It’s difficult to summarize this story, but we'll try. McGraw gives his label a batch of masters for the next album. His label insists they're too old; his contract requires he deliver clean, fresh tracks, ergo, he owes the label another record. As you might expect, McGraw's legal team has filed a suit of their very own, saying the label's trying to keep him in the stable forever.
The suit adds that Curb's "repeated serial releases of what it characterizes as greatest hits albums is obviously a naked attempt to create a perpetual recording contract, forcing Tim McGraw into a repressive environment of indefinite duration."
Between 2006 and 2010, Curb put out six compilations or variations on hits packages, the latest being "Number One Hits" last November. Curb has released a total of seven compilations on McGraw.
Amid numerous charges of "bad faith," McGraw's response says that since 1997 Curb has never rejected any of the 108-plus master recordings McGraw has delivered, and that Curb's release of compilations extends the allowable delivery period to 24 months. The counter-suit also breaks down in great detail why the artist believes "Traffic" to be his final album due the label under contract.
As a radical departure from the rest of Reed's catalog, Metal Machine Music is generally considered to be either a joke, a grudging fulfillment of a contractual obligation, or an early example of noise music. The album features no songs or even recognizably structured compositions, eschewing melody and rhythm for an hour of over-modulated feedback and guitar effects, intricately mixed at varying speeds by Reed himself.
In the album's liner notes he claimed to have invented heavy metal music and asserted that Metal Machine Music was the ultimate conclusion of that genre. The album made Reed a laughing stock in the rock industry while simultaneously opening the door for his later, more experimental material. Historically, Metal Machine Music is now considered a seminal forerunner of industrial music, noise rock, and contemporary sound art.
Or a brutally unlistenable mess constructed with obsessive detail by someone so addled by chemicals he had lost whatever critical faculties he possessed. As the wikipedia entry notes: “the album entirely consists of guitar feedback played at different speeds.”
It was a double album, too.