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Customer Review

13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Misunderstood but rewarding, 20 April 2010
This review is from: Lou Reed Metal Machine Music (Blu ray) [DVD] (Audio CD)
I'll expand on the technical side, since information is scarce (and only available on the disc menu rather than the packaging). I have the Blu-ray version and the 24bit / 96khz resolution has been used for the Stereo and Quadraphonic mixes. You need a modern AVR to play these with the right HDMI connections. A third option is available which offers the surround in Dolby AC3 4.0 but that doesn't specify whether the sound files are 24/96 - I assume (and hope) they are. It's a standard video Blu-ray Disc so you need a screen to navigate the disc - the menu image remains static throughout each track. I'd guess the DVD (which is DVD video and NOT DVD-A) has the same specs (though it may be 48khz) and this is just offering alternative formats. It's region free, so no compatibility problems.

I compared the new version to the original stereo vinyl. Which was interesting. Oh... and both benefit from playing loud. The 1975 vinyl is actually way louder (which makes comparisons difficult when you have to adjust the volume constantly) - it's a fierce beast more visceral, less cerebral, which is my fancy way of saying more balls, less head. That original stereo vinyl mix is less cluttered and has more attack. However, that makes it harder to listen to - it's almost too simple and intense. The surround (and 4 channel 'stereo') is subtler and more akin to a sonic bath than a shower.

The music? For convenience, let's just stick with sonics. In all the reviews I've read no-one has referenced Neil young's 'Arc', yet I'd say that was the album closest in spirit to this (though much later). Guitar players can really fall in love with that random element called feedback! I never subscribed to the notion that this was an attempt to piss off the record company. There are other ways to do that. No, this is exploration and sincerely intentioned.

Oddly I HAVE played this record on many occasions since 1975. Not all four sides. Just random needle drops. That's because it provokes an emotional response in me. If you've had a bad day and are feeling coiled, then it's great to play loud and cleanse your conscious worries. You can't ignore it and get the mock soothing that background music provides - the absence of lyric, melody or rhythm combined with the sonic assault, allows me to turn inward, retreat and, strangely, feel pacified. The punk version of temple bells.

I've also heard the 'Metal Machine Trio's' album. It's very good but is a very different beast - more conventionally musical. Bet it's great live as well. The conclusion is that if you like Lou Reed for music like 'Perfect Day' then steer clear of the rocks and avoid this. If you're a more adventurous Mr. Ulysses, then get tied to the mast and you may just allow a different siren to bleed through your ear-plugs.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 26 Apr 2010 14:40:10 BDT
S. J. Webbon says:
Metal Machine Music [DVD AUDIO]

Posted on 23 Mar 2012 10:38:46 GMT
A. Holliday says:
Over the years I've gone from initially hating it to to now (occassionally) putting it on and enjoying it. The strangest part of this for me is that I'm starting to find the damn thing soothing!! You can even (turned down, which seems counter-intuitive) use the thing as a lullaby....

Mind you, I'm one of the 10% who really enjoy MRI scans too!

Posted on 25 Oct 2013 04:00:25 BDT
Does anyone else find the stereo layer has totally crap sound? (I never play it for that reason and use the beautifully mixed and mastered 2000 Buddha release instead, as I don't have a surround system.)

Perhaps all the care was taken for the surround mix - very interested to know from someone who has tried both.
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