This is a Random Album Generator.
One album a day.
From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

The Velvet Underground & Nico

The Velvet Underground

Nico

1967

Buy At Rough Trade
The Velvet Underground & Nico
Album Summary

The Velvet Underground & Nico is the debut album by the American rock band the Velvet Underground and the German singer Nico, released in March 1967 through Verve Records. It was recorded in 1966 while the band were featured on Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable tour. The album features experimental performance sensibilities and controversial lyrical topics, including drug abuse, prostitution, sadomasochism and sexual deviancy. The Velvet Underground & Nico sold poorly and was mostly ignored by contemporary critics, but later became regarded as one of the most influential albums in rock and pop music. Described as "the original art-rock record", it was a major influence on many subgenres of rock music and alternative music, including punk, garage, krautrock, post-punk, shoegaze, goth, and indie. In 1982, the English musician Brian Eno said that while the album only sold approximately 30,000 copies in its first five years, "everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band". In 2003, it ranked 13th on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time", and in 2006, it was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.62

Votes

13506

Genres

  • Rock
  • Psychedelic Rock

Reviews

Like a review? Give it a thumb up to help us display relevant reviews!
Sort by: Top Date
View Author
Tue Feb 23 2021
5

Truth time. I’ve never given it a full listen before bc everyone tells me I’m supposed to like it and I resent that. That being said, I really did enjoy this haha.

👍
View Author
Thu Jun 17 2021
1

the crisp high notes pair well with mcdonalds sausage biscuit

👍
View Author
Sun Mar 28 2021
5

It’s honestly amazing how influential this album is when you look at it from the surface level. On the surface it’s just simple songs with lots of distortion over them, but when you cut into the nitty gritty of it, you find an amazing album consisting of some very risqué lyrics and themes. The songs themselves are a stunning example of how less is more in music. As demonstrated with the lack of any competently forged riffs on these albums, but more a collection of chords that form a melody and the lack of any form of cymbals in the drums.

👍
View Author
Wed Mar 22 2023
4

Any discourse about the Velvet Underground’s debut is likely to include hyperbole after hyperbole, all of which you’ll have heard before. Saviour of music in the 1960’s, progenitor of punk, progenitor of grunge, progenitor of indie, post-punk before there was punk, God’s favourite album. For as long as I’ve adored “Sgt Pepper” or “Pet Sounds”, I’ve had people try to tell me this is cooler, more daring, all round better. In fifty-six years since its release, it only seems to have grown in stature, never losing its allure as a gateway drug for hipsters and inspiring generations of sixteen year olds to get into music, drugs, art-school, or S&M. My instinct tells me it’s an overrated dud, with nothing here to match most of the other 60’s albums we put on a pedestal. Listening with fresh ears today, I’ve tried to reconcile my bias with “Velevet Underground and Nico”’s undeniable forward-thinking approach and revolutionary legacy. For what it’s worth, I much prefer Velvet Underground’s later work when they leaned further into lush melodies and conventional rock and roll, before Lou Reed peaked in his early solo career. It follows that “Sunday Morning” has always been the track that’s stood out to me most here. Absolutely gorgeous melody, lovely use of celesta, featherweight vocal, somehow weary with the weight of the world… it captures its title perfectly. “Waiting for the Man” is also a classic, somehow managing to draw a compelling song from two chords and insanely simple instrumentation. “Heroin” is a masterclass in well-paced intensity, from its blissed out intro, the funereal toms, through to the primal build up and ensuing chaos at the gates of hell. Nico’s vocals are a really welcome addition as well, giving “I’ll Be Your Mirror” and “Femme Fatale” a lovely elegance. The rest of the tracks tend to veer from vaguely interesting to forgettable or obnoxious. “The Black Angel’s Death Song” doesn’t do a lot for me. “Run Run Run” and “There She Goes Again” are gnawingly ordinary, only edgy on account of their poor recording quality, shaky performance and badly tuned instruments. Finally, “European Son” begins well but ends with a strung-out jam lacking any nuance or skill. “Velvet Underground and Nico” is frustrating, maddening, head-scratching, wilful, bold, out there… and I must admit, highly commendable. Ultimately, most of my instincts telling me not to like this album are an aversion to those snotty hipsters who proclaim this album as the second coming. Listening as freely and objectively as possible today, I must concede that it might not be a favourite, but it is darn good.

👍
View Author
Wed Aug 11 2021
1

oh my god. why why WHY how is this influential. this is the worst album ever. the voice- awful. and the background? i cant even call it music. why is there screeching. it hurt my ears. this is not good in ANY way. the first song was just boring but it got progressively terrible each song after I did not enjoy this album for even a second I don’t understand how this is influential in anyway. sorry 😞

👍
View Author
Tue Mar 30 2021
5

Nico <3 Lou Reed <3 John Cale <3 Moe Tucker <3 Sterling Morrison <3. Perfect in its naivete, purity, experimentalism, tonal painting. Just perfect. The world of sound would be a lesser place without the existence of this album.

