According to The Pulse Of Radio, most METALLICA fans may not have been happy with "Lulu", the band's collaborative album with Lou Reed, but at least one person was pleased with the results: Reed himself. In a new interview with M - Music & Musicians, Reed said that the idea of him and the world's biggest metal act working together was not as far-fetched as it seemed. He explained, "They're into heavy metal, I'm into heavy guitar, so it was no big stretch. They were so ready to go, it was thrilling. It's like someone gave you a Ferrari for free."
Reed said that the sessions for "Lulu" at METALLICA's studio in San Francisco were very improvisational in nature, recalling, "Nobody thought about anything. It was just a great opportunity to play together. I had a certain sound in my head that I wanted to try to get, and I got it. The way we did this is that if everybody didn't agree, we didn't do it. It wasn't majority rules — it was all together or nothing."
METALLICA frontman James Hetfield cited the album's closing number, "Junior Dad", as an example of the spontaneous way the songs came together. "There was some music that Lou had behind his lyrics before, and then we went out and played some stuff, and what they had done is they laid those two together, and without even knowing what the other stuff really sounded like, or timewise or when things would change, it lined up unbelievably perfect," he said. "It sounded really, really like they were meant to be."
Sadly for Reed and METALLICA, "Lulu" was the biggest flop of METALLICA's career. It sold just 13,000 copies in the U.S. in its first week of release to debut at No. 36 on the Billboard album chart, marking the band's lowest sales number and chart position since SoundScan began tracking album sales in 1991.
The album was almost universally panned by critics and fans as well, although the members of METALLICA went out of their way to reassure fans that it was not the band's next "official" album.
METALLICA just played a series of 30th anniversary concerts for fan club members in San Francisco earlier this month and has several plans on tap for 2012, including performing 1991's self-titled "black album" in its entirety at European festivals next summer.