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

The Velvet Underground

The Velvet Underground

1969

The Velvet Underground

Album Summary

The Velvet Underground is the third album by American rock band the Velvet Underground. Released in March 1969 on MGM Records, it was their first record with Doug Yule who replaced previous member John Cale. Recorded in 1968 at TTG Studios in Los Angeles, California, the album's sound—consisting largely of ballads and straightforward rock songs—marked a notable shift in style from the band's previous recordings. Singer Lou Reed intentionally did this as a result of their abrasive previous album White Light/White Heat. Reed wanted other band members to sing on the album; Yule contributed lead vocals to some tracks and closing track "After Hours" is sung by drummer Moe Tucker. Thematically, The Velvet Underground discusses love, contrasting previous releases from the band. Reed devised its track order and based his songwriting upon relationships and religion. "Pale Blue Eyes" has been hailed as one of his best love songs, though "The Murder Mystery" is noted for its experimentation in a call-back to White Light/White Heat. Billy Name took the album's photograph of the band sitting on a couch at Andy Warhol's Factory. The recording process started at short notice and while the band had a high morale, they were ultimately disappointed that Reed had created his own mix of the final product. Contemporary reviews praised the album, which was a turning point for the band. Nevertheless, The Velvet Underground failed to chart, again suffering from a lack of promotion by the band's record label. Reed played a dominant role in the mixing process and his own mix of the album, dubbed the "closet mix", was first released in the United States. MGM staff engineer Val Valentin was credited for a different mix which has been more widely distributed since then. Retrospective reviews have labeled it one of the greatest albums of the 1960s decade and of all time, with many critics noting its subdued production and personal lyrics. In 2020, Rolling Stone ranked it at number 143 on its list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.6

Votes

5607

Genres

  • Rock
  • Psychedelic Rock
Reviews
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Sun Jan 24 2021
5

However flawed he may be, I am a Lou Reed fan. This is the first VU album after John Cale left the band so the experimental weirdness that came from him and Reed together is lacking here. This makes for a more widely palatable VU sound, which is not a bad thing. I love this album! There are lots of standouts for me, the biggest being "Pale Blue Eyes," which is one of my favorite love songs/songs in general. I think this record is also a testament to albums as a cohesive piece of art as opposed to a handful of singles and supporting tracks. The pacing is fantastic. It goes from serene to rollicking and back again throughout, which creates this wonderful feeling of tension and release. This is especially apparent as the wacky, intense "The Murder Mystery" plays into the cute little ditty "After Hours." I also love that track as a closer because it feels like I'm being tucked in and sung to sleep as a night of partying, and the album, concludes. A classic.

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Fri Jun 04 2021
5

During a heroin zonk-out on their previous album, Lou says, “and I know that I just don’t know”. He probably says it a few times. Heroin is like that. Here, considerably less heroin’d, and aided by melodies and vocals so affectless they’re almost childlike (just joking—you ever heard a kid make music? it’s shit) he shows us in exquisite detail just how much he doesn’t know. “What do you think I'd see if I could walk away from me?" “Between thought and expression, lies a lifetime.” “Here comes two of you. Which one will you choose?” “That's the difference between wrong and right. But Billy said, ‘Both those words are dead.’” They’re the questions, thoughts and feelings the great unwashed have every day. They just can’t put them in such a way that they retain their allusive, liminal quality, yet feel entirely accessible. Happily, Lou shows us he can brain-fart, too. The whole of Murder Mystery, for example, or the one where he says, “I wore my teeth in my hands, so I could mess the hair of the night.” Sure you did, pal. Elsewhere, After Hours may be the most unassumingly beautiful song ever recorded.

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Fri Jun 04 2021
5

I really liked this. Actually, reflecting on it, I really, really liked it. Every song had something that caught my ear by way of darkness, tenderness, beauty, despair - usually all of the above in some transfixing you constellation. Then came the one-two of Murder Mystery and After Hours, which really sealed the deal. Murder Mystery staggered me - so many of the (emo) songs of my youth lifted wholesale the double-voices murmuring gnomic, dark lyrics - it was truly surprising to hear this approach on a record 45 years older than those songs. Then After Hours acts as a gorgeous counterpoint to all that fevered intensity, and sealed the deal - the deal being that I really, really liked this.

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Sun Oct 02 2022
5

The Velvet Underground albums with black covers are better than the Velvet Underground records with white covers. …and this is the best one.