👍
View Author
Wed Aug 11 2021
1

Who did I wrong in this or another life to deserve this week...Patti Smith and now this back to back. Uninspiring-at-best so-called songs about drugs and the streets, many of which were "sung" by Lou Reed. oooo edgy! Oh but at least it closes with *pure genius* [suffers through untold minutes of no-composition feedback-drenched dissonant sounds of a band openly mocking the idea of music and/or anyone in the future voluntarily listening to this] in "European Son" ..... what the absolute hell - was there nobody around to put the brakes on this?? -10/10 0 stars to everyone responsible in 1967 for foisting this mess upon the public.

👍
View Author
Mon Aug 02 2021
5

My first exposure was freshman year of college (2017). Before spotify, I would queue up songs on a Youtube playlist and play them in a random order. One day, probably listening to a Beatles or Doors song, Youtube recommended me Heroin on the right sidebar and it was one of the most astonishing things I've ever listened to. I never heard anything like it before. Initially I thought it was something modern until I discovered it was 1967 when rock was still only getting established. Now I want to remark again that this was my freshman year, so at the same time I was getting introduced to all the countercultures on campus. Due to the topics of drugs and LGBT, I would associate it with the Rocky Horror Show / steampunk culture that was so strong at my school. This atmosphere made me view music as more than just a melody to sing along to but like a gateway to an entirely different perspective on life. Through VU and Lou Reed, I saw the streets of forbidden society, the kind we turn a blind eye to thinking it's dangerous. It would take me another 3 years to finally listen to the whole album, but I'm glad I did not just go into the album blind. I knew how to go into the album. This is an avant garde album. But it is a successful avant garde album, which is very very rare. Whereas pop music was heading toward a direction of being more refined, complex, and crisp, this album went in the exact opposite direction. But I don't mean backwards to 1965 (which is what people thought when they heard this album in 1967). I mean forward by utilizing simple chords and lofi techniques in creative ways that would be picked up by garage bands and later punk. Except the Stooges, no one would was even doing anything like this for years to come. So besides the atmosphere and innovation, how does the album hold? I think almost all the songs are perfect. Sunday Morning is the best opener (holy shit I'm writing this on Sunday Morning). Love the celesta. Femme Fatale is the most classic song, almost like a Carpenters song sang through a tin can. Venus in Furs the most atmospheric song, giving me hard drug and BDSM imagery... Reminds me of A Clockwork Orange. Run Run Run is like rock n roll on speed. I love how simple it is, how it doesn't progress anywhere, but it just keeps going on with periodic distortions that give the audience anxiety. All Tomorrow Parties' sounds like a Jefferson Airplane outtake (which is a compliment I think). There is nothing in this world I love more than the intense drumming and drone in Heroin that creates the atmosphere of the craziness in taking smack. Black Angel's Death Song best shows Lou Reed's poetry and interesting production techniques. European Son is an amazing closing track, beginning with classic Chuck Berry and then diverging into an awesome display of conflicting instruments and feedback distortion.

👍
View Author
Wed Apr 07 2021
4

To my mind, Lou Reed's gift as a lyricist is for literalness and plainspeak poetry. So I was surprised when I listened to this for the millionth time and realised I'd always assumed this was the one where he's more gnomic. Probably because of the album's avant-garde edges. Not so. When he says, "And I feel like I just don't know" on Heroin, he means it. What he does know is what's down back alleys, under ground and after dark. The music is just as filthy. The inclusion of gentile European tradition signifying Nico by Warhol (more likely director than producer) is a masterstroke, both elevating all this American vulgarity with her presence but also upending and debasing what she signifies.

👍
View Author
Sat Jun 05 2021
1

Just don’t like it. Have never been able to “get” it

👍
View Author
Wed Jan 13 2021
5

1/1001. Got ‘Em: 1 Need ‘Em:0 Vinyl quality: fair— surface noise throughout. V5008 Canadian Mono.

👍
View Author
Wed Jun 23 2021
5

A thrilling and tremendously influential experimental rock album. It's blend of pysch, proto-pop, art-punk, dream pop and on and on is what makes it such a fascinating and still wholly original sounding work. It's a difficult work but one that rewards every minute you engage with it.

👍
View Author
Fri Oct 29 2021
5

It's scary how they were ahead of their time. They are immersed in the dark, oppressive atmosphere of German expressionism and French existentialism, but they also exhaled an epic libido: each song was a sexual fetish, and a cathartic sadomaso release. (9/10) FT: Heroin, Sunday Morning

👍
View Author
Thu Apr 14 2022
5

A true classic! For me, at least, it's the pinnacle for everyone involved. Yeah, Nico has that cool solo album, and Lou Reed made some cool songs elsewhere, but this one is just hard to beat. The four-track run that opens this album is amazing: a perfect intro, one of my favorite Lou Reed tracks, one of Nico's most memorable tracks, and then the super psychedelic "Venus in Furs." I feel like if I were alive back when this came out this album would've permanently changed me. And I haven't even gotten to my favorite track on here, "Heroin." Such a brilliant, building song. It was used very obviously in the movie Killing Them Softly for a scene where Ben Mendelson does, yep you guessed it, heroin. Leaving that aside, I just love the length and trajectory of this song. The rising and falling throughout is so satisfying. I'm struggling to come up with a good reason to give this less than five stars. There were some songs on the back end that didn't stand out to me, but with all that I love and the highs it has to offer, it's really one of the best of its era. Favorite tracks: Heroin, I'm Waiting for the Man, Femme Fatale, Venus in Furs, Sunday Morning, All Tomorrow's Parties. Album art: The unforgettable, iconic banana. Designed (and signed) by Andy Warhol, the early vinyl pressings of this had a peelable peel sticker and the flesh of the banana underneath is an unsettling pink. I do have this on vinyl, but it's a repressing without the peel sticker. Maybe that's for the best; that pink banana is creepy, and I'd hate to be the guy who lost the sticker. 5/5

👍
View Author
Tue May 03 2022
5

I've heard that in Waiting for my Man he described perfectly the attire of the late 60s heroin dealer '' ... he's all dressed in black; PR shoes and really big straw hat." (PR is short for PRFCs meaning Puerto Rican Fence Climbers - shoes with a narrow point that enable fence climbing if needed to make a quick exit.) The next lines in that song tell how dealers are always late (another very accurate comment - or so I've heard): "He's never early; he's always late. The first thing you learn is that you always gotta wait" My favourite song is Heroin. Both these addiction songs are anti-drug but even mentioning drugs was enough to get the stations to ban the songs. While my personal favourites are the addiction songs, the album also has songs with transgender and kink themes. More excellent topics to generate radio play lol. I like the Eno quote that the album sold hardly any copies but everyone who bought it started a band.

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 30 2023
5

Whenever a big album like that comes up, I'm thinking - it can't be that good, right? And then I play it and realize that it is even better than I remembered. It's one of those where you can't overstate their influence. I mean you can hear all types of indie rock tracing their roots back to this thing. And it was made almost 60 years ago? You'd expect it to lose at least some appeal due to age, right? But no, it's as enjoyable as ever. This is one of those albums that this list was created for.

👍
View Author
Mon Nov 06 2023
2

This album gets interesting when Nico isn’t bogging along in her god awful drone. By interesting I mean somewhat endurable.

👍
View Author
Tue May 11 2021
5

Lou Reed and Nico’s voices are a match made in heaven.

👍
View Author
Sat Mar 13 2021
5

Production: 13/20 Songwriting: 16/20 Innovation: 17/20 Bangers: 20/20 Emotional response: 18/20 =84 Class class class class class

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 18 2021
5

Absolute classic one of my favorites

👍
View Author
Mon Oct 11 2021
5

This is my 100th review. A special kind of symmetry in that my first album was Berlin by Lou Reed. In case you were wondering, I gave that one a 3. It’s hard to review an album that you love, an album that is one of your favorites. There’s a sense of obligation to say something meaningful, but the album is also wrapped up in all kinds of feelings and experiences that are hard to extricate from the music. I don’t have a single favorite album. I have a small number of albums that I consider foundational to my tastes in music, my attitudes about music and, to some extent, my world view. This is one of those albums for me. If you've never heard the Velvets before, that first song is deceptive. The twinkling celesta, the strings, "Sunday Morning" is a lure into a very dark, gritty space. Feedback, dissonance, dark lyrics that take you to dark places, oh yeah. This album is a scar across the lovely face of music. VU is one of those bands that cracks open the possibilities of what music is allowed to sound like and what we as listeners should expect from music. As I said, foundational. I’ve been listening to this album for about 30 years now and it still challenges me. I love that it still challenges me, that it’s never boring. There are still moments on this album that make me uncomfortable, a flash of distortion that will make me tense up momentarily, a turn of phrase that will make me stop cold for a second from whatever it is I’m doing. This is music that is designed to make you uncomfortable. But it’s also immersive and fascinating. I have never in my life met anyone like the people Lou Reed writes about. But he writes it so vividly that you feel like you can understand it. The world revealed in this album is terrifying, but somehow also alluring in a twisted way. The Velvets shine a light on that dark underbelly of what’s acceptable, revealing depravity, humanity, and a surprising beauty. The arrangements of these songs are deceptively simple for the most part, but every sound is precisely placed, every distortion intentional. Cale’s explorations of the viola paired with Reed’s own experimentation with guitar tuning creates a powerful sound that no one has ever been able to match. Add in the steady, minimalist backbone provided by Moe Tucker and Sterling Morrison and you have a sound for the ages, one that’s been copied incessantly but still never really captured. Also, for as much as this is an album is worthy of serious thought, it also is just excellent music. It can be sweet, it can be catchy, it can be provocative, it also at moments just simply rocks. You can’t ask for much more in an album. Fave Songs: (The whole album, favorite to least favorite): Heroin, I'm Waiting for the Man, Venus in Furs, Run Run Run, I'll Be Your Mirror, Sunday Morning, Femme Fatale, European Son, All Tomorrow's Parties, There She Goes Again, The Black Angel's Death Song

👍
View Author
Sat Oct 16 2021
5

I was all over this album when I was in my early 20s, as it should be. I like that this is one of those legendarily influential albums that still holds up. It doesn't quite feel like an artefact of its time, it's weird and edgy enough to still feel current-ish in an unusual way. The pop songwriting craft is there, along with songs about heroin addiction that aren't as boring as drug addiction is. The melancholic feeling is sublime and it is probably very apt for these troubled times. I am very happy that this album exists and I want to peel Andy's banana.

