Lou Reed and Metallica Continue To Do Things They Really Maybe Shouldn’t

Think Metallica and Lou Reed are terrible together only when collaborating on new original material? Think again! The forces behind Lulu — a bizarre joint album garnering all kinds of hilarious, awed pans (Klosterman: “Not really designed for people who like music”) — traveled to the U.K. to perform on Late Night With Jools Holland, bashing their way through a truly remarkable version of “White Light/White Heat.” The original, the title track to the Velvet Underground’s 1968 album, is pretty much a perfect drug song: breezy, restrained, oddly lighthearted, and complete with a very necessary bass-guitar freakout. Metallica, of course, does not do “breezy,” and this new version finds Lars Ulrich crushing, Kirk Hammett shredding, and James Hetfield dramatically over-enunciating (“awhooo, whiiite liiiight”) all over the place. (At the 1:40 mark, Steve Earle, an earlier performer on the show, can be seen very briefly. And even in just that split second, the second-hand awkwardness he’s telegraphing is palpable). Next up: Metallica and Reed re-imagine Lou’s entire solo discography!

Filed Under: Metallica, Music

Amos Barshad has written for New York Magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ AmosBarshad