Josh Butler • 22 August 2011

As we brought you a few months back, metal machine music pioneer Lou Reed has teamed with metal titans Metallica for an unlikely collaboration album.

Details were initially scant, with only sketchy descriptions of the ten-track album as “a raging union of [Reed’s] 1973 noir classic, Berlin, and Metallica’s ‘86 crusher, Master of Puppets.” Written by Reed, and recorded at Metallica’s HQ Studios in California, the album has been revealed to be titled “Lulu,” and will be released on October 31 (Halloween – how metal is that?!)

After playing together in New York in 2009, Reed had planned to collaborate with Metallica on a re-recording of some of his old tracks; however, a week before recording was due to start, Reed proposed they do an album of original material. On the demos that Reed gave the band, Metallica frontman James Hetfield says, “It was like, ‘Wow, this is very different.’ It was scary at first, because the music was so open. But then I thought, ‘This could go anywhere.’ ”

There’s still not much in the way of details on what the album’s going to sound like, but more has been revealed about the project’s background and thematic focus. Posted in a blog post at the project’s new joint website,, is this:

Lulu was inspired by German expressionist writer Frank Wededkind’s plays “Earth Spirit” and “Pandora’s Box,” which tell a story of a young abused dancer’s life and relationships and are now collectively known as the “Lulu Plays.” ‘

‘Since their publication in the early 1900’s, the plays have been the inspiration for a silent film (“Pandora’s Box,” 1929), an opera, and countless other creative endeavors. Originally the lyrics and musical landscape were sketched out by Lou for a theatrical production in Berlin, but after coming together with the ‘Tallica boys for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concerts in New York in 2009 all guilty parties knew they wanted to make more music together. Lou was inspired enough by that performance to recently ask the band to join him in taking his theatrical “Lulu” piece to the next level and so starting in early May of this year we were all camped out recording at HQ studios in Northern California, bringing us to today and ten complete songs.’

If the early reports are anything to go by, this could well be the best thing you’ll hear all year; at the very least, the pairing of two of today’s most influential musicians and songwriters, will be something special.