👍
View Author
Wed Oct 27 2021
5

Undisputed classic, both in influence and substance. The sound is raw and stripped-down and the lyrics are reflective of the emerging counterculture of the era. There is so much diversity in this album and it has such a distinctive sound. Favorite tracks: Sunday Morning, I'm Waiting for the Man, Femme Fatale, Venus in Furs, Heroin.

👍
View Author
Fri Oct 29 2021
5

One of those less deniable classics. Responsible for a lot of terrible bands, and a few good ones. Such a strong opening from the twee, gentle Sunday Morning, to the jangly driving (and only slightly overrated) I'm Waiting for The Man to the sad Femme Fatale to a droning, sinister Venus in Furs and on. Heroin is the only break this album takes for mediocrity - Lou Reed was always at his most dull when he was trying to be edgy.

👍
View Author
Fri Nov 05 2021
5

This album's especially great for giving Nico multiple opportunities to say "clown" (pronounced 'klauhn')

👍
View Author
Wed Jan 05 2022
5

A truly iconic album. It's just cool isn't it? Everything about it is cool, from the cover art to Nico's very good, not very good singing to Lou Reed's snide attitude to John Cale's experimental noise making. The grandaddy of trendies everywhere from art-rock to heroin chic to 21st-century hipsters.

👍
View Author
Sun Jan 30 2022
5

I used to be prejudiced against music outside the 80s. Everything seemed too psychedelic until I discovered that everything I listened to was influenced by this album. And how wonderful it is to listen to this album and rediscover it for life! From the cover and the lyrics, the whole album is a work of art.

👍
View Author
Fri Feb 04 2022
5

When you hear some of these songs, it's hard to believe this was released in 1967. Songs like 'Sunday Morning' or 'There She Goes Again' are just so far removed from the typical sound of music at the time. It's not surprising that this album is flagged as being as influential as it is - you can hear the influence this album had on the alternative/indie rock scenes of the late 70's and 80's. This album is absolutely bizarre at times, but in a brilliant, unforgettable sort of way. The album's centerpiece, 'Heroin', is an excellent example, beginning in a more mellow way before gradually building into an eruption of cacophonic screeching and twisted guitar sound effects. The Velvet Underground were clearly experimental pioneers in their day - to this day, I've never heard another song that reminds me even faintly of 'The Black Angel's Death Song'. And yet, amidst all that weirdness are just some of the most melodically pleasing songs I've ever heard. 'Sunday Morning' is an amazing start to the album and captures the often ethereal feel to many of these tracks. Nico's vocal contributions to the album pair perfectly with some of the album's more psychedelic tracks, including the stand-out 'All Tomorrow's Parties'. "I'll Be Your Mirror" is simply beautiful, and I'll always appreciate the pronunciation of 'Clown' as 'Clon' on the catchy 'Femme Fatale'.

👍
View Author
Tue Feb 15 2022
5

Have you ever been on a major wooden rollercoaster? Compared to steel rollercoasters which dominate the scene, wooden coasters don’t go as high, they don’t have loops, there are no barrel rolls, and they don’t go as fast. You know what wooden rollercoasters have that steel coasters never will? Grit! Wooden coasters have a distinct sound and feel as a rider. They rattle you around more. This album feels like a wooden rollercoaster to me. It feels raw, unpolished, ambitious…and gritty. Lou Reed’s voice fits this sound quite well. But I also contend that Nico’s voice elevates her songs to another plane. I’ve always been disappointed that Nico was only with The Velvet Underground for one album…really just four songs. This album is remarkably distinct. Against my better judgment, I’m going to give the 65 track super deluxe version a go because it has a bunch of Nico solo tracks and a disc full of live songs. Wish me well…

👍
View Author
Tue Feb 15 2022
5

Great album. Lou Reed / Velvets, classic. Basically every band worth mentioning has shamelessly ripped this style and sound since they were in high school diapers practicing in the garage. Nico is super-strange, but I dig her, there's some movie about her imploding after her time at the Factory. Love her pronunciation of 'clown' aka "KLON" in Femme Fatale. Sunday Morning is beautiful, Heroin brings back memories, Lou Reed, RIP.

👍
View Author
Mon Feb 21 2022
5

It's hard to believe this was released when it was considering you hear echos of noise rock, experimental, drone and a whole host of other genres that didn't properly form for another 2 decades. Of course experimentation and influence don't necessarily mean something is great, luckily however this has Steller songwriting throughout. the sweet poppy songs are as intoxicating as the drone songs or the gritty, dirty rockers. Nico and reed kill every performance.

