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1969-Velvet Underground Live-Vol. 2:Velvet Underground

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Artist: Velvet Underground

Date Released: 1974, re-released 1988

Label: Mercury

TracklistingEdit

  1. Ocean
  2. Pale Blue Eyes
  3. Heroin
  4. Some Kinda Love
  5. Over You
  6. Sweet Bonnie Brown/It's Just Too Much
  7. White Light/White Heat
  8. I Can't Stand It (only on 1988 re-issue)
  9. I'll Be Your Mirror

ReviewEdit

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 2 features the band much less aggressive than Volume 1. Not that the music is any less potent, but it is definitely less noisy and much more pleasantly hypnotic, revealing another side of the noise pioneers. The disc kicks off with an amazing 11-minute rendition of Ocean, before melting into the eerie and insatiable melancholy of Pale Blue Eyes and the brooding Heroin. The bonus version of I Can't Stand It is also a very welcomed addition to the reissue, adding yet another amazing track to the already superb album. Mpardaiolo

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