Metallica are going to perform “One” at the Grammy Awards on January 28th. They’ll be accompanied by classical concert pianist Lang Lang. Here they are pairing one of the world’s greatest pianists with one of the world’s most popular hard rock bands who are nominated for a Grammy for their Through The Never soundtrack.
Normally this would cause for celebration due to the lack of almost ANY rock music on television. Metallica fans however, may think otherwise. If you accept Metallica’s need to explore and try new things and to collaborate with musicians outside of their world, then you can’t help be a bit stoked by this mix. I have no problem with this. I don’t fault them entirely for trying something new with Lou Reed, bad as it was. But when it comes to your catalogue, its very simple – leave ‘em alone. Their S&M album, which paired Metallica with the San Francisco Symphony was horrid.
Cliff Burton, the band’s first bassist & torch bearer would NEVER have compromised those early songs by slapping strings on them. Die-Die hards would argue the compromising began right after he passed away with Metallica’s first video single (“One”) but that is now an old and tired argument and most people really don’t care anymore. It is what it is.
Back to the Grammys & Lang Lang... he’s a Chinese virtuoso and the rock star of the classical musical world. We can only hope that when they perform “One”, they don’t over-reach like they did with many of the S&M arrangements but keep it simple. Below is somebody else’s piano arrangement of “One”. As you listen to it, you can just imagine how & when band & piano will come together on the song. I don't know, this might work!