WTF?! Wednesdays: Lou Reed and Metallica – Lulu (2011)

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Well, Lou Reed has passed away and now it is time to praise what has been scientifically determined to be the worst rock album of all time: Lulu.

Actually, there was no scientific method involved. But back when the album was released, the Internet tilted on its side for a bit as critics and fans alike gave themselves linguistic hernias in a massive group bitch session. It was quite an enjoyable experience.

Please don’t mistake my intent here. In no way am I revising my thoughts on Lulu just because Lou is gone and I’m feeling down. I actually liked the record from the beginning. I mean, it’s just plain fucked up stuff. The source material — Frank Wedekind’s Lulu plays — was already all kinds of messed up. Then you mix Lou’s aged croak and Metallica’s blast furnace and you’ve got a whole lot of WTF?!

I’ve included a live version of “Junior Dad,” partly because it’s actually one of the least messed up (and actually tuneful) songs on the album. But more than that, the live take leaves out the artifice that made the album’s closer odd in spite of itself: the droning tones that were woven through it and the string quartet that filled out the song’s almost twenty minutes of length. THAT was weird…just like our man Lou.

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Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
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