Friday, November 17, 2006

153. The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground (1969)

Track Listing

1. Candy Says
2. What Goes On
3. Some Kinda Love
4. Pale Blue Eyes
5. Jesus
6. Beginning To See The Light
7. I'm Set Free
8. That's The Story Of My Life
9. The Murder Mystery
10. After Hours


For those who care, I'm reviewing the Closet Mix, Lou's original mix which is what you find on Napster as well, so there!

Ahh The Velvet Undeground, what a change from fucking Elvis. This is Velvet's least demanding album until now but it is in no way worse than the previous ones. Cale has left the band, and with him some vanguardism but the lyrical and musical quality of Lou Reed is still here. And in more than any other Velvet album you can really identify Lou's hand here.

It is a mellower, less noisy album, which isn't to say that it doesn't rock, it does so in a number of tracks, such as Beginning To See The Light. The softer touch, although absent form White Light/ White Heat suits VU, this was marked in the album with Nico and the other album with Nico (they were in most tracks off Chelsea Girl).

So something which can't be said about a lot of VU's output, this is a nice album. But the concerns with the underworld are still here, in Candy Says for example, a touching track about a transvestite and so is the crazy experimentation, in Murder Mystery, where two narratives are played at the same time one in the left and the other on the right speaker. Generally it is a beautiful album, and one very much worth listening to. Stream from Napster or buy from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. What Goes On
2. Candy Says
3. Pale Blue Eyes
4. Beginning To Se The Light

Final Grade



Antony and the Johnssons cover Candy Says:

From Wikipedia:

The record was produced by the band themselves, and issued simultaneously in two mixes: one done by sound engineer Val Valentin, and one by Lou Reed, dubbed the 'closet mix' by guitarist Sterling Morrison. He thought it sounded flat, as if recorded in a closet. The two can easily be told apart by the use of entirely different takes for "Some Kinda Love". Subsequent domestic and foreign re-issues of the record dither between the two mixes; the CD issues have always used the Valentin mix. The Reed mix can be found on the 1995 box set Peel Slowly and See. In 2003, the album was ranked number 314 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

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