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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

White Light / White Heat

The Velvet Underground

1968

Buy At Rough Trade
White Light / White Heat
Album Summary

White Light/White Heat is the second studio album by American rock band the Velvet Underground. Released on January 30, 1968, on Verve Records, it was the band's last studio recording with multi-instrumentalist and founding member John Cale. Recorded after Reed fired Andy Warhol, who had produced their debut album The Velvet Underground & Nico, they hired Steve Sesnick as a manager and hired producer Tom Wilson who had worked on the band's debut. White Light/White Heat was engineered by Gary Kellgren. The album includes lyrically transgressive themes like their debut, exploring topics such as sex, amphetamines, and drag queens. Reed was inspired by a variety of authors, including William S. Burroughs and Alice Bailey, and the lyrics create a cast of characters, such as in "The Gift" and those named in "Sister Ray". Musically, he took influence from jazz music and players such as saxophonist Ornette Coleman. Warhol conceived the album's cover art, although he is officially uncredited. White Light/White Heat was recorded quickly and modeled after the band's live sound and techniques of improvisation, since they often played loud with new equipment from an endorsement deal with Vox. However, the final product was compressed and distorted-–most members were dissatisfied with the final product and it was followed with the less experimental The Velvet Underground the following year; Cale would leave the band later in 1968. The distortion level became a prototype for punk rock and noise rock. The 17-minute "Sister Ray" is widely considered the standout track by critics and fans. White Light/White Heat sold fewer copies than The Velvet Underground & Nico, and peaked at 199 on the Billboard Top LPs chart. The album's only single, "White Light/White Heat", failed to chart, which the band blamed on airplay bans and lack of promotion from Verve. The album was dismissed by many contemporary mainstream music critics, although underground newspapers took notice. Ultimately, White Light/White Heat had a hugely significant impact on early forms of punk rock and no wave and has appeared on several lists of the greatest albums of all time.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.88

Votes

10404
Genres
Rock
Psychedelic Rock

Reviews

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Thu Feb 17 2022
5

My friend Dave and I spent a heady weekend back in 1969 tripping to this colossal record on some ridiculously strong hallucinogen. It was pure liquid acid, dripped onto centimetre cubes of plaster of paris, which you had to keep in the freezer to prevent the drug evaporating. Having chewed and swallowed a cube apiece, we listened to “Sister Ray” at huge volume, pinioned in our chairs. It was my first and only true synaesthetic experience: I could actually see this music, a turbulent, roiling maelstrom in which, though merely mono, the various constituent elements were clearly visible as a three-dimensional sculpture of visual sound. Dave died.

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Fri Feb 19 2021
3

These boys either need to get laid or take a break from fucking. I can't tell which.

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Sun Feb 28 2021
3

This album had a 17 minute electric jazz song about a blowjob.

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Sat Jul 24 2021
1

To say I'm baffled is an understatement. I had to triple check that I was listening to the right album, especially after reading some of the reviews. There's about 3 half-songs on this record and the rest is noise. And those half-songs are OKAY, not great. In what universe does someone sit down and listen to "sister ray" - 17 and a half minutes of fuzzy garbage - and enjoy the experience? I had to lower the volume down, it was literally hurting my ears. Same with "I heard her call my name". Wtf am I missing...?

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Mon Nov 09 2020
5

this album kinda OWNAGE maybe??????????????????????????????? fucking weird ass lo-fi sloppy as hell noise rock, especially for 1968. the last track is especially insane. like weird improvisational bullshit wasnt unprecedented (Jazz Music) but im pretty sure this is one of the first times a rock album sounded like this ? the hard panning on The Gift is annoying at first but i think it fits the songs fucked up vibe. honestly this album as a whole just has a super fucky vibe, feels completely out of touch with reality at times. majorly respect this for proceeding all the fucked up lofi nonsense i love 9/10

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Thu Jul 01 2021
1

literally terrible there were such random screeching noises and i cannot think of any way this is influential i literally hate this album no offense

