Beat classic 'Naked Lunch' to be reborn in punk album
New York (AFP)
"Naked Lunch," one of the seminal and controversial novels of the Beat Generation, will be reborn as a punk album based on recordings by late author William S. Burroughs.
The album takes recitations by Burroughs from his profanity-ridden novel and sets them to music in the form of 13 songs.
Entitled "Let Me Hang You," after one of the novel's episodes, the album will come out on July 15, its label announced Tuesday.
Published in 1959, "Naked Lunch" shocked the era's sensibilities with its graphic and non-linear narrative of the journey of William Lee, who delights in drugs and gay sex.
The novel, initially printed in Paris by Olympia Press to evade US obscenity laws, went on to become considered a classic by some scholars and a major statement of the free-flowing Beat Generation.
Shortly before his death in 1997, Burroughs had recited parts of "Naked Lunch" to create an album with producers including Hal Willner, known for his work with rock legend Lou Reed and for arranging music on television show "Saturday Night Live."
The project was abandoned but Willner last year reopened it in collaboration with King Khan, a Canadian psychedelic punk artist championed by Reed.
Khan composed music to accompany the recordings made by Burroughs. He also tapped other artists including The Frowning Clouds, a punk band from Australia.
Khan's label, describing his setting of music to "Naked Lunch," said in a statement: "History was made and the scum began to rise."
Even though "Naked Lunch" did not become an album in his lifetime, Burroughs frequently collaborated with musicians.
His releases included the 1993 track "The 'Priest' They Called Him" with grunge great Kurt Cobain of Nirvana and a cover of R.E.M.'s "Star Me Kitten" with the band.
© 2016 AFP