👍
View Author
Fri Apr 22 2022
5

Funny to have another Velvet Underground album so soon on the list. This is their first album and musically, it’s a fascinating mix of psychedelic pop (“Sunday Morning,” "I'll Be Your Mirror") and more experimental avant-garde fare (like the gloomy BDSM jam “Venus in Furs” and "The Black Angel's Death Song"). There are also songs that exist somewhere between those poles (like “All Tomorrow’s Parties,” which has a simple enough structure but features druggy mood music in the background). The album has some great rock numbers too. I love how "I'm Waiting For My Man" keeps that steady rhythm throughout. The music only changes slightly between the verses and choruses. "Run Run Run" takes a relatively basic rock/blues sound and pushes it towards noise rock, and then "European Son" takes things even further into experimental territory. Somehow the sequencing of the album balances all these different styles. Having Nico sing lead vocals on a few songs helps break up the stranger, more challenging material. The album is a weird, wild ride but I really love it. P.S.: If you're not sure about this one, their sound definitely changes after the experimental first two albums. Their self-titled third album is mostly melodic acoustic songs and their fourth (and basically last) album "Loaded" is a big, beautifully produced pop album with some major hits. P.P.S.: Funny to hear the name Severin used in "Venus in Furs" - I never knew he was saying a name there until now!

👍
View Author
Sun May 22 2022
5

48 minutes that mysteriously feels like 48 hours. 48 intense, stimulating, unsettling, glorious hours. OK, getting the obvious out of the way, yes, the recording is primitive and the instruments are often out of tune. And Maureen Tucker’s drumming on ‘Heroin’ is unlistenable. Unless it was some kind of artistic choice to, every so often, allow the beat just to randomly wander from the rest of the band? If so, avant garde genius. Who knows? This ain’t King Crimson, that’s all I’m saying. But neither are Neil Young or Bob Dylan (both of whom have, at times, intentionally left mistakes on recordings) going for the sparkling perfection of, say, Rascal Flats. The Velvet Underground’s sound does not require Steely Dan proficiency. This is street stickball, not Major League baseball. And sometimes, that’s where you want to play. Then again, play might not be the best word to use for this particular LP. No one’s better than The Velvet Underground at offering a sweet, simple, almost lullaby type tune set to sour, complicated, dark lyrics: ‘Sunday Morning,’ ‘Femme Fatale,’ ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror,’ all three songs featuring Nico on lead vocals. Nico is like escargot, an acquired taste you either love or hate, no in between. But the entrée to these appetizers are really the Lou Reed led numbers, even darker lyrics and set to darker tunes: ‘I’m Waiting for the Man,’ ‘The Black Angel’s Death Song,’ and especially, ‘Venus in Furs,’ a most unsettling song set to a mostly drone tune (a musical genre the Velvet Underground mine well and often), sustained by the shamanistic beat of Tucker’s tom and accentuated by the haunting middle-eastern moan of John Cale’s electric viola (which is also featured in the terrific free association exercise of ‘The Black Angel’s Death Song.’) ‘Venus in Furs’ is a heady experience, where five minutes casts a spell that seems to last for fifty, concluding in the chilling lyric: ‘Strike, dear mistress, and cure his heart.’ Lou Reed and company are not all doom and gloom, though. They enjoy a perdcic kicking up of their heels, too, as on the very Highway 61 Revisited sounding, ‘Run Run Run,’ or the uptempo pop of ‘There She Goes Again.’ I love Reed’s spontaneous joy and laughter at the end of ‘I’m Waiting for the Man,’ not to mention Sterling Morrison’s adventurous walking bass lines. And, believe it or not, some genuine gentleness and caring is expressed on the lovely and comforting ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror.’ So there are some characters and situations in the Velvet Underground’s world that lean more towards the velvet than the underground. Just not many. The song to end the LP, ‘European Son,’ was dedicated to Reed’s literary mentor, poet Delmore Schwartz, who died alone three months after the recording. The lyrics are sparse and bleak, but the extended musical jam is extraordinary, a precursor to the noise rock of groups like Sonic Youth. Each player is allowed to run free, yet together, and somewhere in the cooperatively created cacophony glory blooms. I was a little winded at the end of the near eight minute track. All this, and an Andy Warhol original on the cover? 'The Velvet Underground & Noco' is embarking upon a journey down a red velvet carpet into a dark cavern. Be prepared for any eventuality.

👍
View Author
Tue May 24 2022
5

This album might as well be the epicentre of rock and roll. It's the peak, the high water mark that every other album preceding it built up to, and every album following it, tried to no avail, to best. This is not Lou Reed best, I leave that to his magnum opus that is 'Transformer', but this is the world of fashion, design, art, music, drugs, sleaze, psychedelia, literature and poetry - the meeting point of the minds in New York at it's most vibrant and decadent. The album sleeve alone is literally an art piece - its sign by Andy Warhol itself rather than having the band and album name. It's legendary its function too. And then, there's Nico, whose contribution elevates the album past the sum of it's parts, lifting it from the opium den fever dream to an angelic catwalk. It's not the Beatles, it's not the Stones, nor the Stooges that should be the snapshot of 7 decades of guitar music. It's this specific album.

👍
View Author
Wed Aug 24 2022
5

Starting off with an iconic tune heard in many films (Sunday Morning), then fading into I'm Waiting For My Man; this album early on set's the tone of the record - Classic 60's barbershop vocals with a Surf Rock Backing. Moving onto Track 3 (Femme Fatale), was an unexpected one for me. This is the original version of a cover I spent many of my teen years listening to when discovering my sexuality. A VERY moving song and will always be a staple to me. So far from listening to the first 5 tracks, I can already see how this band has had such an impact on rock, avant-garde and indie music throughout it's post years; from the distortion in the guitar and vocals, to the drumming patterns. This distortion in the guitar mixed with the drumming pattern used across the album has been used over and over again throughout 90s rock presented by bands and artists such as Pixies, Nirvana, David Bowie, Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Libertines. As well as 90's bands, this sound has transferred into more modern artists such as Razorlight, Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, The Neighbourhood, and Lana Del Reys earlier releases.

