Performer: The Velvet Underground
Engineer: Omi Haden; Gary Kellgren; John Licata; Norman Dolph...
Producer: Andy Warhol; Tom Wilson; The Velvet Underground; Andy Warhol; Tom Wilson; Bill Levenson (Compilation)...
Distributor: Universal Distribution
Notes: The Velvet Underground: Nico (vocals); Doug Yule (bass violin, bass guitar); John Cale (viola); Maureen Tucker (drums); Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison. Personnel: Lou Reed (vocals, guitar, electric guitar, piano, background vocals); Sterling Morrison (vocals, guitar, bass guitar, background vocals); John Cale (vocals, electric viola, piano, celesta, organ, bass guitar, background vocals); Doug Yule (vocals, piano, organ, background vocals); Maureen Tucker (percussion). Audio Mixer: Gary Kellgren. Audio Remixers: Tom Wilson ; David Greene; Gene Radice. Liner Note Author: Scott Schinder. Recording information: A&R Studios, New York, NY (04/1966-10/1969); Mayfair Sound Studios, NY (04/1966-10/1969); Record Plant Studios, NY (04/1966-10/1969); Sceptor Studios, New York, NY (04/1966-10/1969); Sigma Sound Studios, NY (04/1966-10/1969); T.T.G. Studios, Hollywood, CA (04/1966-10/1969); The End Of Cole Ave., Dallas, TX (04/1966-10/1969); The Matrix, San Francisco, CA (04/1966-10/1969). Editors: Tom Wilson ; David Greene; Gene Radice. Photographer: Billy Name. Arrangers: Larry Fallon; The Velvet Underground. Each of the Velvet Underground's four studio albums is so essential that the idea of distilling "their best" into any kind of compressed form is absurd. This is all the more reason to be impressed by the two-disc GOLD, a superbly compiled representation of the seminal band's revolutionary music. With nine tracks from their landmark debut album, essentials from WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT and their third album, cherry-picked gems from VU (a collection of unreleased sessions) and the 1969 live album, and two VU-assisted tracks from Nico's CHELSEA GIRL, GOLD is as close to comprehensive as such sets get. One major omission is the complete lack of material (the result of a licensing issue) from LOADED, the band's final release. Still, key tracks from LOADED ("Rock and Roll;" "Sweet Jane") are culled from the live album. Also, fans may find many favorites missing--"I'm Set Free," "After Hours" and "Who Loves the Sun" are conspicuously absent. Even so, GOLD does a remarkable job encompassing the Velvets' wildly eclectic aesthetic, touching on their most lyrical and accessible work ("Pale Blue Eyes") and their most experimental (the 17-minute-plus "Sister Ray"). Sequenced chronologically, remastered with precision and care, and including a booklet packed with photos and authoritative notes, GOLD is the perfect introduction to the band that should need none.
From their early days as the house band for Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable, the Velvet Underground were the antithesis of late-1960s Flower Power optimism. Lou Reed's decadent lyrics and dour vocals proved to be the perfect match for the group's droning pop, and the early addition of goth-chanteuse Nico only served to increase VU's black-clad mystique. The influence of their blend of street poetry, avant-garde experimentalism, and raw rock & roll on punk and its aftermath is inestimable. It's been said that not many people heard their early records, but everyone who did went out and started a band.
Also Appears On:
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