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Sun Feb 07 2021
5

I can feel it influencing me

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Wed Mar 03 2021
5

I am once again upset with myself for not owning this album. In fact, I don’t have any of the John Cale VU’s on vinyl, and I don’t know why. Oh yeah, this album inspired pretty much every band I’ve ever liked, ever. 5 stars

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Wed May 12 2021
5

Probably the most open and boundary pushing VU album. John Cale's influence is felt the most here, both on tracks like The Gift and in the instrumentation. Each VU album has it's own special place in my heart, and while I don't know if I could choose a favorite, this is always a fun one to put on because it's very much not the "greatest hits" but still makes a very compelling argument for what a great band they were.

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Wed Jun 09 2021
5

epic, a near perfect record! a must own

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Sun Feb 19 2023
1

Another band that have this mythical reputation yet sound like absolute dog pants. Awful, 0 good songs.

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Wed Oct 20 2021
5

Absolut hilarious und wunderbar grotesk die Geschichte vom armen Waldo, unschlagbar sweet und leicht unbeholfen mit walisischem Zungenschlag vorgelesen von John Cale - der mir überhaupt sehr gut gefällt, auch als Sänger von Lady Godiva. Man möchte baden in dieser Platte, und man kann. In der wohligen, flauschigen Wärme genauso wie in der überall wogenden Salzsäure sich auflösen und transzendent werden - als heißweiße Hitze, kaltweißes Licht. Sister Ray halt - wie schön das genau NICHT auf den Punkt bringt, was sich ausstrecken will, einsaugen lässt. Verstärker, Verstärker.

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Wed Dec 01 2021
5

I was hoping to get a good album for my birthday, and here it is. I actually just listened to this album yesterday. I'm on a big Lou Reed/VU kick because I just finished reading a biography of Lou Reed. I think all four of the "real" VU albums (the 5th one is basically a Doug Yule solo album) are 5 star albums. This one is the noisiest and the ugliest in a way, but out of ugliness comes great beauty. This is also the last VU album with John Cale, which makes it even more special. His keyboard playing on the Sister Ray jam is epic. 5 stars.

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Wed Apr 20 2022
5

I love The Velvet Underground. Every album of theirs is distinct and different. This one - their second - is their strangest. The music is mostly fuzzed out, low-fi rock and the production is unpolished and sloppy in a way that feels confrontational towards the listener. The songs are an odd batch. The title track is simple enough (before deteriorating into noise right at the end) but is quickly followed by "The Gift," a weird little short story about a man who mails himself to his girlfriend and gets a knife to the head when she cuts the box open. The background music simmers underneath, keeping a steady beat while the guitar riffs on some psychedelic vibes. "Lady Godiva's Operation" continues the psychedelic music while telling the story of a botched sex change operation. I love how Lou Reed jumps in to emphasize certain words in a monotone voice. It's a crude, jarring effect that I think is really funny. The first half ends with "Here She Comes Now," a beautiful gem of a song and a generous track to include on an otherwise abrasive album. (Nirvana does some really good covers of this song.) But then the real chaos starts. "I Heard Her Call My Name" is a blast of noise and feedback that turns out to just be a warm-up for the 17-minute "Sister Ray," a truly insane assault on the ears. You can really get lost in it. Lou Reed's vocals are wild too as he shouts about drugs and sex. "Too busy sucking on a ding-dong!" must have been a controversial thing to include on an album in 1968 but it's also hilarious. It's nice to know that even as the band was upending what rock music could be and inventing new styles, they had a sense of humor about it all. It's aggressive for sure but you can hear them having fun too.

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Mon Jun 05 2023
5

so ahead of its time. i love how noisy this album is. it is to noise rock, punk, and no wave (among other genres) what helter skelter was to heavy metal. sister ray is one of my fav 10+ minute songs ever

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Sun Jul 09 2023
5

It hurts my ears!!!!! It's so good!!!!!

