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Lulu is a story of a young woman who’s seen quite a bit. Originally conceived as a Berlin theatre production by avant-garde director Robert Wilson, Lulu is an interesting collaboration between two iconoclasts, Lou Reed and Metallica. It’s more in line with a Lou Reed album; he narrates and sings most of the material here, with Metallica’s James Hetfield providing backing vocals and occasional lead-vocal relief. The collaboration’s real benefit is that it gives Reed his best backing band in years. Metallica serve his material, putting seasoned chops into what was, for the band, a very quick recording process. “Iced Honey” is the album’s most accessible moment. “Cheat on Me”, “Dragon” and “Junior Dad” all deserve their epic lengths. Deliberately squeamish moments are played up for maximum impact, but it’s the music’s strategic ugliness in spots (“Little Dog” makes efficient use of Reed’s angry-old-man bitterness) that makes this an uncompromising triumph. Lulu is closer in spirit to Reed’s Velvet Underground days than anything Metallica have attempted.

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Born: March 2, 1942 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The career of Lou Reed defied capsule summarization. Like David Bowie (whom Reed directly inspired in many ways), he made over his image many times, mutating from theatrical glam rocker to strung-out junkie to avant-garde noiseman to straight rock & roller to your average guy. Few would deny Reed's immense importance and considerable achievements. As has often been written, he expanded the vocabulary of rock & roll lyrics into the previously forbidden territory of kinky sex, drug use (and abuse),...
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Lulu, Lou Reed
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