a long time ago i heard of this album by lou reed called “Metal Machine Music” which was supposedly so horribly offensive to the ears that the company had to quit making albums because so many people had returned them. of course, being who i am, i was tremendously interested in hearing this gawd-awful piece of noise for myself, but at the time, there were no copies, nobody had it on tape or CD and mp3s hadn’t been invented yet, so i was out of luck. a good friend of mine had actually heard the album, though, and he had assured me that it wasn’t worth the time i spent trying to find out about it, because it was truly awful, and, because i had faith in this friend’s tastes in music, i took his word for it and gave up trying to find a copy.
that was until last week, when i found a bittorrent of lou reed that included the fateful album. of course i had to download it. i even wasted my good share ratio and only downloaded the albums i wanted instead of downloading the whole thing, because we were going on vacation for a week and i had to shut down my computer during that time. i just got around to listening to it today, and i have to say that, while i understand why most “normal” people wouldn’t find it appealing in the least, i find it really interesting indeed, and i am somewhat disappointed that i gave up so easily. actually, i find it compelling in the same way i find the music of john cage compelling. it’s definitely a classic, and while i can understand that it is the reason lou reed is considered to be the founder of heavy metal music, i also find that this particular piece bears a striking resemblence to karlheinz stockhausen, charles amirkhanian or luciano berio.
Metal Machine Music by Lou Reed – it’s worth a listen, regardless of what your friends who normally have excellent taste in music might say.