April 20, 2015


David Bowie Calls Metallica & Lou Reed’s ‘Lulu’ Album a “Masterpiece”

Getty Images
Getty Images

Someone should have David Bowie's hearing checked. At Saturday night's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, avant singer-songwriter Laurie Anderson gave an induction speech for her late husband, Lou Reed. One of the highlights came when she revealed that Bowie was a big fan of Lulu, the maligned 2011 collaboration album written and recorded by Reed and Metallica.

"One of [Lou's] last projects was his album with Metallica," said Anderson. "And this was really challenging, and I have a hard time with it. 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.'"

Anderson admitted that even she wasn't a fan of Lulu when she first heard the album, but came around later. "Anyone who heard Lou sing 'Junior Dad' will never forget the experience of that song, torn out of the Bible. This was rock and roll taken to whole new levels." Whether you're a fan of "Junior Dad" or not, there's no denying Reed's intensity in the following live performance of the song from a 2011 German television show:

Lulu is a concept album based on two early 20th century plays by German author Frank Wedekind. The idea of the collaboration was inspired after Reed and Metallica performed together at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 25th Anniversary Concert in 2009. Most of the album features Reed delivering spoken word over brooding Metallica instrumentals. Lulu was destroyed by rock critics across the board, with Pitchfork's Stuart Berman complaining that "the album works neither as powerful rock music nor as an impressionistic soundtrack to a spoken narrative." The dude was right. Unless you ask Bowie.