The Velvet Underground came hustling out of Midtown Manhattan’s brownstone gulches high on a cocktail of beat lit, R & B and La Monte Young’s minimalist drones; a miasma of unapproachable menace seeping from every pore.
Before joining, John Cale (voted “the most hateful student” at college) had devised a performance piece that consisted of screaming at a plant until it died (the plucky hollyhock survived). The Velvets extended that premise to their audiences (ditto).
Brian Eno would later point out that although their first album sold hardly any copies, everyone that did buy it, immediately went out and formed a band in the Velvets image; and almost 60 years on, they remain one of the most influential acts ever.
Here’s a another view of the VU. A mix(ture) of Pre-Velvets, Post-Velvets, influences, tributes, parodies and soundalikes.
Expect a follow up volume any time soon!
1 At A Solemn Musick (introduction)-Delmore Schwartz
2 We’re Gonna Have A Real Good Time Together-Patti Smith
3 The Ostrich-The Primitives
4 Hitch Hike-Marvin Gaye
5 There She Goes Again-The Velvet Underground
6 All Tomorrow’s Parties-Alan Jenkins & The Kettering Vampires
7 Waiting for the Man-Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
8 I’ll Keep It With Mine-Nico
9 White Light White Heat-David Bowie
10 Mr. A-The Emperors Of Ice Cream
11 What Goes On-Bryan Ferry
12 Pale Blue Eyes-Paul Quinn & Edwin Collins
13 Crimson & Clover-Tommy James & The Shondells
14 Sweet Jane-Mott The Hoople
15 Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes : Early Mix-Kevin Ayers
16 Anadin-Alberto Y Los Trios Paranoias
17 Little Jack-The Velvet Underground
18 Heartbreak Hotel-John Cale
19 Do It Right-Moe Tucker feat. Daniel Johnston
20 Sally Can’t Dance-Andrea True Connection
21 Metal Machine Music Part One (escerpt)-Lou Reed
22 Sweet Jane (Live)-The Velvet Underground