I still haven’t listened to Lou Reed and Metallica’s collaborative album, Lulu, all the way through yet. If things go the way I hope they will, I will only ever hear the record all the way through once in order to say that I’ve done so. From the little bit I’ve heard, and from what people who’ve endured the whole thing have told me, it is a thoroughly terrible album.
But man is it inspiring some great writing. Aging, critically adored musical acts trampling all over their legacy are a dime a dozen, but two of them so fervently worshipped as Lou Reed and Metallica teaming up to trample not only all over their own legacies but on each others’ is special, and ever since the team up was announced music critics have had their eyes basically rolling around in their heads in anticipation of writing about it. Gossip Wolf’s J.R. Nelson has been talking about devoting an entire Reader issue to one epic review of the record, and although I haven’t seen an e-mail from our editors turning down his pitch I’m going to assume that it’s not happening.
I’m not going out on much of a limb thinking that the remainder of 2011 will bring us a lot of brilliant essays on Lulu, but the early contender for my favorite is by Chuck Klosterman, a writer I don’t generally like very much. But his piece nails the whole Loutallica enterprise, and offers a compelling bit of nostalgia for the bygone days of major-label hegemony: