Lulu (Lou Reed and Metallica album)
|Studio album by Lou Reed and Metallica|
|Released||October 31, 2011|
|Studio||Metallica's HQ in San Rafael, California|
|Lou Reed chronology|
|Singles from Lulu|
Lulu is a collaborative album between rock singer-songwriter Lou Reed and heavy metal band Metallica. It was released on October 31, 2011 by Warner Bros. in the U.S. and Vertigo elsewhere. The album is the final full-length studio recording project that Reed was involved in before his death in October 2013. It was recorded in San Rafael, California, during April through June 2011, after Reed had played with Metallica at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 25th Anniversary Concert which led to them wanting to collaborate. The lead single, titled "The View", was released on September 27, 2011.
Conceptually, the album is based on the two "Lulu plays" by the German playwright Frank Wedekind (1864–1918). The majority of composition is centered on spoken word delivered by Reed over instrumentals composed by Metallica, with occasional backing vocals provided by Metallica lead vocalist James Hetfield. Reed wrote the majority of the lyrics. The album was released worldwide on October 31, 2011, and on November 1 in North America. Upon its release, Lulu received mixed reviews from music critics, and an extremely negative response from fans.
Reed and Metallica had both been on the bill in October 1997 for the eleventh of Neil Young's Bridge concerts. The conception of the collaboration project began in 2009 when both Metallica and Lou Reed performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 25th Anniversary Concert. After that performance, they began "kicking around the idea of making a record together," but did not start working together until two years later. In February 2011, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett announced that in May 2011 the group would start working on something that's "not 100 percent a Metallica record. It's a recording project, let's put it that way." The project was revealed to be a collaboration with Lou Reed once the recording of the album had been completed in June 2011.
The collaboration was originally intended to be Metallica re-recording various previously unreleased tracks Reed had written over the years. Among these unreleased demos was a collection of songs composed for a play called Lulu—a theatrical production of two plays originally written by the German playwright Frank Wedekind. Reed shared the demos of these songs with the members of Metallica to help bring the "piece to the next level," and the group provided "significant arrangement contributions" to the material. David Fricke of Rolling Stone heard at least two of the songs from the project in June 2011—"Pumping Blood" and "Mistress Dread"—and described their sound as a "raging union of [Reed's] 1973 noir classic, Berlin, and Metallica's '86 crusher, Master of Puppets." All tracks were made available for listening on the official Lou Reed & Metallica website before its release. Reed stated that "Everything is cut live – us staring at each other, playing". The recording was problematic at times, with Lars Ulrich admitting that at one point Lou Reed challenged him to a "street fight".
|Problems playing this file? See media help.|
"The View" was released for streaming online in late September 2011. Examining reaction to the track and a previously released 30-second preview of the same, The New Zealand Herald reported that there was much negative reaction by fans online, and that the song had about twice as many "dislikes" as "likes" on YouTube. Not all reaction to the song was negative; Rolling Stone gave "The View" a 4 out of 5 star rating while the same song was rated 4.5 out of 5 by Artist Direct and positively by One Thirty BPM. The song's music video was directed by Darren Aronofsky, with cinematography by Matthew Libatique and produced by Scott Franklin through Protozoa Pictures, his and Aronofsky's production company. Originally it was planned that Aronofsky should helm a performance video for the album's second single "Iced Honey" but "when everyone got together, it became obvious "The View" was the way to go."
|The Daily Telegraph|||
Upon its release, the album received mixed and polarized reviews by music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, Lulu received an average score of 45, based on 31 reviews. Staff reviewer Joseph Viney of Sputnikmusic rated it one and a half out of five and commented "The fallout from this could have dire consequences. A lot of people, already placing Metallica at the best seat in the house at the Last Chance Saloon have now called last orders. It's genuinely difficult to guess what their next move will be. As for Reed, his legacy, whatever that means in his case, is cemented and this will have no real effect on him."
Pitchfork Media critic Stuart Berma assigned the album a rare 1.0 rating, writing "for all the hilarity that ought to ensue here, Lulu is a frustratingly noble failure. Audacious to the extreme, but exhaustingly tedious as a result, its few interesting ideas are stretched out beyond the point of utility and pounded into submission." Essayist and pop culture writer Chuck Klosterman, in his review for the website Grantland, wrote, "If the Red Hot Chili Peppers acoustically covered the 12 worst Primus songs for Starbucks, it would still be (slightly) better than this." Reviewer Julian Marszalek of The Quietus gave it a very poor review. He commented that "the effect is that of Lou Reed ranting over some Metallica demos that were never intended for human consumption." Marszalek summarized the review by suggesting that time spent listening to Lulu could have been better spent watching grass grow, "or perhaps wanking into a sock." Furthermore, longtime reviewer Don Kaye, who had previously defended Metallica's much-maligned 2003 album St. Anger, wrote on Blabbermouth.net that "Lulu is a catastrophic failure on almost every level, a project that could quite possibly do irreparable harm to Metallica's career."