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Mon Dec 04 2023
5

First off, listening to this sober is the wrong move. Also, looking for traditional song structure? Look else where. This one is for the druggies by the druggies. I honestly think this one is SO ahead of its time. Like, Yo La Tengo and Dinosaur Jr. were trying to sound like this 20-30 years on. If you dig early 90s indie noise rock you'll probably find something here to appreciate. I fucking dig it, not for everyone though obviously.

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Mon May 03 2021
4

Experimental and interesting

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Wed Feb 03 2021
2

Claramente no es un disco que a la mayoría le guste. En su tiempo fue recibido con muchas reservas aunque después los críticos han exaltado su influencia en la música. Entiendo el mérito que tiene por proponer cosas disruptivas y que es un volado que puede impresionar a la gente o parecer repulsivo. Pero el mérito no lo es todo. Las letras me parecen muy interesantes y supongo estas letras que hoy parecieran normales eran escandalosas en su tiempo. El tema de las distorsiones me parece muy interesante, los cambios de voces también y si el punto era experimentar en crear un disco feo, disonante e incómodo para probar algún punto o llevar la contraria, vaya que lo lograron. Pero reconocer el mérito no equivale a gustar o disfrutar. Creo que es importante haberlo escuchado pero no es algo que me interese volver a escuchar.

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Wed Jun 02 2021
2

Don’t like the album Music instruments sound harsh on the ears and lyrics are not appealing 1.5/5

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Fri Jan 19 2024
2

Nr. 102/1001 White Light /White Heat 3/5 The Gift 1/5 Lady Godiva's Operation 2/5 Here She Comes Now 3/5 I Heard Her Call My Name 2/5 Sister Ray 1/5 (2x) Average: 1,86 At times pretty unlistenable. Just doing something that isn't mainstream or sounds new doesn't automatically make it good.

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Thu Mar 10 2022
1

En cette matinée du 9 mars 2022, Robert a donc décidé de nous enchaîner la gueule de deux albums de rock experimental. Les deux albums sont evidemment cataclysmiques, le premier nous présentant differents primates hurlant sur un fond de tam tam, tandis que le second passe en revue tout l'assortiment du rayon quincaillerie de Bricot Depot. Ceci a generé non pas un album mais une haine phénoménale en moi. Je me suis donc dirigé directement chez Robert, suis rentré dans son domicile sans frapper, et me suis rué sur ce dernier dans un élan de fureur. Je l'ai attrapé par le col, et rué de coups, afin qu'il retienne bien la leçon. Une fois son quart d'heure terminé, il m'a certifié qu'il tenterait de faire mieux sur les prochains albums.

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Wed Dec 06 2023
1

Next 5 songs played by my Spotify Algorithm: Pixies - Wave of Mutilation Wire - Champs Minutemen - #1 Hit Song Talking Heads - Thank you for sending me Yo La Tengo - Stockholm Syndrome

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Thu Feb 17 2022
5

Crimely over looked in favour of the debut album. This is the Velvets at their difficult, anti-flower power best. I can only assume that a lot of the wilder elements of the Velvets originated from John Cale as the John Cale-less third album is positively bland in comparison.

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Thu Feb 24 2022
5

White Light / White Heat is a fantastic foray into very early punk rock. The Velvet Underground were lyrically transgressive, and likely one of the first bands to demonstrate to the audience, through their lyrics, that they were the embodiment of Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll. Best: Whole Album Worst: N/A Note: the Link to the album above on Spotify is the deluxe version. I only listened to the original album.

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Thu Mar 10 2022
5

White Light/White is an unflinching and at times brutal album which in many ways surpasses Velvet Underground & Nico. Gone is the softness added by the chanteuse Nico, replaced by John Cale's sardonic spoken singing. Sister Ray is the stand out with it's assault of noise becoming and influence on kraut rock, Joy Division and the whole no-wave scene. This is another one of those albums soaked in turmoil. You can hear the turmoil between Lou Reed and John Cale bubbling over and in this case leads to a couple of the less amazing parts of this album Often overlooked when compared to the Velvets first album.

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Fri Apr 22 2022
5

Not for audiophiles or the squeamish.

