Monday, 8 June 2009

Without Whom



Here are a couple of tunes from the band without whom, my record collection would be a rather sorry state of affairs. As if they had not existed then at least 80% of my favorite bands would never have been formed either.

I have often wondered how my music tastes would have evolved if I hadn't sought out the Velvet Underground. Would I now be listening to a lot more chart friendly music or god forbid ended up not that interested at all?

As I've mentioned before, when I first heard The Jesus and Mary Chain I was hooked, so much so that I eagerly sought every article I could find on the band. The group that seemed to be referenced in every piece of writing about JAMC was The Velvet Underground whether it was in relation to the music or the look, the black clothing and Ray-Bans. At this point I didn't know much about the Velvet Underground apart from Lou Reed had been in the band and also vaguely, the Andy Warhol connection.

In those pre-internet days and also before everybody's back catalogue was available on cd it was quite difficult and costly to get your hands on records by "cult" bands. I was lucky enough to have a mate who had an older brother who was into The Velvets due to being a huge Orange Juice /Postcard fan. He taped The Velvet Underground And Nico and White Light White Heat for me. I was instantly won over from the opening music box like notes of Sunday Morning to the final thrashes of Sister Ray. From then it was my mission to get all 4 studio albums on vinyl. Since then I have bought all the Velvets stuff I've come across from the necessary Live 1969 double album to the purely exploitative Live at Max's Kansas City.

Screeds have been written about the Velvet Underground over the years and I don't have anything insightful to contribute to what has already been said. The only thing that I can say is that a lot of the music that I have grown to love over the years wouldn't exist if it hadn't been for the influence of Cale, Reed, Morrison and Tucker.

Both of the tunes posted here are from the 1985 released VU album which was a collection of tracks recorded between Feb 1968 and September 1969 which had apparently been lost and the tapes of which were discovered when the record label were preparing to re-release the first 3 albums.

The Velvet Underground - I Can't Stand It

The Velvet Underground - Foggy Notion

4 comments:

Davy H said...

I like that famous Eno quote - not many people bought that first LP (in 1967) but everybody who did went on to form a band...

Planet Mondo said...

Fave track of theirs (apart from 'What Goes On') is an instrumental and the sound of proto-punk - 'Guess I'm Falling In Love', which came with an album of unreleased bits in the '86 box set..

And watch out for The Wolfmen , they're covering an unreleased Velvets number 'Not A Young Man Anymore' on their upcoming album

Simon said...

They just sound so powerful and quite...weird, despite the fact that they also sound quite poppy most of the time.

Really bloody good stuff.

a Tart said...

Can't say that I ever liked their music (I know, just kill me now, or in my sleep, preferably) but I have to agree with your assessment. Every band I love started from that point and moved onward. So yes, begrudgingly I give them credit :-p