Uncut gave the record a positive review, singling out the closer "Junior Dad" for praise and calling it "breathtaking" and "astonishing", a "perfect ending to the most extraordinary, passionate and just plain brilliant record either participant has made for a long while." NME, scoring the record seven out of ten, praised it as "a surprising triumph", and said that the offering's "breadth and ambition is to be applauded. Metallica have performed way beyond what many thought them capable; they improvise freely as Reed's musical bitch, while for him this marks his most outré offering since 'Metal Machine Music'". The Telegraph awarded Lulu three stars out of five, stating that while it was "grueling, even by latter Lou Reed standards," the sense of "unrestrained folly" and sheer lack of commercialism made the album feel "important". The German edition of Metal Hammer gave it four out of seven stars. The reaction of the reviewer, Metallica biographer Joel McIver, was mixed. According to McIver, Lou Reed and Metallica had created an "avant-garde theatrical" soundtrack which is "not easy to listen to" and recommendable for Lou Reed fans. However Metallica fans "will mostly ignore Lulu—and listen to Master of Puppets". In another contrarian review titled "Metallica and Lou Reed's 'Lulu' Is Actually Excellent", James Parker of The Atlantic wrote "I don't think the record is crap. In fact I love it", and recommended, "Give Lulu a shot. Give it another listen. Offer it what Lou would call your ‘coagulating heart,’ and you will be rewarded."
In contrast with other sources, The Wire, a British avant garde music magazine, considered Lulu the no. 9 record of the year. Indeed, The Wire's Jennifer Lucy Allan comments about the bad reviews: "ultimately, the reaction to it is a testament to Lou Reed’s ability to still get up the noses and under the skin of even the most open-minded listeners. He’s probably laughing his head off at it all this very minute". Mattin in his review of Lulu for Volcanic Tongue agrees when Lou Reed said "This is the best thing ever done by anybody" and he adds "Lulu is more Lou Reed than Lou Reed and that surely means that this is the best thing ever done by anybody."
Band's response to criticism
Lou Reed stated that Metallica fans threatened to shoot him due to the collaboration on Lulu. In response to this and the overall negative reaction to the album, Reed commented, "I don't have any fans left. After Metal Machine Music (1975), they all fled. Who cares? I'm essentially in this for the fun of it." Lars Ulrich also noted the negative reaction to Lulu, and stated that he wasn't surprised by the criticism due in part because, "In 1984, when hard-core Metallica fans heard acoustic guitars on "Fade to Black", there was a nuclear meltdown in the heavy-metal community," and also noted that Reed's poetry is "not for everyone." Talking about the negative reactions, James Hetfield expressed understanding of "fearful people", who are "typing from their mom’s basement that they still live in", stating that the band needed "to spread our wings" and try something new, while Reed stated that it is for "literate people".
In the United States, the album debuted at number 36 on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 13,000 copies. This made it Reed's highest-charting release since Sally Can't Dance, which reached number 10 in 1974. Lulu debuted in the top 10 of the charts in eight countries.
|6.||"Cheat on Me"||11:25|
Production and design
- Amorosi, A.D. (November 3, 2011). "For the record: George Benson, Lou Reed & Metallica". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
- "Lou Reed, Velvet Underground Leader and Rock Pioneer, Dead at 71". Rolling Stone. October 27, 2013. Retrieved October 27, 2013.
- "Metallica and Lou Reed post clip of new single 'The View' online — audio". NME. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
- Kane, Tyler (August 19, 2011). "Lou Reed/Metallica Collaboration Gets a Release Date". Paste. Wolfgang's Vault. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
- "Bridge School Benefit history". Retrieved January 15, 2014.
- Bojalad, Alec (June 16, 2011). "Metallica Records New Album with Lou Reed". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
- Sciarretto, Amy (February 15, 2011). "Metallica Working on a Project That Is 'Not 100 Percent a Metallica Record'". Noisecreep. AOL. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
- NME Staff (August 30, 2011). "James Hetfield: 'Lou Reed asked us to stamp Metallica on Lulu'". NME. IPC Media. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
- Thiessen, Brock (August 19, 2011). "Metallica and Lou Reed Set Release Date for Collaborative Album". Exclaim!. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
- "Metallica's Collaboration With Lou Reed: More Details Revealed". Blabbermouth.net. Roadrunner Records. August 21, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
- Fricke, David (June 15, 2011). "Exclusive: Metallica and Lou Reed Join Forces on New Album". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
- "Lou Reed & Metallica | 'Lulu' Available October 31 (Worldwide) & November 1 (North America)". Loureedmetallica.com. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
- "Lou Reed & Metallica - 'Lulu' (11/1)". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
- "Lou Reed challenged Lars Ulrich to street fight". 3 News NZ. May 7, 2012.
