Tag Archives: Lou Reed

Batman vs. Superman is being panned by the critics, who make it sound like it’s the tipping point where big-budget superhero films fall out of critical and public favour. What’s its rock equivalent? Yes’ “Tales from Topographic Oceans” (Self-indulgent creative overreach), ELP’s “Love Beach” (Dying gasp of a spent creative force) or Metallica and Lou Reed’s “Lulu” (Ill-conceived collaboration done for largely cynical reasons)?  Over to you…

Posted on by Tim Hall | 4 Comments

So farewell, Lou Reed. I was never one of his greatest fans; he represented the opposing pole in rock to much of the music I love. But there’s no denying he’s a hugely iconic figure in rock history who has cast a very long shadow across a great many genres. I do hope radio stations have been commemorating him by playing Metal Machine Music in its entirety.

Posted on by Tim Hall | Comments Off

The Daily Mail on Lou Reed

The Daily Mail and their ilk were the first to go apoplectic when anyone said a word against Margaret Thatcher in the wake of her death.

Daily Mail Lou Reed

Yet they don’t have a problem dancing on Lou Reed’s grave. And they don’t see any hypocrisy in it; they don’t think in terms of “right” and “wrong”, they think of “us” and “them”. Thatcher was one of their people about whom nothing bad can ever be said. Lou Reed, on the other hand, represents “the other” about whom nothing good may be said.

They can’t even spell the word “Glamour” properly…

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Lou Reed & Metallica – Lulu

When I first heard the preview track “The View”, my first reaction was “What on Earth were Reed and Metallica thinking”? If you’re going to recite words over a rock backing, someone like William Shatner does that sort of thing far better.

Despite lyrics which have been described as sounding like the work of a 14 year old Goth, and an utterly uninspired sludge-metal backing, The View is by far the best thing on it. I have listened to the whole album all the way through (only the once, mind you), so that you don’t have to.

It’s awful.

There is no absolutely no evidence of the rhythmic inventiveness that made Metallica the genre-defining act of the 1980s on display on this record. I was tempted to say their contribution makes Load sound like Master of Puppets. But that would be most unfair on Load.  Much of what we have never rises beyond the level of formless jams which don’t deserve to be dignified by the word “song”. There’s no energy to any of it, either Hetfield’s sloppy tuneless strumming or Lars Ulrich’s appallingly half-arsed drumming.

The combination of Lou Reed’s incoherent and endless ramblings about sex and death and Urlich’s lumpen thud-thud-thud drumming is the sound of a ranting drunk at the bus stop fronting a broken cement mixer. And that’s the best bits.

I am entirely unsure as to what purpose this record serves. Is the whole thing an elaborate practical joke, and if so, at whose expense? Certainly the metal community has decided more or less unanimously decided that the emperor isn’t even trying to pretend he’s wearing any clothes here. Not being a Lou Reed fan, I have no idea if any of them will claim it a work of genius, just to be perverse.

This is a terrible record which will do nothing for the legacy of either artist.

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