Classic :: The Velvet Underground

Sometimes unfairly overlooked in the Velvet Underground catalog, more by listeners than critics, is their eponymously titled third album. The subdued, meditative record isn’t as revolutionary as the historic debut, The Velvet Underground & Nico, (“not many heard it, but everyone who did started a band” is the famous quote), as bracing as the sonic squall of White Light/White Heat, nor as characterized by being an accessible pop-crossover as Loaded, The Velvet Underground is an album that stands entirely on its own as the most unlikely album of the quartet.

Released soon after the departure of John Cale, the band’s primary avant-garde member, The Velvet Underground captured the band turning away from the challenging art-rock of their first 2 records to a more somber setting for Lou Reed’s plaintive songs of sin and redemption; infidelity and rock and roll. AMG says it was “as if the previous albums documented some manic, speed-fueled party and this was the subdued morning after”. With each VU album being so different from the others, as well as each being a stone classic, it’s impossible to say where this one fits in as far as overall quality goes. But I go back to it frequently, usually on those subdued mornings after, and appreciate the band for being as beautifully quiet as they were dissonant the night before.

MP3 :: Jesus
MP3 :: I’m Set Free
(from The Velvet Underground. Buy here)

1 comment:

Mark C said...

Great post. Without a doubt my favorite VU album.