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 09 2023
5

It’s hard to fathom that this was released in ‘67. It’s even more unfathomable to what extent The Velvet Underground & Nico influenced not only future bands but future genres altogether. Lulling you into a state of false safety with “Sunday Morning” everything involves into a state of frenzy the further the album progresses. In the end you don’t even know what hits you as “The Black Angel’s Death Song” and “European Son” collapses into sonic dismay. I’m not always sure that this record wants for me to stay. But long ago I firmly decided against it’s possible wishes.

👍
View Author
Fri Mar 24 2023
5

How to listen again to an album I've probably listened to thousands of times before and where three of the tracks are on my heavy rotation Spotitfy playlists? It also feels like a record whose influence loomed over most of the music I've loved in my life. I actually remember the first time I heard it, when my brother played me the vinyl copy he had, and I remember when I bought my own copy, at a CD fair in Southampton. Trying to listen afresh now it's still an amazing record. I realise, however, that I'd got into the habit of stopping it at the start of the five minutes noise at the end of European Son :D

👍
View Author
Mon Mar 27 2023
5

Classic! The most celebrated album by my favorite band. 10/10. I love it. What a great way to start this :)

👍
View Author
Fri Mar 31 2023
5

I don't even need to hear it. But of course I'll take advantage of this moment. This is as good as it gets.

👍
View Author
Wed Apr 05 2023
5

Honestly I like this more and more with each listen

👍
View Author
Sun Apr 09 2023
5

Watch out! The world’s behind you.

👍
View Author
Mon Apr 17 2023
5

incredible album, especially good to hear those tracks sequenced again

👍
View Author
Mon Apr 17 2023
5

Admit mild weariness on seeing I was to listen to this again; how many times can I play and still enjoy it? But it sounds as live as it ever has. Still perfect, “European Son” included. Piano still hammers like a cheerful Tommy gun. Electric viola still simulates a jet engine. Guitars still aggressively exotic, Nico still atonally brilliant, Reed still a man knowing he’s singing something entirely new into being.

👍
View Author
Thu Nov 23 2023
5

It’s crazy to think this came out between Pet Sounds and Sgt. Peppers. To me this album operates on a completely different plane, like it was created in an alternate world. It still sounds so ahead of its time, and nothing has matched its level of attitude and cool.

👍
View Author
Wed Oct 11 2023
4

Overall, I liked listening through this album. I realized that I’ve actually never listened to this one top to bottom! The album starts off strong with recognizable classic tracks like, “Sunday Morning” and “I’m Waiting for the Man.” Something about “Venus In Furs” makes me think the song would be well suited for a historical fiction television show, like with vikings or the like. “All Tomorrow’s Parties” is a bit chant-like. The guitar part almost sounds like a sitar at times. Maybe my favorite track on the album. The guitar distortion / feedback is a bit like nails on a chalkboard at times, especially in “Heroin” and the very beginning of the guitar solo in “Run Run Run”, in a way that feels good but also feels awful at the same time. If that makes sense. Overall, this was an interesting listen. I can definitely hear how this is an influential album moving forward musically. While I enjoyed listening, the silence following the last track at the end of the album was welcome relief to my ears after the final track.

👍
View Author
Wed Nov 22 2023
4

It's wild to listen to this album and hear the 50+ years of alternative music it inspired.

👍
View Author
Mon Nov 06 2023
3

Very unique album! Can’t say I love it, but the moments I like are very good. Unfortunately there’s also some freak out moments where they totally lose me. 7 out of 10

👍
View Author
Fri Dec 22 2023
3

I like Sunday morning and many of the tracks have a cool sound, but I just can't bare listening to half of the lyrics.

👍
View Author
Wed Jan 10 2024
3

Thoughts before listening: This is definitely a classic album that continues to influence indie and punk artists. I owned this back in the day, and remember especially loving "Heroin", but I have not listened in a long time. This is one of those albums that you respect for its influence more than actually falling in love with, but maybe my perspective will be different 20 years after initially listening. Review: The VU certainly had a unique sound for their era. This is psychedelic rock thats totally different than anything the west coast bands like the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane or the British bands like the Beatles and Stones were doing. The VU utilized out of tune guitars that create a chugging drone instead of playing riffs and guitar solos. There is certainly a direct through line from the VU to Sonic Youth to a band like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. My favorites 20 years ago were the more upbeat songs and that remains the case today. The slower, often weirder songs (usually sung by Nico) like "All Tomorrow's Parties" just aren't as enjoyable to listen to. "I'm Waiting for the Man", "Run Run Run", and "Heroin" are my favorites on this album. I still feel that "Heroin" is the real gem here with its slow build in intensity to a final crescendo that is meant to replicate a drug high. Really good stuff. This is a 3-star album with the score being brought down by the inclusion of a handful of songs that are too abstract for their own good.

