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The ULTIMATE Velvet Underground (part 1)

This post is not going to be a joke, although a portion of it will be repeated from an older "rarities"
post.....I am going to post ALL of my Velvet Underground stuff here over the enxt three days, and there is a good bit of it, when studio albums, live stuff (official and boot, both), rarities discs and other abound here.....and the Velvets deserve to have every note of thier glorious career documented for anyone who wishes to hear them in all their glory......it was once said that the first album sold but 30,000 copies, but each of those 30,000 people who made the purchase started a band of their own. They were THAT influential, argueably THE most influential rock band of the last 50 years.
Tonight I am going to put up their brilliant original studio albums, with one slight caveat....I had to decide between using my original vinyl rip CD's, or using the killer 5-disc box set "Peel SLowly and See"......a difficult choice, but I finally decided on the box set. The reason is, not only are the vinyl rips really in pretty rough condition, but the box set includes a ton of demos and the like which we could not find elsewhere....the one downside to posting the digital is the CD version of "Sister Ray" (from "White Light White Heat") is one of those tracks that they need to digitalize over again, as there are sheets of guitar noise on it which absolutely disappear when played on CD......we will remedy this with a boot in the next day or two which has NOTHING but versions of "Sister Ray" on it. The rest of the digital versions make up for it in crispy clean sound which subtly rocks out as it did on my turntable in my beadroom back in the mid 1970's. So let us begin......

The first disc of "Peel SLowly and See" is a bunch of demos......all lengthy, all OBVIOUSLY demos, and all worth your time.....there is an 18 minute "All Tomorrow's Parties", a 13 minute "Heroin", 15 minute version of "Venus In Furs"......these are the bare bones versions, performed by Lou Reed, John Cale, and Sterling Morrison, before the Andy Warhol/Nico intervension that would occur before album #1 appeard.And album #1, "The Velvet Underground and Nico", appears here as Disc 2 of "Peel Slowly and See".....the lineup for this effort: Reed, Cale, Morrison, Maureen Tucker, and the infamous Nico......when referring to the track list below, take note, tracks #2-#12 are the original album as released, Track #1 is the "single Version" of "All Tomorrow's Parties" , then tracks #13-15 are three rarities you will not wish to miss, and it is THIS stuff that is the reason for using the box set......to say that the "rarities" are must-hear brilliant is incredible understatement. This album ("Nico") is a five star classic going away, and is without question my LEAST FAVORITE of their official releases.......where to start? "I'm Waiting For The Man", "Femme Fatale", "Venus in Furs", "The Black Angels Death Song", the mind melting "European Son"........simply stated, there had NEVER been anything like this in recorded  music before, EVER.

So, then the third disc of "Peel Slowly", (pay attention) is the SECOND studio album by the Velvets, and is MY personal favorite.....ditching Nico, "White Light White Heat is back to a lineup of Reed/Cale/Morrison/and Tucker......as it contains the legend that is "Sister Ray", the brain-exploding "I Heard Her Call My Name", and the absolutley indescribable (YOU try and describe it) "The Gift", in this format, tracks #8-#13 are the original release, tracks #1-#7 are some live and demo tracks, and #14-#16 are some studio rarities, including "Stephanie Says", that you won't want to miss....."White Light White Heat" is one of those albums that for which five stars simply isn't enough, it's one of the greatest albums of all time.....did you know the cover (of the vinyl version) which appears to be a plain black cover with white lettering on it, will reveal a drawing of a skull when held up to a black light.....you shoulda been there when I discovered THAT.

OK, FOURTH disc of the box set, THIRD album of the career, is "The Velvet Underground", replaces Cale with Doug Yule and is a 5-star masterpiece as well, on this one, the original album ("closet mix") is laid out as Track #2-#11, track #1 is a fine live "What Goes On" (one of thier best live numbers), and #12-#18 are another handful of studio rarities, live, and demos, including the fab "Lisa Says" that I've always loved from the live album and was thrilled to finally hear in studio version....the "official album" includes classics such as "The Murder Mystery", "What Goes On", "Pale Blue Eyes" (later covered effectively by Hole", and the great "Beginning to See the Light" ("Some wine in the morning, and breakfast at night").....another fantastic album.