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Fri Apr 22 2022
5

Velvet Underground one of the most influential bands of all time. This album is one reason why since it really challenged what rock music at the time. Sure it's noisy, strange and weird and not something you can listen to all the time but it really pushed music to a new dimension. Many people took these elements, polished them and made them more accessible. It's not my fav or most listen to Velvet Underground album but it does make sense to be on the list. It's a 4.5 for me, so once again I'll round up.

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Fri Apr 29 2022
5

5/5. One of the greatest 😎🤙🤘

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Wed May 18 2022
5

A harbinger of what was to come in the chaotic year that was 1968, White Light/White Heat remains not only the antithesis of the Summer of Love but a crucial turning point in the world of The Velvet Underground. With John Cale one foot out the door and Nico and Andy Warhol completely gone, Lou, Sterling and Moe paint a wholly bleak picture of grisly proportions; death via good intentions, botched entries into a more comfortable being and a seventeen minute romp whose most memorable refrain refers to fellatio. Sgt. Pepper's, Majesty's Request and whatever The Monkees' latest was this was not. The punk movement had arrived early and White Light/White Heat was the first of the few flag bearers.

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Fri May 27 2022
5

The only thing left to say about the brilliance of this album is that the deluxe version is both better and unnecessary as perfection cannot be added to.

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Wed Sep 14 2022
5

I really, really love that album. Where VU & Nico was more pop, this one is all about explorative, drony, strident sounds. A big, experimental piece of work that everyone won't love, but that I cherish.

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Fri Sep 23 2022
5

Just go listen to it I can’t do it justice with my bird brain words

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Sun Oct 09 2022
5

This album is raunchy, dirty, ugly, and smelly. 5/5

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Wed Jun 01 2022
5

Man blir kanske lite trött på The Gift efter en stund men annars kan man ha detta album på repeat förevigt och det skulle vara en helt bra användning av tid

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Thu Nov 03 2022
5

Absolutely stunned to see people are all bottom-Drake meme with the banana album but somehow top-Drake meme with WL/WH.

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Mon Jan 02 2023
5

Ovaj album je strava, a tek Sister Ray stvar? Uf.

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Fri Jan 20 2023
5

Love this band, so many great and weird sounds.

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Sun Jan 22 2023
5

Brilliant drug fueled bummer music. It documents a scene and inspired a million bands.

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Sun Feb 05 2023
5

nicely nice, love it but little bit looong

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Thu Feb 23 2023
5

9/10 maybe I need to give this one another chance some other time it’s obviously an incredible album, but I didn’t find it as good as their first or third albums it’s just the slightly awkward in-between album still amazing tho, just not as good I guess

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Thu Feb 23 2023
5

Gritty, dark and chaotic. Gleefully, sometimes piercingly noisy. Lyrically vivid and provocative with dashes of whimsy. Pushes all the buttons VU liked to push, but stripped bare of the melodic touches that were on their first album. It can be a hard listen for some but it's pretty brilliant. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite): White Light/White Heat, Here She Comes Now, The Gift, Lady Godiva's Operation, Sister Ray, I Heard Her Call My Name

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Mon Mar 20 2023
5

What a lovely hot mess this is. Rambling story telling, protopunk thrashing, darkness and dirt. It plays less like an album and more like a slice of life.

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Thu Mar 23 2023
5

Not a very good album in a way. WLWH is poor, Sister Ray not as good as the JD cover, etc But a great artistic statement.

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Fri Jun 09 2023
5

Title track - sounds messy and muddy production wise, but the melody and interplay with the backing vocals gets stuck in my head once a week at least. The gift - the instrumental jam is good, I dig the story line, and I like John Cale’s Welsh accent. Lady Godiva - see above comment regarding John Cale’s accent. This is one of two VU albums to include him, so it’s a rarity I enjoy every time. Here She Comes Now - the soft spot on the record yet still a little dark, brooding and messy. I Heard Her Call My Name - I thought this would be the reason I gave it 4 stars, but I ended up enjoying it more than I expected Sister Ray - good groove, maybe doesn’t need 17 min but a great finishing track. A very coarse album, impossible to digest on first listen, but I can’t turn it off once I start listening to it. Definitely a good one to try out after the Banana album.