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 07 2024
3

Fine. Early Wes Anderson slow motion vibes.

👍
View Author
Tue Oct 31 2023
2

Probably the most overrated album on this site. A lot of commenters obviously not liking it giving it fours or fives, because of its cultural significance and/or for fear of looking uncool. Folks, it’s ok to not like blaring lo-fi art-rock. Sure, it inspired a lot of great stuff that I like, but boy did I not have the patience for this. This is more about image than music. And that image belongs in a museum where folks can adore the counter culture heroes of the past without having to pretend they like their music. Sure it inspired a lot of bands. But everything that sounds amateurish and “real” inspires people to create. Because it lowers the bar and makes it seem possible to do it yourself. So thanks for lowering the bar and paving the way for punk and other diy music I guess.

👍
View Author
Fri Mar 17 2023
1

Oh Christ, not another one of these 'seminal' albums. You need to consume the same amount of drugs as they took during recording to truly appreciate this. A handful of good hooks, like the opening to Venus in Furs. You sort of swim in the sound, a haze of drone and jangly guitar line while the vocal wends its way around you. But most of this album is a drug-addled mess. It's lounge music for 60s crack addicts.

👍
View Author
Thu Jan 07 2021
5

ICONIC. Not my first time to listen to this and i looped it a few times now.

👍
View Author
Wed Nov 04 2020
5

I listened to the album after several years and I enjoyed it! My favorite song is Heroin and Venus in Furs. The last song is too experimental for my taste.

👍
View Author
Tue Mar 30 2021
5

A very strange album which can feel both musically great while being uncomfortable to listen to - as the songs appear intended to be.

👍
View Author
Wed Jun 16 2021
5

Great album, deserving of the hype.

👍
View Author
Tue May 11 2021
5

I love this album. Heroin is a banger and a half.

👍
View Author
Fri Jun 25 2021
5

It's one of the most perfect albums ever. There isn't a bum note. No song that isn't classic. It's astonishing that it is a debut record.

👍
View Author
Thu Jan 28 2021
5

I was already very familiar with this album and love it. Great to revisit - it’s been quite a while since I listened to it all the way through.

👍
View Author
Thu Jan 14 2021
5

Elements of psychedelic and pre-punk. Clearly influential and for good reason. Heroin, Sunday morning, Femme Fatale <3

👍
View Author
Fri Jan 15 2021
5

Nico <3 Lou Reed <3 John Cale <3 Moe Tucker <3 Sterling Morrison <3. Perfect in its naivete, purity, experimentalism, tonal painting. Just perfect. The world of sound would be a lesser place without the existence of this album.

👍
View Author
Thu Jul 22 2021
5

Disco redondo, completo, un lujo escuchar esto hoy en día. Quitando alguna canción que no me termina de gustar por prejuicios más que otra cosa, creo que es un disco con 5 estrellas en casi todas las canciones y por supuesto con 5 estrellas como conjunto sin dudarlo.

👍
View Author
Wed Mar 24 2021
5

Variadito y sí dan ganas de hacer un bailecito torpe. Venus in furs fue la que más me gustó, está heavy y lenta. Aunque todas me gustaron en realidad. Jamás en la vida había escuchado a esta banda, solo había visto su famosa portada de andy Warhol, probablemente elnhechod e que Warhol está en la portada me ahyantaba. Qué bueno que lo escuché. Mood: psicodelia :3

👍
View Author
Wed Mar 24 2021
5

Obvio clásico. La raíz de donde nace todo: punk, indie, jingle jangle, shoegaze, etc.

👍
View Author
Fri Feb 12 2021
5

Listened to my vinyl copy. Sounds kinda harsh. Bad surface noise, especially on Heroin (side 2, track 1).

👍
View Author
Wed Feb 10 2021
5

Of course I knew The Velvet Underground by name, I know the famous banana image and I've definitely heard a couple of the songs without ever knowing it's by them (especially the opening song Sunday Morning). Yet, for some reason I was never interested in them and my expectations were low. I really don't know why though, as this album is just really good. The depth and versatility really caught me by surprise and I can easily imagine this album being as hugely influential as it ended up being. Saved this album and will re-listen. I do have one criticism: I really could have done without the final six minutes of the album.

👍
View Author
Wed Jul 21 2021
5

просто уже за Venus in Furs можно лепить пятеру и признавать топом, одна из лучших песен эвер. Но только тут как бэ и другие номера — моё почтение. Открывашка вообще чудесна, героин — культовый депресняк, Вейтинг фо май Мэн — внезапно слушабельный блюз роцк, Фем Фаталь — охуенное исполнение от Нико. Для 67 года это не то что прорыв это просто как Гагарина в космос запустить, как придумать водку с пивом смешать. До сих пор мало кто что-то похожее сделал, а в те времена этот альбом просто убрал всех этих ваших битлов и роллинг стоунзов, любивших поизображать шутов при пидорасах. 10/10, тупо маст лисен, и банан вот этот пусть у нормисов ассоциируется с годным музлом (да и искусством хороших обложек тоже)

👍
View Author
Thu Jan 14 2021
5

Great album definitely understand why so highly regarded.

