Monday, February 23, 2004

#64) The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground (released in 1969, I bought this on cassette back in 8th grade. It was my first VU full-length - I already had the best-of and my friend Patrick had the 1993 live album.)

I used to say I wanted to live inside of the guitar solo on "What Goes On," and anybody (un)fortunate enough to hear my four-track recordings should be able to attest to the influence of that multi-tracked wonder. Stunning and atypical in its calm beauty, this album would probably place a lot higher here if not for "The Murder Mystery," which I will always, always hate. The music always resonated with me, but time has only made songs like "Beginning To See The Light" (which my sister used to think was "I'm a guinea to see the light"), "Pale Blue Eyes" and "I'm Set Free" (possibly the most unsung classic to be found on their four albums) more affecting and impressive. Doug Yule and Maureen Tucker supply gentle innocence on the opening and closing numbers, and Reed himself sounds unusually guile-free, if weathered by heartbreak and loss. The Velvet Underground is the most rewarding of the sunglasses-free Reedworks (which usually come about once a decade).

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