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Fri Jul 21 2023
5

Oh, Waldo... I don't ever get the urge to listen to Sister Ray, but no doubting it's existence.

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Tue Jul 25 2023
5

The pop sensibility of six-in-forty is truly demented. Headphoned, at least two tracks - and novel ones - cross the unbearable boundary. Yet the transgression retains the New York precision that can drive a rock music staple firmly into the historical fabric.

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Wed Oct 25 2023
5

I thought this was great. It’s got a 60s Happenings vibe to it, part beatnik party, part performance art. The white noise and distortion add to the atmosphere, sounding like the hubbub of a crowd or a poorly recorded bootleg. Favourite track: Sister Ray.

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Thu Oct 26 2023
5

Part of the soundtrack of my childhood! I was obsessed with The Gift - which I just called Waldo for years. I played it over and over revelling in the story with music, the different viewpoints and John Cale’s insouciant tone. It was just amazing to me - moreover I love all the other tracks - I didn’t realise then how huge an influence this would be on styles to come but I knew it was different and fabulous. It may have been in the folks’ record collection but I adopted it as my own and as far as I know their original vinyl is still in a cupboard infused with love and memories.

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Tue Nov 14 2023
5

This album is an early noise rock masterpiece. This record by the Velvet Underground is polarizing as it is not as accessible their other albums. Lyrically, it covers familiar and transgressive material revolving around sex, gender, and the self. Musically, it contains the roots of everything from punk, to shoegaze, to pure experimental noise rock. The final 17 minutes track is its centerpiece, and while challenging, is a definitive statement on the Velvet Underground's musical orientation.

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Sun Nov 19 2023
5

This is classic. I love me some VU. This is probably my #2 album from them behind the album with Nico. My only gripe is The Gift. I hate the way John Cale reads it and I usually just skip it, but the story itself is fairly amusing. It still gets a 5 for the other songs, particularly Sister Ray, which I would certainly understand if some people hate it.

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Fri Dec 08 2023
5

Yeah, I like this. I think it is probably a low 5, but it still makes the cut for me.

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Wed Dec 27 2023
5

This is a cacophony in the greatest way. Somehow (maybe in help to) how distorted and janky the entire album is it works to be a greater sum than its parts. I’d love to know what the recording members thought while this happened. Definitely encapsulates the subject matter. It’s a mandatory jam going into overtime, especially with Sister Ray. What a template. I hadn’t heard this album in full and it was good to dive into it. I could see a lot of folks absolutely hating it, but the avante-garde nature somehow transcends itself into something more cohesive… somehow? I do like the recorded album versions over the extras though. Although if the actual takes sound like the extras, well done to the producers!

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Thu Jan 04 2024
5

Very good record! In my opinion the second best velvet underground album.

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Wed Feb 14 2024
5

From the opening of the first song, I’m struck by how New York they sound. His accent is thicker, the doo-wop sound sits at the core of the song. And then it spins out enough at the end to lead into the soft psychedelica of The Gift. Still the sounds of the city are reflected in the grinding, squealing guitars, the driving beat. It feels like you’re overhearing a conversation on the subway, while tripping the fuck out on heroin. And yet it feels years ahead of first song. It’s like the first song time warps you from the old sound, to the new sound. It’s kind of impossible to review something this perfect. This is a for-real work of art. It sounds chaotic at times, but everything is exactly where it’s supposed to be. Kinda like the city. The scope of all the artists that influenced this record, plus all the artists that this album influenced, would encompass all of music.

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Thu Feb 15 2024
5

Delightfully dirty and trashy and sleazy; an oily puddle in a back alley. Must have been nothing short of revolutionary at the time.

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Sun Feb 25 2024
5

Absolutely love this, though I am willing to admit if this was my first time listen, I would have absolutely hated it, as there is quite a lot about this album which takes getting used to. Definitely an album one should listen to multiple times.

