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37
4.4 out of 5 stars
Loaded
Format: Audio CDChange
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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
#1 HALL OF FAMEon 12 October 2002
As with the other three official Velvet Underground albums (The Velvet Underground&Nico, White Light/White Heat and The Velvet Underground)this is an obligatory purchase. The original ten-track album from 1970 is included, in both original form and demo/alternate versions. Sweet Jane, Rock & Roll and New Age are restored to their full-length versions.
Vocals are generally traded between Lou Reed and Doug Yule, the latter great on Who Loves the Sun?. The best songs here- taking it that Sweet Jane and Rock&Roll are classics already- are New Age , Oh Sweet Nuthin and I Found a Reason (sampled by Massive Attack on Risingson). The album is more hippy and even country (as in Gram Parsons/Mike Nesmith/Gene Clark) than the previous album.
Bonus tracks on disc one include Ride into the Sun (as covered by Throwing Muses), I Love You (found on Lou's debut) and a stunning version of Ocean- one of the Velvets finest moments. And for those looking for the definitive version of I'm Sticking with You (mostly sung by Moe Tucker)as used in whatever advert- this is it (and not the VU version which sounds too sparse). The bonus tracks on disc two include inferior takes of I Love You and Ocean (featuring John Cale), an early version of Satellite of Love (Transformer) and demos of Oh Jim (here Oh Gin) and Sad Song - which became part of Lou's finest 70's solo album, Berlin.
This 'fully loaded edition' is a definitive album anyway, as great and as different as the previous Velvets albums; at this price it is extremely good value- extending on the previous 10 track Atlantic version. Rhino as ever make the finest reissues; the liner notes are luxurious. Personally I think this is worth buying for the version of Ocean on Disc one, which is one of the finest songs ever recorded. One of the key albums of the last thirty or so years in this ultimate edition.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 November 2011
Not quite the definitive Velvet Underground of the first album but still a collection of high quality songs. The standout tracks for me are the seminal Sweet Jane and Rock & Roll, and despite the fact that both songs have been covered by numerous artists (for example, Mott the Hoople did a great version of the former), none equal these versions by the Velvets. The album also contains superb ballads in New Age, I Found a Reason and Oh! Sweet Nuthin', as well as some more throwaway rockers like Head Held High and Lonesome Cowboy Bill.

Still, one shouldn't complain I suppose given that we're talking here of the most influential rock band of all time!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 2 November 2001
This editions features bonus tracks recorded for the lp but unreleased and a great 2nd version of the album proper which, despite the annoying out of time cow bell version of "sweet jane", and the less aesteic version of "I found a reason" which suffers for the lack of multi-vocals... is much more Lou Reed and much better an LP for it... I love the Ocean as a song which I heard first as Lou's solo, here is more haunting, tho the Cale Keyboard version is nowhere near as good.. but in all this is a very good record, not matching past heights though, the beautiful torturous guitars on classics like European Son and Sister Ray are missed here...
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on 30 July 2015
Chances are that if you are looking to buy Loaded by The Velvet Undergroud you have followed a similar path to me, that is bought the greatly acclaimed The Velvet Underground And Nico, then taken a pick out of White Light/White Heat and The Velvet Underground (I bought the latter first), then gone on to buy the other of the first three Velvet Underground (in my case White Light/White Heat) and are at the stage I was... WHAT THE **** NOW!

So upon hearing The Velvet Underground And Nico you experience many experimental concepts that you have probably never heard before (like the entirety of Heroin) but are strangely drawn to love the album even if it can be a tough listen the first time round. Because you loved it so much you do a little research into the group and you discover the other albums available (White Light/White Heat, The Velvet Underground, Loaded and Squeeze), if purchased in this order or unlike me had the pleasure of being alive during the 60's you heard White Light/White Heat which again comes as a shock to the ears, again you are drawn to the weirdness of the noise and go on to hear The Velvet Underground, which again shocks you, but not for its strange sounds but it's brilliance in being everything you least expect from the group. This leaves a dilemma, do I skip this and move on to Lou Reed (after all he hated Loaded so much he left the band) or do I just go for it, personally I would say GO FOR IT!

Loaded came about when Lou Reed was told by the new record company to forget weirdness, shock value and drugs and simply make an album Loaded with hits. Which is what this album is, a very strong album that sounds more commercial that The Beach Boys. If you was wondering wether the album is worth buying simply over quality then definitely, The Velvet Underground have never sounded so polished, but if you want The Velvet sound from the first three albums then you better run run run run run... (forgive me). For me this just provided the swan song that the group needed, something radios would love that also proved the group could make an album that was more than just noise, even if it's not their greatest achievement it is just as forfilling as the rest of their back catalogue.

I personally recommend you check out some Live Velvets after this album or VU, alternatively you could move on to Lou Reeds solo work (Transformer is a good starting point) or if your very brave try Squeeze (but you may hate yourself for doing so).
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Wanting to move to the next Velvets stage of sombre love songs? This is where they ditched the raucous rock and roll, then they found belief in the future, rather than set their course for the Factory self destruction? This is the album that is a mixture between cynicism and expansion. After exploring the dark recesses of the mind, traversing the nooks and crannies of the emotional psyche, they finally emerged from the dark lagoon with this brighter album. The entry album to the Velvet world for the gentle initiates is this one. For those used to experimentation then the others offer another vision.

