- Audio CD (15 Dec 2007)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Universal Japan
- ASIN: B00006BGXN
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
|1. I Can't Stand It|
|2. Stephanie Says|
|3. She's My Best Friend|
|4. Lisa Says|
|6. Foggy Notion|
|7. Temptation Inside Your Heart|
|8. One of These Days|
|9. Andy's Chest|
|10. I'm Sticking With You|
It opens with the slow-burning rock rhythms of "Can't Stand It," but switches tempo with the delicate, ethereal "Stephanie Says," one of the prettiest little songs the Velvet Underground ever produced, especially with that haunting viola in the background. Nothing else on "VU" is like it, which makes it all the more striking.
Elsewhere, the Velvet Underground stretches its wings a bit with Southern-fried rock'n'roll, complete with an exaggerated drawl. Then there's the intentionally silly "Temptation Inside Your Heart," where Lou Reed breaks off and starts chatting with someone else in mid-song. And finally, a sweeping soundscape in "Ocean" that rises and swells like the waves.
The Velvet Underground was the grandfather of modern indie rock, dipping into darkness and grandeur when other bands were just singing about the same ol' same ol'. Even now, bands get influenced by them -- the Dandy Warhols, most obviously. But it's almost impossible to capture the spirit of the Velvets, especially their mix of naughty fun and musical genius.
Your solid guitar riffs are backed up by some equally solid percussion, especially when Reed decides to tinker with his style (like the Southern twang). John Cale only appears briefly, but he provides an exquisite viola melody for the second song, and a subtle, driving piano moves forward through songs like "I'm Sticking With You."
Lou Reed has that type of flawed voice that will somehow grow on you, despite its thinness. And Reed's studio banter is especially funny ("Electricity comes from other planets." "Woo!"). He also quietly spins out some of the strangest, creepiest, funniest songs in classic rock ("If I could be anything in the world that flew/I would be a bat and come swooping after you/And if the last time you were here things were a bit askew...")
Excellent songwriting and solid musicianship make "VU" a must-have for anyone who loves the Velvet Underground. Don't let the "lost child" be left out.
In my late teens John Peel played The Wedding Present's version of My Best Friend. It was my first taste of The Velvet Underground and I loved it. When I bought the album "VU" I had no idea I was entering the New York scene through the back door with 'just an add on' to the four, core Velvet Underground albums. I just heard a kicking album with more guts, rock'n'roll, reflection and invention than anything else I was aware of.
Over a decade on, with the usual suspects now in my collection (Stooges, Bowie, Ramones, Blondie, White Stripes, Violent Femmes, etc) I still rate VU amongst the best.
Greatest hits are fine ...but don't forget where they came from.
This product's forum
Active discussions in related forums
Search Customer Discussions