Metallica’s Lars Ulrich blames “ignorance” for reaction to ‘Lulu’, says it has “aged well”


Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich has blamed “ignorance” for the reaction to ‘Lulu’, their 2011 collaborative album recorded with Lou Reed.

The album earned mixed reviews upon its release and has continued to be one of the most divisive records of Metallica’s career, while Reed once claimed it was so unpopular that Metallica fans threatened to shoot him for making it.

Ulrich previously reflected on the experience of working with the Velvet Underground legend as a positive one, maintaining that he “wouldn’t change a thing” about the record.

Metallica’s James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett. Credit: Jeff Kravitz/Getty

Ulrich has now once again reflected on the response to the album, asking (via Loudwire) in Reed’s posthumously released new book, The Art Of The Straight Line: My Tai Chi: “What the fuck is it about ‘Lulu’ that it got that kind of reaction?”

He continued: “I can’t quite figure it out, but years later, it’s aged extremely well. It sounds like a motherfucker still. So I can only put the reaction down to ignorance.”

He added that it “took our fans to a place I wish they would go more often”.

“Maybe it would be a better time to release it now with what’s going on outside in the world, the chaos. I don’t know, but I am very proud of this record … James [Hetfield] and I would be figuring out ways through a piece of music and then Lou would look over and go, ‘That’s it. I’m not doing another fucking take of that.’ That’s not the way we usually worked, but it was so beautiful and great, the whole thing.

Metallica, 2023. Credit: Press.

Back in 2012, Ulrich said the reaction to ‘Lulu’ was “more spiteful than anyone was prepared for”.

Reviewing ‘Lulu’ at the time, NME described it as “a surprising triumph” in a 7/10 review: “You’re unlikely to play this record at your next soirée but the breadth and ambition is to be applauded. Metallica have performed way beyond what many thought them capable; they improvise freely as Reed’s musical bitch, while for him this marks his most outré offering since ‘Metal Machine Music’. Pretentious? Oui. Self-important? Natch. Any cop? Pretty damn fine actually.”

Earlier this month, the band released their menacing new song ‘If Darkness Had A Son’, the third single after ‘Screaming Suicide’ and ‘Lux Æterna’ to be taken from upcoming album, ’72 Seasons’, which will be released on April 14.

Elsewhere, Metallica have purchased a majority stake in a vinyl pressing plant in Virginia.

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