On the surface it appears a sickly piece of candy, highly polished, gleaming, stripped of any rough pieces that might cause a hiccup, the abrasions long shorn and smoothed with plenty of filler. Band members jettisoned and only a rump remaining gently plucked at the strings.

This is still the Velvet Underground, and whilst "Who loves the Sun" comes over gooey Beatles, this underscored with more malevolence. This song is an affirmation of living, a reaction to the numerous early deaths of the mid 60's. Andy's middle and upper middle class bright young things, burst into various flames or succumbed to morphia bliss, as they self medicated to early graves.

This then launches into "Sweet Jane", which contains vital snippets of caustic life. "Rock and roll is rememberance for times past, the yesteryears that corporate hippy life had smothered in its bed, and then hidden the corpse of Elvis. The liberation of the early pioneers is unleashed before it all grew a beard and became boring.

"New Age" is a bitter love song, aimed to wound, one for the break up and the eventual break down. This launches into raucous rock and roll, an "I will surive" for an addled generation, whilst "Lonesome Cowboy Bill," sounds as if Paul McCartney could have written it during his White Album period, not as pasteurised smooth as the Beatles opus, but a blended version of surrealism, still slightly cloying.

"Train round the bend," returns back to an earlier spiky velvets and brings the signs of hope around the corner. "Oh Sweet nothin," a soft tender love song that could have appeared on the first, sung within the cadences within a German iciness but here is warmer.

The outtakes and demos reflect the same passions as Gainsbourg, the surrealism of the senses. "I'm sticking with you" the sound of alcohol and other forms of inebriation, creating a little belief amongst the darkness. These are well worth the extra effort, not just add ons for extending the wallet.

It is primarily Lou, Doug and Moe left in the lifeboat, strumming out the end of an era, whilst the sketches were the template for the launch of Lou's later solo career.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 2005
If you're reading this, chances are that you fulfill the following criteria: 1/Bought and loved the first velvet underground and Nico album, 2/Are confused by the velvets patchy back catalogue, and are wondering what to buy next.
Well, I can safely say that if you really need more velvets then this might be the album for you. If you loved the more acessable tracks on "The VU and Nico" such as "Sunday Morning" and "There she goes again", then chances are you'll love this album too. It contains many fine examples of the Velvet's unique brand of off kilter pop music, with the pretty "Who Loves the Sun" and the essential combination of "Rock and Roll" & "Sweet Jane. If however, your tastes on the first album went toward the wackier "Venus in Furs", "Black Angel's Death Song" then you'll more than likely hate this album. Its difficult to understate just how commercial this album is. For example, Lou Reed was so upset with the results, he quit the band and washed his hands of the album. It is also worth considering that at this point in the Velvet's timeline, Lou Reed was to a large extent being phased out of the band to make way for the girl friendly Doug Yule, who's sappy rather dull influence, and will to commercialise pervades some of the weaker tracks on this album. This isn't a bad album at all, but fans of the harder music would be better off with the fantastically minimal "White Heat White Light", with its bizzare stories and brutal proto-punk.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 20 April 2008
Although `Loaded' is hardly the ground-breaking music of the Velvet Underground's earlier releases and the band had virtually disintegrated by the time of its release, this record remains a clutch of great rock n roll songs.

`Who Loves the Sun', with its sweet harmonies and `Cool it Down's great honky-tonk piano are great melodic tunes, whilst `Sweet Jane' is justly renowned for its classic guitar riff. You have to love the melodrama of `New Age' with its superb organ break and the smooth, mellow melancholy of the closing track `Oh! Sweet Nuthin'.

I will commit musical heresy by saying I even enjoy `I Found a Reason' which has the most staggeringly corny lyrics delivered dead-pan by Lou Reed.

The record gets docked a star for `Train Round the Bend' and `Lonesome Cowboy Bill' which are a bit weak but if you ignore the history of the band and just concentrate on the music here there is much to enjoy.
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on 16 June 2014
First of all, I'm more than happy with what's on this CD set and the sound is great.

On the other hand, people should know that the CD I got from amazon UK doesn't have the holographic sleeve the description claims it has. It's just a normal CD case with the booklet printed in a way that gives the impression of being the holographic sleeve that this edition originally came with. No 3D effect, no color changing, nothing. Just a fake holographic sleeve. I think that should be clarified in the product's description, especially because it says it has something that it doesn't.

I'm keeping the CD for its sublime contents, but I am more than dissapointed with that little lie about the packaging and that's the reason why I'm giving this 4 stars instead of 5. I really wanted the holographic cover! Oh well.
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on 21 December 2014
This is a great grab bag of The Velvet Underground, circa 1969-1970.

As well as the Loaded album , you get to hear different takes of the songs, including early run-throughs. Some may seem less essential, but one person's trash is another treasure, and it's great to hear this abundance of material, having listened through it recently after getting The Velvet Underground album box set.

This in the meantime is a great value set...if it does get a further revamp, here's hoping they can include the version of Ride Into The Sun that was issued with the Les InRockuptibles magazine in 1990...if that sounds obscure in print,it's amazing to listen to and deserves a full release - as does the Joseph Freeman Max's Kansas City tape - this exists in lovely wide stereo.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 2015
Just a-flipping-bout the best album ever made by a gosh darned genius of such magnitude as we shall never see again. Look upon his works and shudder mother truckers! " 'Can I have your autograph?' He said to the fat blond actress", Meine Gott!
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