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What's your favourite Velvet Underground album?

Started by kalowski, July 16, 2021, 06:50:45 PM

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kalowski

Let's put Squeeze to one side.

It's a remarkable body of work isn't it. Much more melodic and poppy than is assumed by focusing in Sister Ray of Black Angel's Death Song.

For me, I'd have to say The Best of the Velvet Underground whatever album I'm listening to. Currently it's the self titled third album, but last week it was White Light/White Heat. Cale offered something magical, but I love the two after him as much as the early stuff. I'll even praise I Found a Reason. I could listen to Loaded all day long.

Dr Rock


Egyptian Feast

I find it hard to pick a favourite, each has something distinct it does better than the other albums (if that makes sense) but if I was judging them by how much I've actually listened to them, it'd be the third album by a long way. It's one of the perfect late night albums. If the outro to 'What Goes On' went on for at least another couple of minutes, it'd be even greater.

VU, can't put into words how much I love Foggy Notion and I Can't Stand It. And its hard to name a set of set of songs more influential on music I like.

I like the first three about equal after than then Loaded. What Goes On is the tits.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

Loaded for me too, Clive. Lou Reed was a commercial pop songwriter at heart, and Loaded is the ultimate manifestion of that. Hooks galore! You can easily imagine The Monkees, for instance, doing Who Loves the Sun. Reed was no snob when it came to music, the man was a poptimist through and through.

His ability to combine that sincere love of melody with thrilling dissonance and deadpan irony is what made the VU so special. I sometimes think they might be the most perfect band who ever plugged in.


Ballad of Ballard Berkley

Quote from: Egyptian Feast on July 16, 2021, 06:59:30 PMIf the outro to 'What Goes On' went on for at least another couple of minutes, it'd be even greater.

Oh yes. What a groove. It's joyous.

kalowski

Quote from: Ballad of Ballard Berkley on July 16, 2021, 07:29:51 PM
I sometimes think they might be the most perfect band who ever plugged in.
When I'm listening to them this is the thought that goes through my mind too.


McChesney Duntz

They all rule, more or less equally, all more or less distinctly. Third album if I really, really have to choose - modern pop songwriting doesn't get much better than "What Goes On," "Some Kinda Love," "Beginning to See the Light" - hell, all of them.

While we're here, allow me to hit you with my wild, unsubstantiated theories - White Light/White Heat is the Velvets' comedy album (one with an unusual number of punchlines involving sharp objects being thrust into people's brains, but still), and the unfinished '69 album would have been their children's record (read the lyrics to "I Can't Stand It," "She's My Best Friend," "Andy's Chest," "I'm Sticking With You," "Coney Island Steeplechase" and "Ferryboat Bill" and tell me otherwise). And speaking of the Monkees, "Temptation Inside Your Heart" is the VU's "Gonna Buy Me A Dog." Discuss.

Johnboy

I'm not sure what my one is but Brian Eno's is the third.

chveik


Greg Torso

White Light, then Nico, then Loaded. I know Loaded probably isn't one the purists go for but I've got great memories listening to it in front of a broken gas fire that was pouring out fumes while me and my housemate hot-knifed pucks of tarmac through a four pint plastic milk bottle.
Sweet Jane has such a lovely intro and then it just goes until last orders.

NattyDread 2

Third for me, ever since first hearing it. Wouldn't be without any of them though.

buttgammon

I like all of the four 'proper' albums in their own way, but would have to pick White Light/White Heat, because it's the one that has consistently given me the most pleasure over the years.

My favourite is & Nico since it was a £5 Fopp famous banana purchase that I converted to cassette and listened to when going for walks.

I found this interview with Jonathan Richman interesting. He talks about how they changed his life and how quiet their amplification was:

Jonathan Richman discusses The Velvet Underground (2014)

sardines

Quote from: chveik on July 16, 2021, 09:28:14 PM
The Complete Matrix Tapes

Was going to mention this. Incredible collection.
The 1969 live album is very different but also great.

jobotic

Quote from: buttgammon on July 16, 2021, 11:05:42 PM
I like all of the four 'proper' albums in their own way, but would have to pick White Light/White Heat, because it's the one that has consistently given me the most pleasure over the years.

I share this view

shagatha crustie


Head Gardener


Pranet

Quote from: Egyptian Feast on July 16, 2021, 06:59:30 PM
  If the outro to 'What Goes On' went on for at least another couple of minutes, it'd be even greater.

The Wedding Present thought the same thing, recorded it and called it "Take Me".

peanutbutter

It's the third one, debut maybe has the best songs  (less convinced about this as I get older) and the second strikes the best balance of them at their most interesting and working as an album right though (I think the opening track is a massive stinker that actively annoys me) but the self titled album is just a breeze to  listen  to right through with some really good highs.

Loaded has similar highs but I dunno if I've ever managed to listen to it right through.



Between trying to type this reply and hitting post I managed to listen through the Velvet Underground without it testing my patience at all (quite an achievement for me with an album these days...)

Garam

Nico > White Light > Third > Loaded but they're all great albums.

SpiderChrist

I find that they are a multi-purpose band, impossible to pick a favourite but it's probably

Third
VU & Nico
Loaded
White Light

Love VU and Another View a great deal, too. What a band.

SteveDave

If we're not allowed Squeeze, it'll go

Loaded
Third Album
VU & Nico
WL/WH

kalowski

Quote from: SteveDave on July 19, 2021, 09:53:36 AM
If we're not allowed Squeeze, it'll go

Loaded
Third Album
VU & Nico
WL/WH
We are not allowed Squeeze.

buttgammon

I had a drunken conversation with my PhD supervisor in which I asked him what his favourite VU album was and he said he liked them all. "Including Squeeze?" "Yeah." "Really?" "Yeah." Almost had to consider changing supervisors after that.

Key

Nico
Third
Loaded
White Light

Not much consensus so far.

SpiderChrist


sutin

Quote from: SpiderChrist on July 19, 2021, 12:19:56 PM
I've never listened to Squeeze - should I?

If you like Loaded and Doug Yule's stuff on there, absolutely. It's more of the same really.

sutin

Quote from: buttgammon on July 19, 2021, 11:58:54 AM
I had a drunken conversation with my PhD supervisor in which I asked him what his favourite VU album was and he said he liked them all. "Including Squeeze?" "Yeah." "Really?" "Yeah." Almost had to consider changing supervisors after that.

Squeeze is good.