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Wed Mar 06 2024
5

Not even sure how to categorize this, but each song is amazing in its own way.

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Mon Mar 25 2024
5

When it comes to 60s album runs that I deem to be both influential and visceral to this day, I think of the 4 (yes only 4) The Velvet Underground albums first. "White Light/White Heat" stands as easily the most challenging of their albums though, with instrumentals, ideas, and concepts to challenge listeners even to this day. It's easily their most experimental and is one of the best examples of albums commonly deemed "Proto-punk" or "early noise". God the opening title track. I love the way it sounds, it feels like the band's submerged many fathoms under the Pacific surface the entire time with these muffled instruments. It's like all the instruments blend into one large sub-bassy blob before devolving into utter chaos in the song's final seconds as the track keeps skipping. I think it says a lot about this album when I call it one of this album's most poppy, considering Lou Reed's vocals are about smoking meth. The second track is the most controversial, not because of its subject matter per se, but more because of how utterly self-indulgent it is. In the stereo version, you have this hypnotic, huffing piece of instrumentation that's insanely grainy and unsettling trucking along for 8 minutes in one ear. I love Moe Tucker's drumming on this album, it's so primal and drives these noisy grooves so naturally. Panned on the other ear though, is co-vocalist John Cale reciting a short story. In short, the story is about a dude mailing himself to his girlfriend to surprise her and then getting stabbed when she tries to open the package. It's unsettling and so beautifully complements this song's music. Grainy, hypnotic, dizzying, and noisy are all perfect adjectives to describe all the sounds on this album. But it all feels unintentional which is the best part, I'm not saying it was unintentional, it just sounds like it. Thousands of artists and musicians have tried to purposefully capture uncanny aesthetics in their music, but the naturally analog and lo-fi feel of this album's recording context plays out naturally and as a result, it amplifies this effect to unrivaled levels. The sub is so fat here it's nuts. "Lady Godiva's Operation" may be the best example of all of this. It may be my favorite song here. Not only is the riff and vocal melody here gorgeous, but the entire story is quite spine-chilling. It's about a lobotomy purposefully gone wrong (speculated to be about a transgender) with all the sound effects and gore included. I know it's probably talked about to death, but I just love Lou's interjections here, they're mixed so loudly and they so harshly clash with John's smooth and soothing singing, I love it. "Here She Comes Now" may be the most easy to digest song here. It's very serene and a nice rest from the utter chaos this album has had you (and will continue to have you) endure. It sounds like something off their debut (or their follow-up to this album). "I Heard Her Call My Name" may be the best example of proto-punk on this album. I love the call and response aspects that make this song sound almost like a garage rock song off a "The Sonics" record. Easily the best thing about this song is THAT DAMN GUITAR, it's so distorted and is composed mostly of feedback and pure noise. It's the type of shit thousands of bands try to emulate but in the mix here, it sounds impeccable. It's so disgusting and ear-shattering, I love it to death. And then there's "Sister Ray". Right when the groove kicks in, you're taken aback by the fact that it's louder than everything here. There's a subtle organ with the groove initially that only becomes more defined and prominent as the song huffs on. I love those opening seconds with the guitar. The sound, throughout the entire song, is clipping through the mix, it's blurry, it's hazy, it's utterly distorted, and disgusting. And Lou Reed's not even trying to be coherent, vocally or lyrically. He's describing an orgy that gets busted by some police, with a whole slew of colorful characters. And the best thing? This mess trudges on for 17 whole minutes and gets even messier near the end. Any semblance of a coherent groove or direction completely vanishes by the end. My favorite part about it is the synth, it's so blaring and sounds like a cheap and run-down modulated organ. This is noise music at its best, this is experimentation, and it was all done back in 1968, and I find it hard to believe. This is high art, with lyrics like "Too busy sucking on my ding dong", you can't help but gawk at its utter ridiculousness. I think this is my favorite VU album, but when I relisten to their other ones when they (inevitably) appear here, I might reassess, they're all just so incredible. This one though, is the peak of their experimentation, and I wouldn't hesitate to call it the peak of experimentation of the 60s in general.

