METALLICA‘s collaborative album with Lou Reed, titled “Lulu”, has polarized fans around the world and earned the band some of the most scathing reviews of its career. The effort features the former THE VELVET UNDERGROUND frontman’s spoken-word poetry and lyrics combined with METALLICA‘s musical assault for a jarring experience that doesn’t sound like anything METALLICA has ever attempted before. A concept album based on two early 20th century plays by German author Frank Wedekind, the CD was co-produced by Reed, METALLICA, Hal Willner — who has produced albums for Reed, Marianne Faithfull, and Laurie Anderson, among others — and Greg Fidelman. Fidelman also mixed the record.
So, do such bad reviews affect the heavy-metal veterans? Drummer Lars Ulrich tells the Hindustan Times, “We have read a lot of reviews. They were quite interesting, as people haven’t focused on what the album really is.” Vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield adds, “Anyway the album is very special to us and we had a fantastic experience recording it.”
The collaboration between METALLICA and Reed was sparked by their performance together of Reed‘s “Sweet Jane” and “White Light/White Heat” at the 25th anniversary of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame at Madison Square Garden in October of 2009.
The songs were all written by Reed with extensive arrangement contributions by METALLICA.
Only two songs on the album are under five minutes in length, while two are more than 11 minutes long and the closing cut, “Junior Dad”, clocks in at 19 minutes.
“Lulu” sold a little over 3,000 copies copies in the United States in its second week of release, bringing the CD’s cumulative sales to 16,000. The effort has already dropped off The Billboard 200 chart after debuting at position No. 36 with first-week sales of 13,000.