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Metallica’s Lars Ulrich says negative reaction to Lou Reed collaboration was down to “ignorance” of fans

By | Published on Thursday 16 March 2023


Here’s a story for you. A few months ago I was thinking about Metallica and Lou Reed’s collaborative album ‘Lulu’. More than ten years on from the shock we all experienced on first listen – you know, because of the strangeness of that project – not to mention the the backlash that followed, it occurred to me that it might be fun to give the record another play.

Because maybe listening to that album again after all this time would reveal something quite interesting and worthwhile that we all missed first time round. Would it though? Well, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich reckons it might.

“We had a chance to get to a creative place we’d never been [to before] and the lyrics inspired that”, says Ulrich about the album in an interview published in a new book about Reed’s life and work, ‘The Art Of The Straight Line’, reports Loudwire.

“Lou took us out of our comfort zone”, he continues. “The lyrics were angry, spiteful, awkward and beautiful, and all made sense. It was a cohesive work that had almost every human emotion”.

“What the fuck is it about ‘Lulu’ that it got that kind of [negative] reaction?” he then asks. “I can’t quite figure it out, but years later, it’s aged extremely well. It sounds like a motherfucker still”.

“So I can only put the reaction down to ignorance”, he reckons. “It took our fans to a place I wish they would go more often. Maybe it would be a better time to release it now with what’s going on outside in the world, the chaos”.

“I don’t know, but I am very proud of this record”, he goes on. “James [Hetfield] and I would be figuring out ways through a piece of music and then Lou would look over and go, ‘that’s it, I’m not doing another fucking take of that’. That’s not the way we usually worked, but it was so beautiful and great, the whole thing”.

So, maybe it’s time to reappraise ‘Lulu’ and listen with fresh ears. Although, as I said, I’ve already done that quite recently, and it still sounded pretty dreadful to my (possibly ignorant) ears. Sorry Lars.

Metallica have a new album, ‘72 Seasons’, out on 14 Apr. ‘The Art Of The Straight Line’ is out now – more info here.