METALLICA's collaborative album with Lou Reed, titled "Lulu", is likely to sell between 12,000 and 15,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release, according to industry web site Hits Daily Double. The estimate was based on one-day sales reports compiled after the record arrived in stores on November 1 via Warner Bros. Records (one day earlier in the rest of the world through Universal Music).
METALLICA's "Death Magnetic" album sold close to a half million copies in just a three-day sales window and topped The Billboard 200 chart back in September 2008.
The band's first studio album since 2003 moved 490,000 copies in its abbreviated frame, scheduled off-cycle on a Friday to accommodate a worldwide release date.
METALLICA's previous CD, "St. Anger", also had an unusual release date after Elektra Records decided to move up its release to Thursday, June 5, 2003 from Tuesday, June 10, 2003 "to ensure that counterfeit copies of the band's first studio album in six years do not proliferate in the marketplace," the label said at the time.
"St. Anger" sold 418,000 copies in its first, shortened week on the streets to land at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 chart.
METALLICA's "Re-Load" album sold 435,000 units during its first week in 1997, while 1996's "Load" opened at 680,000. 1991's self-titled "black album" debuted with 598,000 and has since gone on to sell more than 15.7 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Already polarizing fans around the world and earning some of the most scathing reviews of their career, "Lulu" features the former THE VELVET UNDERGROUND frontman's spoken-word poetry and lyrics combined with METALLICA's musical assault for a jarring experience that doesn't sound like anything METALLICA has ever attempted before. A concept album based on two early 20th century plays by German author Frank Wedekind, the CD was co-produced by Reed, METALLICA, Hal Willner who has produced albums for Reed, Marianne Faithfull, and Laurie Anderson, among others and Greg Fidelman. Fidelman also mixed the record.
The collaboration between METALLICA and Reed was sparked by their performance together of Reed's "Sweet Jane" and "White Light/White Heat" at the 25th anniversary of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame at Madison Square Garden in October of 2009.
The songs were all written by Reed with extensive arrangement contributions by METALLICA.
Only two songs on the album are under five minutes in length, while two are more than 11 minutes long and the closing cut, "Junior Dad", clocks in at 19 minutes.
Reed and METALLICA will perform selections from the album on several European TV programs but has yet to announce any live dates or U.S. appearances.