4.0 out of 5 stars Much Like Reed's Early Solo Work
With the loss of John Cale, Lou Reed became the major voice in the band. It is audible, the album sounding much like Reed's early solo work. Although it boasts some great tracks, in particular, What Goes On, which Bryan Ferry covered on Bride Stripped Bare, Some Kinda Love, Pale Blue Eyes and Beginning to See the Light, it is not as strong as the succeeding albums...
Published 14 months ago by Peter Gueckel
3.0 out of 5 stars John Cale IS the Velvet Underground
This is the Velvets weakest album, IMHO. The driving rhythms, catchy hooks, killer guitar solos and feedback noises have all disappeared with John Cale. OK, OK, Pale Blue Eyes is good, and Murder Mystery is an interesting concept, but most of the songs are just boring, slow, and sappy. Not that all slow sappy songs are bad, Stephanie Says is wonderful and should have been...
Published on Dec 7 2001 by Logan Albright
Most Helpful First | Newest First
4.0 out of 5 stars Much Like Reed's Early Solo Work,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Velvet Underground (Audio CD)With the loss of John Cale, Lou Reed became the major voice in the band. It is audible, the album sounding much like Reed's early solo work. Although it boasts some great tracks, in particular, What Goes On, which Bryan Ferry covered on Bride Stripped Bare, Some Kinda Love, Pale Blue Eyes and Beginning to See the Light, it is not as strong as the succeeding albums. Worthwhile.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another side of the Velvet Underground,
This review is from: Velvet Underground (Audio CD)That could've been the title of their third album. With John Cale and his viola gone, the Velvets trade their electric guitars for acoustic and commit a beautiful suite of songs to record.
It's too easy to say this is Lou Reed & his backing band. The duelling guitars on the majestic What Goes On and Moe Tucker's spooky drumming on The Murder Mystery shatter that myth. Also credit newcomer Doug Yule for his delicate reading of the opener, Candy Says, about one of Andy Warhol's tranvestites.
Simply put, these are beautifully written songs and their understated production only enhances each melody and lyric. Even "rockers" like I'm Beginning To See the Light are simple and restrained. The finger-picking of Jesus elevates the song to a hymn. I'm Set Free features the most gorgeous guitar solo I've ever heard. Moe Tucker's sweet vocal on the closer, After Hours, recalls Ringo's Good Night on The White Album (released just weeks before this record).
All in all, this is a hopeful record, never saccharine, but affirming and sincere. It's like the Velvets woke up after the speed-induced frenzy of their previous record, WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT and, with clear heads, picked up acoustic guitars.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Velvety,
This review is from: Velvet Underground (Audio CD)After the unfortunate departure of John Cale, the Velvet Underground had a musical revamp -- their third album, "The Velvet Underground" is smoother and less gritty. Stripped of the shock value, the best of the Velvet Underground shines through -- great musical skills and beautiful songwriting.
That change is evident from the very start, "Candy Says," which is sort of the musical musings of transsexual Candy Darling. Rather than playing this for shock value, the way the Velvets did earlier -- see songs like "Heroin" and "Venus in Furs" -- it's soft, sweet and a bit poignant, ending with "Maybe when I'm older/What do you think I'd see/If I could walk away from me."
That mellower tone sets the stage for the rest of the album, which relies on poetic lyrics and strong music -- they no longer sing about S&M and drugs, but about self-examination and redemtpion. The Velvets' rock sound is less jagged and more laid-back, and they even take a foray into twangy country music in "Some Kinda Love."
A few songs hint at the earlier work that the Velvets did, with tambourines and blurred, high vocals from Lou Reed. But can you imagine the Velvet Underground, in their first album, ever singing a non-satirical song about Jesus Christ, as they do in one haunting ballad on here? I certainly can't, and it seems to be a part of the pensive, self-examining mood that permeates this album.
