This one will be short as I am still reeling from having learned that at the Lou Reed exhibit currently running at the New York Public Library, there is a special room where they play Metal Machine Music twice a day in quadraphonic sound. I wonder if they lock the door behind you. I tried to listen to MMM all the way through once and I didn’t make it; round about the middle of side 3 I started ideating homicide and/or suicide, and cut short the experiment in the name of sanity. (Supposedly Lou once said, “Anybody who gets to side four is dumber than I am.”)


Like “Tell Mamma Not to Cry,” the B-side — which is called “Maybe Tomorrow” — is credited to Vance/Sims/Reed/Philips. Since the four of them worked as a team, it is impossible to tell who is responsible for what, exactly. I assume Lou worked on words more than music, but that is pure speculation.

The words here are pretty minimal, but they get the idea across. The music takes a back seat to Robertha Williams’ vocal performance, which is certainly committed, if a little shaky towards the end. Another take might have been a good idea — but maybe she had shredded her voice doing this one, or maybe it was considered Good Enough for Pickwick’s cut/print/move on ethos. It’s a pretty good tune — I can’t tell you why there’s a picture of Amy Winehouse on the video, but I don’t really need to know, either. Cut. Print. Move on.