The Velvet Underground

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ike, Jan 20, 2002.

  1. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    Anybody else a fan? I was actually turned onto the Velvets via the HTF (DonaldB recommended them). I've listened to everyone of their albums several times each, and can honestly say they are one of my favorite groups.
    How I rank the albums:
    The Velvet Underground & Nico-#2-the album of 1967. The Nico bits can be weak (especially I'll Be Your Mirror) and I can't stand Sunday Morning (Reed doesn't do sweet well. Good thing they brought in Yule later to do that). Heroin, on the other hand, is their masterpiece. I'm Waiting for the Man, There She Goes Again, European Son, Run Run Run, All Tomorrow's Parties, and Femme Fatale (I guess I may like Nico after all) are all classics.
    White Light/White Heat-#1-The Velvet's best, in my opinon. They have the attitude down pat here. This is what punk wants to be. White Light/White Heat is such a fantastic song. Then you go into the oddity that is The Gift, which only the Underground could make compelling. You got Lady Godiva's Operation, which I've never really liked all that much (although I like Reed's screaming some of the words out), into the mellow of Here She Comes Now. It's really setting you up for the last two brain busters, I Heard Her Call My Name, with it's fierce, almost free-jazz like guitar solos and other crunching noise, and Sister Ray. Sister Ray is so great, that it requires repeat listens. At 17 minutes, it's never boring, it never stutters. The keyboard sounds like Ray Manzerik out of hell. The guitar is so distorted they actually had to cut it down for the CD. The lyrics are fantastically demented (Whip it on me Jim, whip it on me Jim). Brilliant.
    The Velvet Underground-#3-The mellow album. I like it, but not near as much as the rough, rumble, and rowdy Velvets. Especially love After Hours and the slip back into the weird with The Murder Mystery.
    Loaded-#4-My least favorite album, it still features 4 classic songs-Sweet Jane, Rock and Roll, Oh! Sweet Nuthin, and New Age.
    So, I'm all up for any discussion on this group!
     
  2. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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    I got turned on to VU via Nirvana's cover of Here She Comes Now and Cowboy Junkies' cover of Sweet Jane from the NBK soundtrack. Plus I had always heard the Brian Eno quote that everyone whoever listened to them started their own band. While I have no intentions of quitting my day job, I can now see where he's coming from. So I picked up two of their CDs (remastered and cheap) one day at the store. At first I was like "What the hell?" which is my reaction to anything ultra lo-fi. Then I started getting into them. For a pre-punk type band, they sure can groove even when they're rocking out in abandon.

    I think I'd have to agree with you that White Light / White Heat is their best. Sister Ray is epic, a tour de force, explosive, and all those other lame metaphors. It fucking rocks. And if you think it's cool at 17 minutes, try the 38 minute version on Bootleg Series Volume 1: The Quine Tapes, released this past fall. You'll also find a 24 minute version and a 28 minute long one combined with Foggy Notion. "she's suckin on my ding-dong."

    You'll probably like Loaded more with repeat listenings. I don't have any of the other live albums, nor the boxed set, although I'll end up buying them some day. I finally got around to ordering the remastered Transformer CD and I'm looking forward to that one, plus future releases from the Bootleg Series.
     
  3. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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  4. MikeAW

    MikeAW Second Unit

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    Get the "Loaded" 2CD remaster...it's like listening to whole new album. My favorites include the extended "Sweet Jane" and "New Age".

    I am a Velvet Underground fan...big time...with several box set, multi CD unofficial titles.

    There are also the new Japanese mini-lps to check out!
     
  5. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    I think the first outtakes collection, "VU", which came out when I was in high school, holds up as well as their four "official" releases. There was a guy across the hall from me in my college Dorm when I was a sophomore who was stoned out of his mind and kept playing "I Can't Stand It" over and over again one evening, and I never got tired of it despite my sobriety. "Foggy Notion" could probably withstand the same treatment. [​IMG]
    Regards,
     
  6. MikeAW

    MikeAW Second Unit

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    "I Can't Stand It" comes in a more refined state on Lou Reed's first solo album, "Lou Reed"...it's very worthwhile to check it out. "Lisa Says" and "Ocean"...from the "1969" live album...have completely different arrangements, different lyrics.