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Tue Sep 22 2020
4

I go here to escape the Velvet Underground and they follow me.

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Tue Jul 20 2021
4

It's always strange to me that I enjoy the Velvet Underground so much but have not spent much time diving into their different albums. This one is a bit tough for me to rate. I love the title track and Here She Comes Now. The Gift and Lady Godiva's Operation drag on a bit for me. It's strange how sometimes the lofi quality of the recording really seems to work for the band, while other times it really seems to hurt the quality of the music. Regardless, when Lou Reed brings the energy, he can make a track all by himself. Sister Ray makes this album, which makes sense as it is nearly half of the running time by itself. Ultimately a difficult album to rate because of its inconsistencies, but the innovative aspects of this album outweigh the negatives 4/5

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Thu Jan 14 2021
4

I wouldn't say I enjoyed this album. A little to Avant Garde for my taste. It did however have some super interesting components and a sound that was probably ahead of its time. To be enjoyed as an artifact rather than for the music itself.

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Fri Jan 15 2021
4

The gift is a wtf story Very daring album for the time, "filthy, rough" guitar work 4 stars

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Tue Apr 27 2021
4

The Velvet Underground (and particularly Lou Reed) were one of my early musical icons. As great as I think this is I'm not sure I see it as the flawless masterpiece some critical reception suggests. They say it was recorded in two days and it shows. Still, a critical work of raw innovation.

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Wed Feb 03 2021
4

Tratando de ser breve (porque es un grupo en el que me podría extender demasiado). Bowie en algún momento dijo que la influencia verdadera no eran los críticos, sino los artistas; en referencia a que Velvet Underground terminó siendo mucho más influyente que los Beatles. Decían que su primer disco solo vendió 10,000 copias pero que fue la razón de la creación de 10,000 bandas. Este segundo disco termina siendo muy muy distinto a su primer material más conocido. Tiene siento yo una cosa buena en la ruptura con Warhol y una mala en la ruptura con Nico. Aunque perdieran una voz particular es muy interesante ver el verdadero rock experimental en sus inicios. No es un disco facil o digerible, tiene todas las características temáticas del grupo y de Lou Reed (sexo, drogas, violencia y subculturas, a niveles impensables para la época y a un grado que los hizo invendibles) pero esta vez cambia lo undulante de psicodelia por lo que solo puedo llamar un caos lleno de belleza. Es necesario comprender que todo lo que se escucha era basicamente la primera vez que alguien lo intentaba, que se usaran guitarras y distorsión en ese grado, que se utilizara el feedback como parte integral de una canción, realizar un disco básicamente improvisado. Sin este disco no hay música garage, no hay música alternativa, no hay grunge, no hay punk. The Velvet Underground fue el verdadero avant garde del rock en todo lo que realmente significa el término. Lou Reed después hizo cosas muy grandes, muy influyentes en algunos ámbitos; pero el grado de impacto que esos 4 discos lanzados en 4 años consecutivos tuvieron es inmenso.

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Fri Jan 15 2021
4

Interesting. Never heard it before.

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Thu Apr 15 2021
4

Not my favorite VU album, but clearly very influential on a lot artist I enjoy. I do love Sister Ray though!

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Wed Jun 23 2021
4

Art-rock at it's artiest - but scratch the surface and there are still pop melodies hidden away. BT: White Light/White Heat, Lady Godiva's Operation, Here She Comes Now

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Sat May 01 2021
4

More interesting than I imagined. Very experimental and textured. Sucking on ding dongs yeah...!

