This is why you shouldn’t listen to Metal Machine Music on an iPhone: it “sounds like shit”. We’ll let you supply all the jokes in response to that first sentence.
But no, Lou Reed has been talking about digital music, and it’s fair to say his interview with The Guardian is everything you’d hope from an interview with Lou Reed about digital music. Or anything.
“MP3s for God’s sake. A really miserable sounding thing, people don’t understand what they are missing. It has been reduced to the lowest common denominator,” said Reed, speaking at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
He had plenty more to say on the subject of digital music, though. “Before you had to search things out. There it all is. But it sounds like shit. [Once you have found it] then you try to get a vinyl copy. You can get a good vinyl player for $400 or $500.”
Reed went on to reminisce about getting a royalty check of $2.60 when playing in bars as a teenager – “It’s pretty much what I get from downloads now” – and made more comments on his digital royalties that if accurate, make us think he should really get a lawyer to look over his contracts.
“I understand young people were brought up on downloading and Steve Jobs tried to make it into some kind of business which benefits Apple but you get about a sixteenth of a penny.”
Of course, Reed may have been talking about streaming music rather than downloads…