It might be one of the most polarising albums ever made, but it turns out that David Bowie is a fan of Lulu, the 2011 collaborative album between Lou Reed and Metallica. He’s even labelled it “a masterpiece”.
In her speech at this weekend’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony, as reported by Rolling Stone, Lou Reed’s widow, artist and musician Laurie Anderson revealed Bowie’s admiration of Lulu, and his claim that it was Reed’s “greatest work”, comparing it to his 1973 album Berlin.
“One of his last projects was his album with Metallica. And this was really challenging, and I have a hard time with it,” said Anderson. “There are many struggles and so much radiance. And after Lou’s death, David Bowie made a big point of saying to me, ‘Listen, this is Lou’s greatest work; this is his masterpiece. Just wait, it will be like Berlin. It will take everyone a while to catch up.'”
Lulu was the last studio album released by Lou Reed before his death in 2013. According to a website launched by the unlikely collaborators at the time, the album is inspired by a collection of plays by German expressionist writer Frank Wedekind, known as the Lulu plays, which “tell the story of a young abused dancer’s life and relationships”.
Speaking about the collaboration with Rolling Stone at the time, Reed said the project was, “A marriage made in heaven,” adding, “I knew it from the first day we played together: ‘Oh, man, this is perfection, right in front of me’.”
Unfortunately most fans and critics did not respond well to the collaboration, which was comprised of songs featuring Reed speak-singing on top of Metallica’s instrumentation. Anderson though, says she has come around to see things like Bowie.
“I’ve been reading the lyrics and it is so fierce,” continued Anderson in her speech. “It’s written by a man who understood fear and rage and venom and terror and revenge and love. And it is raging. Anyone heard Lou sing Junior Dad will never forget the experience of that song, torn out of the Bible. This was rock & roll taken to whole new levels.”
Watch: Lou Reed & Metallica – The View