Live MCMXCIII

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Live MCMXCIII
Live album by The Velvet Underground
Released October 26, 1993 (1993-10-26)
Recorded June 15–17, 1993, Paris, France
Genre Rock
Length 128:39
Language English
Label Sire
Producer Mike Rathke
The Velvet Underground chronology
1969: The Velvet Underground Live
(1974)
Live MCMXCIII
(1993)
Final V.U. 1971–1973
(2001)
Live MCMXCIII
The sleeve for the single CD edition is tinted purple instead of blue
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic (double CD) 2/5 stars [1]
Allmusic (single CD) 3/5 stars

Live MCMXCIII ("1993" in Roman numerals) is a live album by The Velvet Underground. It was released simultaneously in single and double CD/Cassette formats on October 26, 1993 by Sire Records. The single CD is an abridged version of the double CD edition: there are no different takes of songs across the two editions. It was also released in DVD format on January 24, 2006.

About the album[edit]

In late 1992, the Velvet Underground 1965–1968 core line-up of Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker suddenly decided to reform. The decision was entirely unexpected because the relationship between Reed and Cale had been sour ever since the late 60s, and though it had ameliorated after back catalogue royalty renegotiations in the mid-80s, it had hit another low after their 1990 collaboration Songs for Drella.

Nevertheless, an impromptu one-song reunion in Jouy-en-Josas, France, later that year for an Andy Warhol exhibition set the scene and by 1993, the band had started to rehearse for European and American tours. Lou Reed's then-current record company, Sire Records, agreed to release a live album from the European tour, and ambitious plans were made for both an MTV Unplugged appearance with accompanying album and a subsequent studio album.

Two key people did not participate in the reunion: sometime singer Nico, who had died in 1988; and latter-day vocalist/bassist/keyboard player Doug Yule, whom Sterling Morrison would have liked to participate but who was vetoed out by Reed and Cale. Yule later stated that, although he would have liked being considered at least, he would have declined anyway because of family priorities.

The album was recorded during a three-night residence in the Parisian venue L'Olympia. John Cale later said, "During the second night we hit the home run", and it is of this night that most of the Live MCMXCIII tracks were taken. The rest were taken from the third night.

Live MCMXCIII mainly is a trawl through the back catalogue, with emphasis on the "regular", more structured songs. There are only two major improvisations ("Some Kinda Love" and "Hey Mr. Rain") and two new songs: "Velvet Nursery Rhyme", a short and lightweight reunion-theme song, and "Coyote", a Reed/Cale collaboration. Emphasis is on the band's first and third records and the "lost fourth album" (see VU and Another View), with only two songs from Loaded being included.

During the European tour, relationships quickly soured again and by the end of the tour all other plans were off, never to rematerialise. The band's latest breakup proved final when Sterling Morrison died in the summer of 1995.

Both the tour and the album met with mixed reviews. The public and the critics were split into two camps: those that did not want to spoil their vision of the image that the band had since the 60s and those that wanted to see the legendary four back together on stage and see whether they could still be relevant. Reviews reflected the views of the two camps.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Lou Reed except as noted.

Double-CD edition[edit]

Disc one
  1. "We're Gonna Have a Real Good Time Together" – 3:14
  2. "Venus in Furs" – 5:19
  3. "Guess I'm Falling in Love" (Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, Maureen Tucker) – 3:08
  4. "After Hours" – 2:41
  5. "All Tomorrow's Parties" – 6:36
  6. "Some Kinda Love" – 9:06 (final track on side one of first cassette, remainder on side two)
  7. "I'll Be Your Mirror" – 3:06
  8. "Beginning to See the Light" – 4:59
  9. "The Gift" (Reed, Cale, Morrison, Tucker) – 10:33
  10. "I Heard Her Call My Name" – 4:37
  11. "Femme Fatale" – 3:23
Disc two
  1. "Hey Mr. Rain" (Reed, Cale, Morrison, Tucker) – 15:42
  2. "Sweet Jane" – 5:21
  3. "Velvet Nursery Rhyme" (Reed, Cale, Morrison, Tucker) – 1:31
  4. "White Light/White Heat" – 4:21
  5. "I'm Sticking with You" – 3:23
  6. "The Black Angel's Death Song" (Reed, Cale) – 4:12
  7. "Rock and Roll" – 6:13 (final track on side one of second cassette, remainder on side two)
  8. "I Can't Stand It" – 4:21
  9. "I'm Waiting for the Man" – 5:15
  10. "Heroin" – 9:59
  11. "Pale Blue Eyes" – 6:14
  12. "Coyote" (Reed, Cale) – 5:25

Single CD edition[edit]

  1. "Venus in Furs" – 5:30
  2. "Sweet Jane" – 5:23
  3. "After Hours" – 2:44
  4. "All Tomorrow's Parties" – 6:36
  5. "Some Kinda Love" – 9:07
  6. "The Gift" (Reed, Cale, Morrison, Tucker) – 10:33
  7. "Rock and Roll" – 6:11
  8. "I'm Waiting for the Man" – 5:16
  9. "Heroin" – 9:49
  10. "Pale Blue Eyes" – 6:17

Personnel[edit]

The Velvet Underground
Technical staff

References[edit]

  1. ^ Deming, Mark. Live MCMXCIII at AllMusic

External links[edit]