If you are following along, Disc five (of the box) is the fourth and final disc of their career, "Loaded" (same lineup as previous album), presented here as Reed originally wished for it to be released.....the most accessible of their albums, and many people's favorite.....the classic "Sweet Jane", only one of the greatest rock songs ever written, "Rock And Roll" ("her life was saved by rock n roll"), the under appreciated "Cool It Down", "Oh! Sweet Nuthin'", and of course MORE, this of course is a classic of the five-star variety as well......on this one, Tracks #1-#10 are the original LP, and tracks #11-#19 are another grab bag of studio tracks, the great "Ocean", "Satellite of Love" (featured prominently in the movie "Adventureland" if you were paying attention), a live "I'll Be Your Mirror".....what in the name of God are you waiting for, if you don't have these, all I can say is WHY THE HELL NOT?

This should be enough to get you started.....to you whom are already initiated into this fraternity,
tomorrow will bring a windfall of live stuff, rare stuff, just STUFF YOU WANT TO HAVE......they never released a note that was short of brilliant (BIG exception: the album Doug Yule attempted to make after Reed left, can't remember the name of it and don't care to).....other than that, the next two days are my gift to the world, a boat load of incredible, brilliant, decades ahead of it's time music, that the world is STILL, today, attempting to keep up with.

PEEL SLOWLY AND SEE DISC 1-01 Venus In Furs (demo)/02 Prominent Men (demo)/03 Heroin (demo)/04 I'm Waiting For the Man (demo)/05 Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams (demo)/06 All Tomorrow's Parties (demo)

All Tomorrow's Parties (Single Version)/02 Sunday Morning/03 I'm Waiting For The Man/04 Femme Fatale/05 Venus In Furs/06 Run Run Run/07 All Tomorrow's Parties/08 Heroin/09 There She Goes Again/10 I'll Be Your Mirror/11 The Black Angels Death Song/12 European Son/13 Melody Laughter (Live)/14 It Was a Pleasure Then/15 Chelsea Girls

PEEL SLOWLY AND SEE DISC 3 (includes WHITE LIGHT WHITE HEAT)-01 There Is no Reason (demo)/02 Sheltered Life (demo)/03 It's All Right (The Way That You Live) (demo)/04 I'm Not Too Sorry (Now That You're Gone) (demo)/05 Here She Comes Now (demo)/06 Guess I'm Falling In Love (live)/07 Booker T (Live)/08 White Light/White Heat/09 The Gift/10 Lady Godiva's Operation/11 Here She Comes Now/12 I Heard Her Call My Name/13 Sister Ray/14 Stephanie Says/15 Temptation Inside Your Heart/16 Hey Mr. Rain (Version One)

PEEL SLOWLY AND SEE DISC 4 (Includes THE VELVET UNDERGROUND)01 What Goes On (live)/02 Candy Says/03 What Goes On/04 Some Kinda Love/05 Pale Blue Eyes/06 Jesus/07 Beginning To See the Light/08 I'm Set Free/09 That's the Story of My Life/10 The Murder Mystery/11 After Hours/12 Foggy Notion/13 I Can't Stand It/14 I'm Sticking With You/15 One of These Days/16 Lisa Says/17 It's Just Too Much (live)/18 Countess From Hong Kong (demo)

PEEL SLOWLY AND SEE DISC 5 (Inludes LOADED)-01 Who Loves the Sun/02 Sweet Jane (Full Length Version)/03 Rock and Roll/04 Cool It Down/05 New Age (Full Length Version)/06 Head Held High/07 Lonesome Cowboy Bill/08 I Found a Reason/09 Train Round the Bend/10 Oh! Sweet Nuthin'/11 Satellite of Love/12 Walk and Talk/13 Oh Gin/14 Sad Song/15 Ocean/16 Ride Into the Sun/17 Some Kinda Love (live)/18 I'll Be Your Mirror (live)/19 I Love You

OK, obviously this is no damn joke.......and this is the tip of the iceberg......if you have holes in your Velvet Underground collection, they will be filled in.......if you are a novice, well, what are you doing here? Simply one of the greatest rock n roll bands that ever plugged in the amps.

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