Sky (atm_click) wrote,

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harsh noise / Metal Machine Music part 2: the original vinyl

The music I make has swiftly moved from drone metal to harsh noise. I thought this would happen.

The first record I bought this year for my new turn-table was Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music. I had to hear it in all it's ear piercing glory! I'm also now sure that it is the only harsh noise album to be put out by such a well known name in music. So for that reason combined with it's infamy and how much I enjoy it; I'm happy to own it. The cover has self wear and a saw cut in the spine. That's alright. I bought it mostly for the vinyl; which seems to be in very close to MINT CONDITION! Hehehe. This original print of the album was released in 1975! The best internet argument I've read online had one person say, "Yeah right. And Lou Reed's album Metal Machine Music is listenable." Hehehe. I only listen to it at full volume and totally enjoy it!

Supposedly it caused near riots in record stores, from angry Lou Reed fans demanding their money back. Though I also read that while it was pretty much a complete flop in America when it came out; it was HUGE in Japan. I believe that is was most likely very influential in what became the Japanoise scene.

Sides A and D are on the same side of a record and B and C on the other. Lou trying to be a pain in the ass? Things written on the front, back and in the liner notes seem like a mix of sincerity and him bullshitting. For example among the probable list of music equipment and methods listed on the back cover: "Rock orientation, melodically disguised, i.e. drag"

Critics have written that this was an album Lou Reed recorded while he leaned the pick-up side of his plugged in guitar against his turned on and up amplifier speaker, prior to him leaving the room during the recording process. PURE SLANDER! I think he is mostly telling the truth on the back cover; but he enjoys fucking with people by also writing "No instruments?" on the back, later saying he used speed manipulated classic symphonies for the audio source, or speed and pitch controlling pure feedback, among whatever else he felt like saying.

Metal Machine Music is a classic album that is a great example of early guitar based harsh noise that was inspired by the droning harsh noise in Just Intonation by people such as La Monte Young, Tony Conrad and fellow ex-Velvet Underground member John Cale. It was considered a punk album by many people when it came out. This was when the term "punk" carried wider meaning and didn't have such narrow fashion and musical styles. I've been looking through my copies of Punk magazine and haven't found the comic strip I read inside one, where Lou is being interviewed by a guy from the magazine, and just coming across as a total freak by the way he was acting and was later wild eyed and holding a speaker emitting broken notes up to him and screaming "Listen to Metal Machine Music!" I think I remembered that right. Fun stuff. I'll keep looking.

The thing I hate about the saw tooth cut in the spine, is that it removed a couple of the words in the last sentence of the inside liner notes. But I already knew what they were. The coolest thing written on the album:

"My week beats your year." Basically saying, if you don't like this, I DON'T CARE!
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