    For completists only, there is a 4CD live box of Doug Yule's, post-Lou Reed, version of the group. Japanese only 4 CD Live box set....one CD recorded in London, 11/71, one CD recorded in the Netherlands, 11/71, one CD recorded in England, 12/72 and one CD recorded in Boston, 5/73. 51 tracks including 4 bonus tracks. This includes color booklet with photos & lyrics. It's on the "Captain Trip" reissue label.
     
  7. KrisM

    KrisM Second Unit

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    I bought the Peel Slowly and See box set awhile back and like it. I can't say that I like everthing on it however. I find that the more I listen to it the more it grows on me. I've thought about burning a single disc mix from the box but for some reason having a VU "hits" disc just seems wrong.

    Regards

    KrisM
     
  8. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    What do you mean when you say some of it you don't like? The actual albums? Can you give me a name of the stuff you don't like? Or you talking about the extra stuff? (I don't have the box, I didn't really see the use, since I have all the studio albums.) I just am interested in the stuff you like and the stuff you don't.
     
  9. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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  10. MikeAW

    MikeAW Second Unit

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    Ken...do you like "Berlin" ?
     
  11. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Berlin is good when I'm in the mood for it. It's just that first album that I have trouble getting in to. I think it is mostly because I have heard versions of so many of the songs that I like better. OK, I admit that I rarely spin Metal Machine Music either. [​IMG]
    Addendum - I assumed you meant Berlin the album vs. Berlin the song.
    Regards,
     
  12. MikeAW

    MikeAW Second Unit

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    "Berlin" has to be listened to in a certain frame of mind.

    The first solo album is a bit polished but in spite of the professional help he doesn't lose site of the subtext of the album. It is a sadly overlooked masterpiece.
     
  13. KrisM

    KrisM Second Unit

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    Ike,

    I was refering to induvidual songs that I didn't care for. All of the Nico songs do nothing for me and I hate The Gift. On the other hand you hated Sunday Morning and I actually enjoy it. I like the first two albums more than the last two. I guess I'm more a fan of the loud stuff. I think with the Velvets there were so many songs that were so different that this is bound to happen when people start discussing their music. I have similar feelings with the songs of Big Star.

    Regards

    KrisM
     
  14. Tim Raffey

    Tim Raffey Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm quite a big Velvet Underground fan, though I have to admit to owning only the 1985 Polygram The Best of... and an original LP of White Light, White Heat (I will get the Peel Slowly and See box one of these days). Lou Reed at the top pf his game can go from starkly lyical ('Heroin'), to trippy (let me just say, always be certain of your sanity when listening to 'Lady Godiva's Operation' [​IMG]), to sentimentally lyrical ('Pale Blue Eyes'). I love it all, though.
     
  15. chris c

    chris c Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, favorites since I was a kid.

    Velvet Underground & Nico - my favorite ('femme fatale')

    Loaded - second favorite (close second) ('Rock and Roll')

    Others - distant third, but still great
     
  16. Jay Gregory

    Jay Gregory Stunt Coordinator

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    The radio program The Connection aired an episode devoted to the Velvet Underground, including a discussion of the new Quine Tapes album, last week. Click the link, and you should be able to access the RealAudio archive.
    Moe Tucker was supposed to appear, but she didn't make it. Doug Yule, Rolling Stone magazine's David Fricke, and former USA Network rock anchorwoman Lisa Robinson (who was at one time married to Lou Reed producer Richard Robinson, if she is not today) were the guests who appeared on the program.
    Several callers reminisced about their contact with the band back in the day. Fans may find it to be worth a listen.
    In the spirit of the thread, I suppose that I most value the Peel Slowly and See set.
    Ranking individual albums by my favorites:
    (1) Live 1969
    (2) The Velvet Underground - not the boxed set version
    (3) Loaded - I'll take Rhino's Fully Loaded Edition
    (4) The Velvet Underground & Nico
    (5) White Light/White Heat
    (6) VU
    (7) Another VU
    I can mostly leave Lou Reed solo. I think I prefer more of Cale's albums, actually. I haven't yet heard the Quine Tapes release, but I'm admittedly less enthusiastic about any VU release with such a high proportion of "Sister Ray."
     

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