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Fri Jul 02 2021
4

Phenomenal beginning of noise rock. LOVE THIS

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Wed Aug 25 2021
4

My god the 60's in America were F'd up. The Gift epitomizes everything I've seen in movies and recordings about that era - the drugs, the sex, the grungy and wheezy guitar riffs. Listening to that track was like watching Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (a truly F'd up movie). It might've been okay if it wasn't so completely overdone (8min). But kudos to the effort and the creativity. And if I thought the Gift had edgy lyrics, Lady Godiva's Operation took me to new depths. Didn't mind the music layered in. The whole album kind of reminds me of Kanye West in that they try so hard to show how intelligent and cool they are through their lyrics and beats. Arrogant is the right word. Still, it's a solid album (minus the production value, which is nil). The title track, Here She Comes Now, and I Heard Her call My Name are all fun little tracks albeit with some excessive guitar work in all of them. Cut out the self-indulgence and depravity (see Exhibit Z, Sister Ray) and you'd have a real winner. 3.5 at least but I'll round up to 4 just to have an even more different take than others. Seems fitting given the extremes of the album.

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Wed Aug 25 2021
4

Psychadelic rock. Guitars remind me of Cream quite a bit. Songs are all very unique, each one does it's own thing. Opens with "White light / white heat" a bit of a traditional rock tune. Followed with "The Gift" an 8 minute story/stream of consciousness while a guitar is wailing. Next is "Lady Godiva's Operation", once again a bit more of a standard tune with dueling vocalists that gets more surreal as it goes on. "Here she comes" has a summery vibe, brief tune about a beautiful hippie lady. "I heard her call my name" is a grungy tune with lots of distortion in the guitars and growling vocals that sounds a lot like Steppenwolf. Last is "Sister Ray" which plays for a whopping 17 minutes and 30 seconds. This song has some attitude, angry Organs that remind me of Ina Gatta Da Vita. Intensity increases throughout the song until a big crescendo of wailing on instruments to end. The keys are literally just holding on notes so it's a thrumming buzz with the drums and guitar going. Great jam session tune. Overall good album, was worried after the 2nd song but that was the only one that I really didn't enjoy. The rest were pretty good, though a bit too "out there" to add to the playlist.

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Mon Sep 27 2021
4

The first half (5 songs): clearly 5*. Had not listened to the second half for years: Sister Ray is alright but still too long. (5+3)/2 = 4.

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Wed Oct 20 2021
4

Heftiges Teil mit untergründiger Schönheit - unterhalb all des glitches und fuzzes schimmert ein poppiges und fast monotonisch eingängiges Stück Rock. Nico fehlt kein Stück. Mir jedoch etwas die Abwechslung. 3.5

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Mon Nov 01 2021
4

I felt like I was deeply immersed in the cool 60s until Lou Reed start singing about dingdongs. Still an enjoyable listen.

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Thu Nov 04 2021
4

Important, influential, experimental. All of these things, but it's not enjoyable. Interesting to note that Peter Gabriel might have been influenced by the "short story" narration on "The Gift." Sister Ray is a trip, but you don't need to hear it often.

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Thu Dec 02 2021
4

Nothing much is pleasant about this listening experience - the production is dense to the point of singularity and the music is loud, clangy, and crude. It's almost like the band is trying to alienate the listener, and in large part they have. That said, I see this as an even more sophisticated attempt to throw popular music on its head - while their debut at least has some 'catchy' tunes, this one dispenses with any of the trappings of musical enjoyment, dragging listeners down a dark alley, against our will, to show us smacked-out junkies and heroin whores. Its inconceivable to think this came out in 1968, and my rating here reflects the cutting edge nature of the work (if not my actual enjoyment at the listening)

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Wed Dec 15 2021
4

It's not an "easy" listen, but it's good. I love The Velvet Underground especially when they get their drone on. I also love that this is like The Stooges play The Velvets, you can see how this inspired sooooo many artists

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Sun Dec 19 2021
4

Man muss definitiv in Stimmung sein für dieses Album, es ist Ausdruck der Stimmung der damaligen Jugend. Sister Ray: mitreisender Rhythmus, Text über Drogen und Sex etc. ist gemäss Reed als Witz gemeint.

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Thu Jan 06 2022
4

An incredible sophomore album

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Wed Jan 19 2022
4

Man I played this to the death way back when. Great album.

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