The one exception is "The Murder Mystery." It's literally impossible to understand the "right voice" and "left voice" speaking in this song. It's interesting, but completely unintelligible. However, this is amply made up for in the mature instrumentation and lyrics; while Doug Yule was not as great as John Cale, he does a good job with the organ. The fuzzy edge of Velvet Underground rock is retained, while they branched out into ethereal ballads and pretty acoustic songs.
Reed's lyrics betray a greater maturity, and maybe greater poignancy. "One minute born, one minute doomed,/One minute up, one minute down/What goes on in your mind?" he ponders at the start of the album. He sings some of the songs, sounding surprisingly melodic, since his voice was kind of creaky; on the other hand, Moe Tucker provides some fair vocals for songs like "After Hours."
The Velvet Underground hit another peak in their self-titled album. Softer, more thoughtful, this shows them off at their best.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars - severely underrated gem,
This review is from: Velvet Underground (Audio CD)Velvet Underground (1969.) Velvet Underground's third album.
The Velvet Underground released their first album in the mid-late sixties, and disbanded in the early seventies. Their days as a band were extremely short, but in that limited time that they were together, they managed to be extremely influential and diverse. The band only released four original studio albums, but NO TWO OF THEM SOUND ALIKE. They went through more transitions in their short career than most artists do in long careers! Their second album, White Light/White Heat, was a complete hundred and eighty degree turn from what they did on their debut, Velvet Underground And Nico, and with the third release the band does another complete turn with their sound. Also, for this album, John Cale was replaced with Doug Yule. Read on for my review of the Velvet Underground's self-titled third album.
When I heard that the Velvets had decided to go on without John Cale, I was a bit shocked. He had been such an important part of the band. But, the band's chosen replacement for Cale, Doug Yule, was a worthy individual nonetheless. Sure, Cale's viola would be missed, but this was a new beginning for the band (actually, all of their albums were like new beginnings!) Because of Cale's absence from the band, Lou Reed became more involved in the songwriting process, and this ended up paying off. The songwriting is much more mature than on earlier albums. This album was released to a fairly large lack of interest, which is a real shame, because it's one of their finest efforts. From the beautiful ballad Candy Says, right up to the closer After Hours (sang by female drummer Mo Tucker), this album serves up some damn fine music. It's not quite as good as their debut (in my eyes), but it's definitely close to being the VU's finest recording.
Like with the previous album, White Light/White Heat, the only version of this album readily available in America is the remastered standard version. I was hoping these remasters would contain some bonus tracks, but oh well. We can't have it all, I guess. There IS a version of the album that contains bonus tracks, but it's only available in the band's box set. So, if you're just a casual or mid-level fan of the band, the standard version will do just fine.
The Velvet Underground is a damn fine classic pop-rock act, and they demonstrate it beautifully on their self-titled third album. If you're a fan of the band, I strongly recommend adding it to your collection. If you're new to the band, though, start with their debut, 1967's Velvet Underground And Nico. Lou Reed and his VU cohorts were all musical geniuses, and you can see why on these recordings.
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Album of the 60's,
This review is from: Velvet Underground (Audio CD)Seroiously. Sit down in your room and listen. The Rolling Stones and the Beatles got NOTHING after the Velvets made this masterpiece of pop & rock & roll. It's lucky that the Velvets got to release this one album in the final year of the 1960's (it happened to be the greatest period in music history). An easy runner up is the first Stooges record. It's a surprise that the Velvets made their best music surprisingly soon after losing their core member John Cale (of course he was busy producing a record I just mentioned earlier). The first two Velvet albums are essentials as well, but this album just has so much powerful song writing and the very rare moment in music history can you hear pain and pleasure draped in black & white. Can anyone not tear up upon hearing Moe Tucker sing "Afterhours?".
