Artist: Velvet Underground

Date Released: 1974, re-released 1988

Label: Mercury


  1. I'm Waiting for the Man
  2. Lisa Says
  3. What Goes On
  4. Sweet Jane
  5. We're Gonna Have a Real Good Time Together
  6. Femme Fatale
  7. New Age
  8. Rock & Roll
  9. Beginning to See the Light
  10. Heroin (only featured on 1988 re-issue)


Most people are aware of the Velvet Underground’s part in the evolution of proto-punk, experimental and underground (indie) rock, but just in case you are unaware of the back-story, I’ll sum it up somewhat concisely. Lou Reed graduates from Syracuse, gets a job as a staff songwriter for Pickwick Records, meets John Cale, formed the Primitives, changes their name to the Velvet Underground, enlists guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen ‘Moe’ Tucker, teams up with pop-art icon Andy Warhol, records an album with European chanteuse Nico, drops Nico, distances from Warhol, records 2nd more radical album, Cale leaves, Doug Yule joins, records more conventional 3rd album, Tucker gets pregnant, records most conventional 4th album, Reed (the heart and soul of the band) unexpectedly quits, everyone goes solo while Yule tries to take advantage of the Velvet name, the 80s come and the albums reissued since music fans finally realized the importance of the band, the original line-up (Reed, Cale, Morrison, Tucker) attempts a reunion in the early 90s, Cale leaves again, Morrison dies, and the band is rightfully inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This live album from 1969, featuring Reed, Morrison, Tucker and Yule, was not released until 1974, long after the original line-up had disbanded. Re-released in 1988, Volume 1 features tracks from all 4 of their initial albums, but in somewhat different versions from the originals. A bit more raucous than Volume 2, Reed and company are on top of their game, cranking out tenacious proto-punk the likes of which was never heard before the Velvet Underground came along. It also features a bonus unreleased version of Heroin which is much more unrestrained and aggressive than the version that appears on Volume 2. Mpardaiolo

Further readingEdit

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