The Velvet Underground (album)
|The Velvet Underground|
|Studio album by The Velvet Underground|
|Recorded||November–December 1968, TTG Studios in Hollywood, California, United States|
|Genre||Rock, art rock, experimental rock, protopunk|
|Producer||The Velvet Underground|
|The Velvet Underground chronology|
|Singles from The Velvet Underground|
The Velvet Underground is the third album by American rock group The Velvet Underground. It was their first record to feature Doug Yule, John Cale's replacement. It was recorded in 1968 at TTG Studios in Hollywood, California. The album's sound - consisting largely of ballads and straightforward rock songs - marked a notable shift in style from the group's previous recordings. In 2003, the album was ranked number 314 on Rolling Stone's "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list.
Lou Reed, the group's main songwriter, said of the album: "I really didn’t think we should make another White Light/White Heat. I thought it would be a terrible mistake, and I really believed that. I thought we had to demonstrate the other side of us. Otherwise, we would become this one-dimensional thing, and that had to be avoided at all costs." Maureen Tucker said, "I was pleased with the direction we were going and with the new calmness in the group, and thinking about a good future, hoping people would smarten up and some record company would take us on and do us justice." Doug Yule said the album "was a lot of fun. The sessions were constructive and happy and creative, everybody was working together."
The Velvet Underground was the band's first album for MGM Records, the band's first two albums having been issued by MGM subsidiary and legendary jazz label, Verve Records. The previously strong Andy Warhol influence is diminished, with the most notable ties to The Factory being the cover and back photographs taken by Warholite Billy Name, and opening track "Candy Says," written about transsexual Candy Darling (who would later be referenced in Reed's 1972 song, "Walk On The Wild Side") The song was sung by Yule at Reed's insistence.
"The Murder Mystery" featured all four band members' voices. During the verses, Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison each recited different verses of poetry simultaneously, with each track panned strictly to the left and right. For the choruses, Maureen Tucker and Doug Yule sang different lyrics and melodies at the same time, also separated left and right.
The record was produced by the band themselves, and issued in two different stereo mixes. The more widely distributed mix is the one done by MGM/Verve staff recording engineer Val Valentin. The other mix was done by Lou Reed, and was dubbed the "Closet Mix" by guitarist Sterling Morrison. There are many significant sonic differences in the versions. The most dramatic is that "Some Kinda Love" is an entirely different performance from the same recording sessions.
The LP sleeve was designed by Dick Smith, then a staff artist at MGM/Verve.
Release history 
Early copies of the album were released on MGM, but re-issue versions are on Verve.
The first U.S. version contained the Lou Reed "Closet Mix," although the track times listed on the first U.S. issue more closely match the Valentin mix. This may indicate that the Reed mix was issued by mistake or that it was substituted after the covers were printed. The original U.K. release used the Valentin mix.
All CD versions, as well as the 1985 vinyl re-issue, are copies of the Valentin mix. Other LP re-issues vary but most also use the Valentin Mix. The "Closet Mix" is available on disc four of the 1995 CD box set Peel Slowly and See.
|Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Track listing 
All tracks written by Lou Reed. Running times listed are for the Valentin Mix.
|2.||"What Goes On"||4:55|
|3.||"Some Kinda Love"||4:03|
|4.||"Pale Blue Eyes"||5:41|
|6.||"Beginning to See the Light"||4:41|
|7.||"I'm Set Free"||4:08|
|8.||"That's the Story of My Life"||1:59|
|9.||"The Murder Mystery"||8:55|
- Lou Reed – lead and rhythm guitar, piano, lead vocals except as noted, verse co-vocals on "The Murder Mystery"
- Sterling Morrison – rhythm and lead guitar, verse co-vocals on "The Murder Mystery", backing vocals
- Maureen Tucker – percussion, lead vocals on "After Hours", chorus co-vocals on "The Murder Mystery", backing vocals
- Doug Yule – bass guitar, organ, lead vocals on "Candy Says", chorus co-vocals on "The Murder Mystery", backing vocals
- Hogan, Peter (1997), The Complete Guide to the Music of the Velvet Underground, p.28
- Deming, Mark. The Velvet Underground (album) at Allmusic. Retrieved 15 June 2005.
- http://www.blender.com/guide/reviews.aspx?id=4281[dead link]
- Christgau, Robert (July 10, 1969). "Consumer Guide: The Velvet Underground". The Village Voice. Retrieved 28 November 2011. Also posted at "The Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground > Consumer Guide Album". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 26 February 2006.
- Bangs, Lester (May 17, 1969). "The Velvet Underground > Album Review". Rolling Stone (33). Retrieved 28 November 2011.
- Fricke, David (March 14, 1985). "The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground and Nico / White Light/White Heat / The Velvet Underground / V.U. > Album Reviews". Rolling Stone (443). Archived from the original on 1 October 2006. Retrieved 4 January 2007.
- Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). "The Velvet Underground". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. London: Fireside. pp. 847–848. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. Retrieved 22 November 2011. Portions posted at "The Velvet Underground > Album Guide". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 28 November 2011.