👍
View Author
Sun May 16 2021
5

Undeniably one of the most important and influential albums of the last century. Perfection.

👍
View Author
Wed Jun 23 2021
5

Zo mooi, zo rustig....dit is een classic Favoriete: femme fatale, sunday morning

👍
View Author
Mon Aug 02 2021
5

Yes So gentle, no over singing in this one Sound of New York

👍
View Author
Mon Aug 02 2021
5

Love this, really acted as the vague portmanteau for rock and defined the proto-punk genre, brought rock backs to its roots

👍
View Author
Tue Aug 24 2021
5

Je connaissais mais j’avait jamais prit le temps de l’ecouter actif en entier.je suis imprwssione, c’est envoutant .4.95 car je ne sais pa si c’est un album que j’ecouterais n’importe quand, mais j’y reviendrai tres prochainement.

👍
View Author
Sun Aug 29 2021
5

Nothing but love & respect for Lou Reed & the gang

👍
View Author
Tue Aug 31 2021
5

Muy posiblemente esté entre mis 5 discos favoritos. Cada vez que lo escucho termino sintiendo como si mi canción favorita fuera cambiando de una otra entre Waiting for the Man, Sunday Morning, Venus in Furs, Heroin o There She Goes Again... en realidad no tiene puntos débiles ni canciones de relleno. Un sonido como no había ningún otro en su momento y como no había escuchado nada en el momento en que lo conocí hace tantos años. La música undulante pasando por canciones dulces, psicodelia con el acelerador a fondo, rock y llegando a incluso el ruido total pero que tiene orden y sentido y hace una obra de arte. No hay mucho que pueda decir sin que se oigan a halago tras halago. Las letras todas inusuales incluso las que pueden ser un poco más convencionales o románticas, el resto hacia el ya conocido tiraje de drogas, exceso y prácticas sexuales poco comunes que siempre les caracterizó. Conocí este disco quiza hacia los 12 o 13, sin poner atención a las letras y simplemente recuerdo que me agradaba la música de Venus in Furs. Con el tiempo lo reencontré como a los 16 cuando me adentraba a leer mucho Burroughs, Kerouac, Ginsberg, etc. y no podía haber obviamente mejor acompañamiento, era tal cual como si un autor adicional hubiera plasmado todo en música y se sintiera todo compaginado a la perfección; de esos momentos que a veces menciono en la juventud de cada quien que marcaron hitos fuertes. Todo lo personal que puede ser el disco y ni siquiera ya creo tocaré la magnitud de importancia musical e histórica que representa. Es ya sabido que gracias a este disco se abrió un abanico de bandas y géneros gigantesco con el pasar de los años que estaban tremendamente endeudados con Velvet Underground. No quiero extenderme de más siendo repetitivo. Uno de esos discos perfectos para mí.

👍
View Author
Wed Sep 29 2021
5

First VU I ever bought after they were covered and name dropped by R.E.M. on Dead Letter Office (which was actually the first R.E.M. album I ever purchased). 16 year old me didn't completely get it but it sure grew on me. An all time classic by a band whose entire studio catalog is comprised of nothing but classics (I can pretend Squeeze doesn't exist, try and stop me)

👍
View Author
Tue Oct 05 2021
5

Absolutely PERFECT album. Genuinely one of the greatest achievements in rock, and music in general. One of my favorites!!!

👍
View Author
Wed Oct 27 2021
5

I have always loved this album for all of its flaws and its genius

👍
View Author
Sat Nov 27 2021
5

5 star album. Hated it the first time I listened to it in high school. Kinda liked it a few years later. \"Get it\" now that I'm in my late 20s

👍
View Author
Wed Dec 01 2021
5

Lou Reed. No hace falta decir más.

👍
View Author
Fri Dec 03 2021
5

Almost went with the 4 cause Venus in Furs, but I convinced myself in the end.

👍
View Author
Sat Dec 04 2021
5

sunday morning is one of my favorite classic rock/alternative songs. it's so simple, but emotionally complex and almost entrancing. im waiting for the man is a catchy presumably queer, love song with an awesome riff. even though i don't like nico at all as a person, she is a beautiful singer on femme fatale. venus in furs is an interesting song musically and lyrically, but it has a unique charm run run run remains me of bob dylan and other late 50s/early 60s rock and alternative groups. sadly, i have to say it's my least favorite, i come to lou reed for lyrical content, and this feels mostly instrumental and lyrically hollow. all tomorrow's parties is just- kinda bland. nothing really notable about it if i can remember. heroin is a heartbreakingly perfectly ode to the drug and lou's addictions throughout his life. it slowly builds to an incredible conclusion and is probably the best track on the latter half of the album. there she goes again is a good track. however i do feel like it's mostly filler. i'll be your mirror is absolutely perfect. it's one of the best alternative love songs ever written, and i plan to play it at my wedding if i ever get married. the black angel's death song is a sweeping almost horror song, which is almost definitely the inspiration for the halloween theme. overall, a 4.75/5. genuinely one of the most influential albums of all time, even if some of the tracks aren't up my alley.

👍
Load more reviews