April 21, 2010 – 8:16 am

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

London 2010 [no label, 1CD]

Live at the Royal Festival Hall, London, England, April 19, 2010. Very good audience recording.

Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music, originally released as a double-album in 1975. Rolling Stone magazine called it sounding like “the tubular groaning of a galactic refrigerator” and as displeasing to experience as “a night in a bus terminal”.

Lester Bang wrote that “as classical music it adds nothing to a genre that may well be depleted. As rock ‘n’ roll it’s interesting garage electronic rock ‘n’ roll. As a statement it’s great, as a giant FUCK YOU it shows integrity - a sick, twisted, dunced-out, malevolent, perverted, psychopathic integrity, but integrity nevertheless.”

This was industrial music before there was even an inkling of such a genre.

So here he is, on the road and promoting the album once again.

Alexis Petridis, writing for the Guardian, noted: “Lou Reed has promised “a night of deep noise” based around Metal Machine Music, the notorious hour of howling feedback that nearly killed his career stone dead on its release in 1975. Whatever that means, the assembled audience is certainly diverse, testament to the weird allure of Metal Machine Music, either as an act of impressively monumental petulance or a compelling and even oddly pretty work of art in its own right.

“It reaches a climax when Reed whacks a gong at the back of the stage: incredibly, it’s the loudest and most startling sound all night. Some people boo, more rise in a standing ovation, which doesn’t last quite as long as Reed laps it up for. Still, he’s waited 35 years for the public to applaud Metal Machine Music: under the circumstances, you might be inclined to milk it too.”

Thanks to andyschest who recorded and shared the lossless track on the Dime site.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3 (this is a high quality MP3 - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, this track has never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the file, please be very patient when downloading the track. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the file.

Track 01. Metal Machine Music (63mins) (89.7MB - visit the html page to download the track)

Lou Reed - Processed and unprocessed guitars, mini continuum
Ulrich Krieger - Tenor sax, live-electronics
Sarth Calhoun - Live processing, continuum fingerboard

Click here to order Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music.

  1. 14 Responses to “LOU REED’S METAL MACHINE TRIO - LONDON 2010”

  2. I have this LP. I have had it since it’s release. I played it once. I don’t want to listen to this live version. I will.

    By Timmy on Apr 21, 2010

  3. After a listen(probably my last one!), no one is booing I believe. Sounds like they are screaming “Loooooou”. People do that! I would have!

    By Reed Wehrley on Apr 22, 2010

  4. This is actually much better than the studio LP version. It has many sax notes. And more resonance than the studio version does. Doesn’t it?

    By Timmy on Apr 22, 2010

  5. To Timmy…get ahold of the old Creem magazine interviews with Lou by Lester Bangs.
    It will validate your opinion. I think it ends with Lou telling Lester to f*ck off (Lester is open with Lou that he thought it was a pile of crap)

    By Dan on Apr 22, 2010

  6. Fuck art, lets dance hey Lou? Fucking what a joke!

    By John Cale Jnr on Apr 22, 2010

  7. I totally beg to differ on a few points and I’ll be brief. The Germans, not to mention a lot of other east europeans, have been making this kind of music since god knows when. New genre? I don’t think so. Case in point - Ash Ra Temple, Kluster, Karlheinz Stockhausen…and the list goes on and on… Zappa, for god’s sake! by 1975 it was old… zzzzzzz

    By lanzarishi on Apr 22, 2010

  8. I bought the original album and actually listened to it. The MM trio is much better, more musical. Thanks for this performance.

    TBH, MMN is of limited appeal. It didn’t really start anything. It was Lou high on speed messing about. I liked the liner notes, however.

    By Jonathan on Apr 22, 2010

  9. Actually, The Velvets released a similar track called “Loop,” several years earlier, as a flexidisc only release. It’s the only track in the Velvets’ catalog NOT to have a Lou Reed writing credit. The whole thing was done by John Cale.

    P.S. I LOVE Metal Machine Music, and have it on vinyl and CD.

    By Tom Berard on Apr 22, 2010

  10. hey bigo, i’ve never heard this album so i just downloaded it. i listen to a bunch of avant-garde music so this might be right up my ally.


    By Ed Saad on Apr 23, 2010

  11. Thanks for uploading this! I bought the original album as a 15 year old teen and was shocked & liked it. For the first time I heard what later was called ‘drone music’. Lou presented experimental music to a broader public and dare to take risks. It shook up the tradional ‘look how cool we are’ mentality in the ‘better rock’ world in the 70s. And, later on punk and sure no wave (suicide, lydia lunch, sonic youth etc. took this influence further). MMM: Unlistenable? Yes! (for a few die hards like me) No! (for loads of people; but SO WHAT?). Important: Yes, if you understand music and can think ‘out of the box’. Thanks Lou, thanks roio

    By koert on Apr 24, 2010

  12. Correction (see above): MMM: Yes! (for loads of people; but SO WHAT?) Unlistenable? No! (for a few die hards like me). Confusing, isn’t it? Just like MMM ;)

    By koert on Apr 24, 2010

  13. Correction 2 (see above): Unlistenable? MMM: Yes! (for loads of people; but SO WHAT?) No! (for a few die hards like me). Confusing, isn’t it? Just like MMM ;)

    By koert on Apr 24, 2010

  14. I never heard the original except for a short fragment. I’m curious to hear this to see what Lou does live with this.

    By Matt on Apr 25, 2010

  15. Still have the original double album. When I first bought it at the time of it’s original release I laid back with the headphones on and it scared the living daylights out of me.

    By Bilko on May 1, 2010

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