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David Royko Psy.D

Lou Reed: Metal Machine Music/September Song

Subject heading: "What Lou Reed Gave Classical Music"

>I was always under the impression that

>Metal Machine Music was a

>'contractural obligation' album...

Yeah, I am pretty sure any references to Beethoven that Reed made, or anything else other than a big middle finger aimed at the record label (a double set of LPs of industrial noise?!?) was strictly tongue-in-cheek. Especially if you have ever actually listened to the thing.

However, one of my favorite Lou Reed recordings is from the 1980s and is on Hal Wilner's "Lost in the Stars" album (many people each doing a Kurt Weill tune), so if you really want to stretch it, this could be Lou Reed doing classical (but it's not). If you like Lou Reed, you shouldn't be put off by his, ahem, singing (more talking in this case), which strikes a slightly melancholic tone, the aging rocker reflecting (via Maxwell Anderson's lyric) on getting older. But the emotional high point is a short, simple and absolutely searing guitar solo that is one of those devastating little moments that is rock at its best (at least to my old ears).

Dave Royko

(who bought Metal Machine Music in the 1970s as a cut out for $1.88 not too long after it was released)

Posted to RMCR, October 31, 2013

A related Music Ramble: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music ("Ugliest Pieces of Music") (August 9, 2010)