have come together to record an album of music that originally began as a project to re-record some of Lou Reed's more obscure material before becoming an album of all new music.
That could have been a cool enough idea, the kind of thing that might have worked. Lou Reed is a wandering spirit with a punk rock past and Metallica was at once infused with an outlaw sensibility.
Reed had another idea a week or two before the sessions for the "covers" project was set to begin. He thought it might be interesting if the five of them recorded a series of songs he'd written for American avant-garde theater director Robert Wilson and German theater group the Berliner Ensemble's production of the Lulu Plays. These plays were inspired by German expressionist Frank Wedekind's early 20th century plays Earth Spirit and Pandora's Box, and were a rewrite of Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven.
New Coke, anyone?
The album is finished and both Metallica and Reed seem excited about what they've created together.
"We had to bring Lulu to life in a sophisticated way, using rock," said Reed. "And the hardest power rock you could come up with would have to be Metallica. They live on that planet. We played together, and I knew it: dream come true. This is the best thing I ever did. And I did it with the best group I could possibly find."
Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett demonstrates his command of the obvious in saying, ""It's definitely not a Metallica album, or a Lou Reed album. It's something else. It's a new animal, a hybrid."
I cut my teeth on Metallica throughout junior high and high school with Kill 'Em All, Ride The Lightning, Master Of Puppets, and …And Justice For All. I loved good chunks of 'The Black Album' and stuck with them through Load and Re-Load. I don't listen to them nearly as often anymore and I have a difficult time thinking this is going to work but I can't bring myself to not find out. Maybe I'll even like New Coke.