|1. I Can't Stand It|
|2. Stephanie Says|
|3. She's My Best Friend|
|4. Lisa Says|
|6. Foggy Notion|
|7. Temptation Inside Your Heart|
|8. One Of These Days|
|9. Andy's Chest|
|10. I'm Sticking With You|
"I Can't Stand It" - a driving, slightly off-kilter rocker. (...) *****
"Stephanie Says" - a delicate little beauty, truly one of their best. Features exquisite viola from John Cale, pristine vibes and a sweetly plaintive guitar. *****
"She's My Best Friend" - highly agreeable rocker with several chord changes. Contains some pretty raunchy lyrics in the middle if you're paying attention. ****1/2
"Lisa Says" - Pure Velvet genius - heartbreaking, devestatingly fragile and so incredibly good. Some great, moving piano lines *****
"Ocean" - one of their most sophisticated songs and a testament to their majestic powers. They would go on to record the definitive master that ended up on PEEL SLOWLY AND SEE, but this is a pretty good version. Mo Tucker's straight-up drumming style, normally a powerful asset, becomes as detriment at the climax of this song, but this version is probably just a demo and in all likelihood she hadn't had time to work out the part properly. ****
"Foggy Notion" - an all-time favorite that really JAMS. This is the band at their peak. *****
"Temptation Inside YOur Heart" - an unremarkable, repetitive song with bongos and goofy voice-overs from the band that supposedly ended up on the master inadvertently when they were recording background vocals. Upon careful inspection, I'm convinced that they intentionally messed with the track in the same spirit of the experimental WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT sessions to compensate for a genuinely weak song.Read more ›
VU offers great listening but it's not up there with the Warhol album or White Light/White Heat. It sees the band in a more melodic phase, somewhat like the 3rd album and demonstrates Reed's evolving lyrical genius.
John Cale features on only two tracks, Stephanie Says and Temptation Inside Your Heart. For the rest, it's Lou, Maureen, Sterling and Doug. My favorites include the wistful Stephanie Says with its elegiac feel and lilting melody, the hypnotic Temptation Inside Your Heart, Andy's Chest and One Of These Days with its guitar cascades.
I'm Sticking With You has a certain poppy charm, whilst the bass-driven I Can't Stand It does capture some of the early raw energy and Ocean is a wonderful atmospheric ballad with beautiful vocals.
VU is an album for the fans. Those who wish to investigate this great band for the first time ought to start with the first or third albums.