Sunday, November 09, 2014

The Velvet Underground - VU

I got this piece of vinyl when it came out and, while it is a collection of never-used masters, it is, overall, an extremely strong LP and filled with excellent songs.

"I Can't Stand It" is a stompin' rocker filled with feedback-drenched lead guitars, making it one of the hardest r'n'r tunes they ever put to wax. Showing Lou's songwriting versatility, what follows is a quiet ballad, in the vein of "Sunday Morning", though more delicate - "Stephanie Says" and then a piece that kinda fits in between the two, "She's My Best Friend", with Sterling's movin' rhythm guitar and some melodic, clean lines from Lou (at least that's my assumption). Nice piano added to the mix in the serenade, "Lisa Says", with a different bridge from the "official" release. The epic "Ocean" is always a pleasure - a superbly craft tune with cymbals emulating waves that ebb and flow, a lovely melody and a nice build up with keys.

Side two of the vinyl starts off with the fantastic, poundin' "Foggy Notion", that's right up there with "I Can't Stand It" as another great rocker with more great rhythm/lead interaction. Lou converses with himself in "Temptation Inside Your Heart", which adds some hilarity and silliness to the proceedings, but is still a cool song. In "One of These Days", there is some more wackiness, with its slightly out of tune backing vocals trivializing what was otherwise a nice, mid-tempo song, but then, they re-do it without the goofiness and with some slide guitar and rockin' drums and it's a good one. But the goofiness is back in spades for the last two, "Andy's Chest" and "I'm Sticking With You", which Mo sings (with the help of Lou). Neither of these are particularly inspiring, but show the diversity that the Velvets were capable of.

This was a special treat before all of the Velvet reissues with all of the bonuses were released, and is still a fine record.