The Velvet Underground [45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition]

The Velvet Underground [45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition]

by The Velvet UndergroundThe Velvet Underground

CD(Special Edition)

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Upon first release, the Velvet Underground's self-titled third album must have surprised their fans nearly as much as their first two albums shocked the few mainstream music fans who heard them. After testing the limits of how musically and thematically challenging rock could be on The Velvet Underground & Nico and White Light/White Heat, this 1969 release (recorded after the departure of the group's most committed avant-gardist, John Cale) sounded spare, quiet, and contemplative, as if the previous albums documented some manic, speed-fueled party and this was the subdued morning after. But Lou Reed's lyrical exploration of the demimonde is as keen here as on any album he ever made, while displaying a warmth and compassion he sometimes denied his characters. "Candy Says," "Pale Blue Eyes," and "I'm Set Free" may be more muted in approach than what the band had done in the past, but "What Goes On" and "Beginning to See the Light" made it clear the VU still loved rock & roll, and "The Murder Mystery" (which mixes and matches four separate poetic narratives) is as brave and uncompromising as anything on White Light/White Heat. This album sounds less like the accepted archetypes of the Velvet Underground than any of their studio albums, but it's as personal, honest, and moving as anything Lou Reed ever committed to tape. [In 2014, Polydor/Universal gave The Velvet Underground an expanded reissue as the third of their 45th Anniversary box sets based around the VU's albums for Verve/MGM. The six-disc set starts with three different versions of The Velvet Underground -- Lou Reed's subtle original "closet mix," engineer Val Valentin's louder and more dynamic mix, and a monophonic version that was released only as a promotional item. Fans have debated the strengths of the Closet and Valentin mixes for years, and this shows both to their best advantage with clean and well-rendered remastering. Disc four presents new mixes of the 1969 recordings that have become known as The Great Lost Velvet Underground Album; while most of these tracks appeared in the '80s on the albums VU and Another View, the '80s releases were tricked up a bit to make them sound more like a finished albums, while in more straightforward form they sound like the rough drafts they were, though they feature lively performances of excellent songs. And finally, the box features two discs of the Velvets on-stage at the Matrix in San Francisco in November 1969; some of these tracks were previously released on the album 1969 Velvet Underground Live, but for this release, all the material has been remixed from the original multi-track tapes, and the audio is vastly superior to the 1969 Live release, as well as featuring some superb unheard performances, including a 36-minute workout on "Sister Ray." As a study of the Velvet Underground's last year with Verve/MGM, this set is nothing short of superb, and the live material alone makes it a required purchase for any hardcore VU fan.]

Product Details

Release Date: 11/24/2014
Label: Polydor / Umgd
UPC: 0602547005069
catalogNumber: 002175202

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Velvet Underground   Primary Artist
Lou Reed   Guitar,Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals
Sterling Morrison   Guitar,Background Vocals
Moe Tucker   Percussion,Vocals
Doug Yule   Organ,Bass,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

John Cale   Composer
Lou Reed   Composer
Velvet Underground   Arranger,Producer
Sterling Morrison   Composer
Moe Tucker   Composer
Val Valentin   Engineer
Peter Abram   Engineer
Gary Kellgren   Engineer
David Fricke   Essay
Vartan   Art Direction
Andrew Skurow   Tape Research
Dick Smith   Art Direction

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