A spotty if still relevant compilation of Velvet Underground songs, this entry into the budget "Icon" series is a tough one to categorize. Every song here is revolutionary for its time, but the quality between the recordings was and remains spotty. The young Lou Reed already has the part down of underbelly poet, and songs like "Waiting For My Man," "Heroin" and "Venus In Furs" de-romanticize New York City long before punk rock found it fashionable to do so. But it does so at the expense of Nico, who's voice on "Femme Fatale" would be on my short list for any Velvet's anthology. I also would have preferred the studio versions of "Rock and Roll: and "Sweet Jane" instead of the live versions included.
You're better off getting individual albums, and especially "The Velvet Underground and Nico" (aka "Peel it and See"). "Icon" makes a good toe-dippper, but it ultimately is not enough.