5.0 out of 5 stars Another classic.,
This review is from: Velvet Underground (Audio CD)This is a must own for classic rock fans. It is, in my opinion, one of the five greatest albums from the sixties. This is in no particular order, they are all five equally essential 1) Let It Bleed---The Rolling Stones 2) Bringing It All Back Home---Bob Dylan 3) Revolver---The Beatles 4) Highway 61 Revisited---Bob Dylan 5) The Velvet Underground---The Velvet Underground
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm not one to bad mouth the Velvets,
This review is from: Velvet Underground (Audio CD)This is album is stunning from top to bottom. They only had four official releases, so you might as well have all of them. It may be the best, it may be the fourth best, it doesn't matter. What makes them such an incredible force is that they have the capabilities to make a screeching noise album and follow it up with a lullaby album, and they both are better than anything you will find today. The control over the instruments should not be doubted, they are aware of their limits more than you are. Lyrically you couldn't wish for greater. Not Dylan or Young or Waits or Davies or Lennon or Springsteen or Billy Joel ever came up with a line better than, "Between thought and expression lies a lifetime" And for that reviewer who said "Murder Mystery" is the only flaw on the album, listen to it closer, it is a mystery and all of the elements are there, I've listened to that song hundreds of times and I still haven't heard half of it or figured it out. I'm not one for knocking a band as good as Velvet Underground, if you don't like music too noisy, this is the best one to get, if you do like noise, still get it, get this album, get this album, get it and listen to it and your world will be better for it
4.0 out of 5 stars The unofficial beginning of Lou Reed's solo career,
This review is from: Velvet Underground (Audio CD)The Velvet Underground was the followup to their second album, the excellent White Light/White Heat. While that album was almost completely dominated by loud and noisy tracks, with many played with reckless abandon, this album is almost the complete opposite. This is also the first album the band recorded without John Cale and his vocals and musicianship, particularly his viola playing, are certainly missed here. With Cale's departure, Lou Reed claimed nearly total control of the band and many of the tracks here point to much of the introspective work he'd perform in his solo career.
Having said that, this is still a very strong album. Many of the tracks here are calm and soothing and the harder rocking songs have much more restraint than on their previous releases. The opening track "Candy Says" is the band at their most mellow and Doug Yule's soft vocals add to the mood. Other softer tracks such as "Jesus", "I'm Set Free", and "That's The Story Of My Life" are also very strong. "Pale Blue Eyes" is probably the best track here and one of the best ballads that Reed has ever recorded. Listening to these tracks, particularly the excellent harmonizing on "Jesus" and Reed's emotional vocals on "I'm Set Free", it's hard to believe this is the same band that recorded "Heroin" and "White Light/White Heat." The tracks "What Goes On" and "Beginning To See The Light" are both strong rockers and the guitar sound here points to much of the music that dominated college radio in the 1980's. The only track which hints at the chaos of their previous releases is "The Murder Mystery" which combines Reed and Sterling Morrison's spoken vocals on the verse with Yule and Maureen Tucker's softer vocals handling the chorus. Other tracks here include the folky "After Hours" sung by Tucker and "Some Kinda Love" which sounds very much like Reed's solo stuff from the early-80's. Although this isn't top notch like their first two albums, this is still worth checking out. Definitely a great album to chill out to.
5.0 out of 5 stars A true masterpiece,
This review is from: Velvet Underground (Audio CD)This is a really beautiful collection of songs. Most are slow and meloncholy which is why I really like this album. "Candy says" is maybe the most emotional and thouhgt-provoking song I've ever heard. The album falls apart a little with the last two songs. The murder mystery is an interesting experimental piece but it's just not this album. It would have fit better with white/light white heat. After hours is just horrible. It sounds like it was written and sung by a tone-deaf five year old. Luckily its the only crappy song on the album and its really short. Each of the VU albums is different so instead of liking them right away they kind of grow on you.
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely,
This review is from: Velvet Underground (Audio CD)If you aren't moved when you listen to songs like "Candy Says" and "Pale Blue Eyes", you have a heart made out of stone. Some of Lou Reed's best songwriting. I would give this album 5 stars if not for the pointless, overly long "The Murder Mystery". I always skip that one. Otherwise a flawless effort from The Velvets.
Most Helpful First | Newest First