- "Full Metallica-Lou Reed track hits net". The New Zealand Herald. September 26, 2011. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- David Fricke (September 28, 2011). "The View | Song Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
- "Lou Reed & Metallica "The View" — Song Review 4.5 out of 5 stars - ARTISTdirect News". Artistdirect.com. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
- "Track Review: Lou Reed & Metallica – "The View"". One Thirty BPM. October 5, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
- Gottlieb, Steven (December 5, 2011). "Watch It: Lou Reed & Metallica "The View" (Darren Aronofsky, dir.)". Video Static. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- Stusoy, Brandon (November 3, 2011). "Darren Aronofsky to Direct Video for Loutallica's "Iced Honey"". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
- Bumbery, Brian (December 2, 2011). "Darren Aronofsky-Directed Video for Lou Reed and Metallica "The View" From Their Album Lulu to Premiere Exclusively on IFC.com on Saturday, December 3, 2011 at 10 AM EST". Marketwire/Warner Bros. Records/BB Gun Press. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- "Lulu Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- "Lulu - Lou Reed". Allmusic. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
- "Metallica and Lou Reed's 'Lulu' Is Actually Excellent". The Atlantic. November 16, 2011. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
- "Lou Reed & Metallica: Lulu, CD review". Telegraph. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
- Anderson, Kyle (November 4, 2011). "Lulu (2011)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
- "CD Reviews from Montreal Gazette: Lou Reed and Metallica". Postmedia News. Archived from the original on December 17, 2011.
- "NME Album Reviews - Album Review: Lou Reed & Metallica - 'Lulu'". Nme.Com. October 28, 2011. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
- Bermant, Stuar (October 28, 2011). "Lou Reed & Metallica". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
- "Lou Reed and Metallica Lulu Album Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
- "Critic Reviews for Lulu - Metacritic". Metacritic.com. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
- Powell, Mike (November 1, 2011). "Review: Lou Reed & Metallica, ‘Lulu’". Spin. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
- Quantick, David. "ALBUM REVIEW: LOU REED & METALLICA - LULU". Uncut Magazine. Retrieved November 2, 2011.
- "Lou Reed and Metallica - Lulu (staff review)". Sputnikmusic. October 21, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
- "Injustice For All: The Lou Reed/Metallica Album". Grantland. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
- Marszalek, Julian. "Reviews: Lou Reed & Metallica". The Quietus. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
- Kaye, Don. "Lou Reed & Metallica – Lulu". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
- Perry, Andrew (October 27, 2011). "Telegraph review". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
- James Parker (November 16, 2011). "Metallica and Lou Reed's 'Lulu' Is Actually Excellent". The Atlantic. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
- Allan, Jennifer Lucy (January 16, 2012). "Telegraph review". London: The Wire. Retrieved August 9, 2016.
- "Lulu Review". Glasgow: Volcanic Tongue. December 1, 2011. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
- Christgau, Robert (October 27, 2013). "Toesucker Blues: Robert Christgau's Farewell Salute to Lou Reed". Spin. Bob Guccione, Jr. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- Filbin, Patrick (April 20, 2015). "David Bowie Says Lou Reed’s Greatest Work Was Metallica Collaboration". American Songwriter. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
- Gundersen, Edna (November 1, 2011). "Metallica, Lou Reed go on a genre bender with 'Lulu'". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
- "Loutallica". Interview Magazine. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
- McCormick, Neil (December 7, 2011). "Lou Reed and Metallica: interview". The Daily Telegraph. London.
- Greene, Andy (November 9, 2011). "On The Charts: Justin Bieber Annihilates Loutallica". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
- Fricke, David. "Fall Music Preview: The Season's Hottest Albums". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Retrieved September 15, 2011.
- "Lou Reed & Metallica". LouReedMetallica.com. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
- "Metallica's Collaboration With Lou Reed: More Details Revealed". Blabbermouth.net. Roadrunner Records. August 29, 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
- "Lou Reed & Metallica - Lulu - hitparade.ch". Swiss Music Charts (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
- "CANOE -- JAM! Music - SoundScan Charts". Jam.canoe.ca. Archived from the original on June 1, 2011. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
- "HDU Top 40" (PDF).
- "ČNS IFPI". Hitparáda - TOP50 Prodejní (in Czech). IFPI Czech Republic. Retrieved November 12, 2011.
- "Search for: Metallica". Danishcharts.com. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
- "Charts.de - Lou Reed & Metallica, Lulu". Media Control Charts. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- "Chart Track". Irish Albums Chart. GfK. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
- "Classifica italiana FIMI del 10 ottobre 2011". Retrieved November 12, 2011.
- "ルー・リード＆メタリカのCDアルバムランキング、ルー・リード＆メタリカのプロフィールならオリコン芸能人事典-ORICON STYLE". Retrieved April 16, 2013.
- "OLiS - sprzedaż w okresie 19.12.2011 - 26.12.201" (in Polish). olis.onyx.pl. Retrieved June 10, 2012.
- "Статьи: Lenta.ru: Культура: Совсем иначе". Lenta.ru. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
- "TOP 100 ALBUMES - SEMANA 44: del 31.10.2011 al 06.11.2011" (PDF). Promusicae. November 6, 2011. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
- "Archive Chart". UK Albums Chart. The Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 10, 2011.