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Wed Apr 28 2021
5

Phew I was worried yesterday's gem was a happy blip on an otherwise trashcan radar. If yesterday's album got me imagining ripping a giant bong and sinking into a couch while jerking it to Zooey Deschanel, this album makes me imagine dressing in all black, injecting just the tiniest amount of heroin, and squeezing lemons on Nico's cheek bones. I don't know if I've ever fallen in love with a voice quite as hard as Moe Tucker's in "After Hours". She was also their drummer—Matt, maybe this is an opportunity for you to lilt a tune while drumming during our next jam. Who knows what bulges will emerge. It's hard to not feel cooool, maaaan, while vibing to the Velvet Underground. Lou Reed will swallow you whole and shit you out into Andy Warhol's Factory.

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Wed Jan 05 2022
5

I’ve heard this album a lot over the years, but I’m really enjoying it more now today for some reason. It’s nicely cohesive for a VU album, and far more musically accessible. The absence of John Cale gave the band an opportunity to be a little more restrained, moving into fresh territory while still retaining some of their trademark grit. The album also feels like more of an all-band affair, and frankly just sounds like they’re just having fun. The lyrics are more contemplative and emotionally earnest, with less of the cool cynicism you might expect from VU. The band really nailed a certain moody, melancholy vibe, one that other artists have been chasing unsuccessfully ever since. I really like the collaborative aspect of the vocals that the band took this time around. Lou Reed had a strong pop sensibility, which I don’t think a lot of people give him credit for. He didn’t want to do the vocal on every song, and the other band members were brought in to do lead or harmony depending on who he felt was most effective for each song. Doug Yule probably doesn’t get enough acknowledgement for the quality of his vocals, but his work on “Candy Says” is really lovely. Also, Moe Tucker on “After Hours” at the end is such a bright blossom of a song. When the band ventures into more energetic fare, the commingling guitars of Reed and Sterling Morrison are riveting, the sonic equivalent of a sneer. I tend to favor tensely melancholy songs like “Candy Says” and “I’m Set Free,” but the punchier little rockers like “What Goes On” and “Beginning to See the Light” are great fun, full of the old VU jangle and burn. “The Murder Mystery” is some kind of wackadoo madness that you’re only going to find on a VU album. It’s noisy and outlandish and so very 1969, but weirdly fascinating. The album would have been better without it, but you just know they couldn’t help themselves. And I can’t help but love them more for it. Fave Songs (all songs, in order from most to least favorite): What Goes On, Candy Says, Pale Blue Eyes, Beginning to See the Light, I’m Set Free, Jesus, Some Kinda Love, After Hours, That’s the Story of My Life, The Murder Mystery

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Sun Jan 23 2022
5

Mellow and reflective with the aggression dialled down from their other efforts. A sobering soundtrack for that inevitable moment when all tomorrow’s parties turn to morning-after, makeup-smeared, self-loathing introspection.

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Fri Jan 29 2021
4

Never been a huge VU fan because my only point of entry was Lou Reed's solo stuff, and my one coworker who only played their live stuff. I like this quite a bit. "The Murder Mystery" is an absolute mess, but I really enjoyed the rest of it. Lackadaisical, subdued, easy listening. Favorite tracks: "Candy Says", "What Goes On", "Beginning to See the Light"

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Mon Jan 04 2021
4

I think this album is really gorgeous. It's deceptively simple, but the chord structure is nearly always flawless. Reminds me of a bit grittier version of the Beatles. Banana album will always be my favorite, but this rocked.

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Wed Apr 21 2021
4

This list has definitely made me a Velvet Underground fan. I love this stuff. Nothing really sounds like them, even in the decades since, everything they do is interesting because it's unique. If nothing else good comes from the 1001 albums, opening my eyes to these guys will be worth the time spent. I feel so at home with this music.

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Mon Feb 01 2021
4

'Down for you is up' is maybe my favourite lyrics of all time not because it is difficult or clever but it's performed with such beautiful simplicity that I want to die a little bit every time I hear it. Does anyone else think I look a little like Lou Reed on this album cover? Just similar energy. He's got good posture though.

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Wed Apr 14 2021
4

'The Murder Mystery' is easily the best and craziest song on this album. Two verses at the same time by different people hard-panned to each channel, with strong instrumental backing. 8/10, want more like this song, but the banana album is better overall.

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Fri Jun 04 2021
4

Why have I never listened to this album in full. Simply outstanding from music to lyrics to overall vibe. Going in the keeper pile.

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Tue Oct 05 2021
4

I really enjoyed this one. The songwriting is intriguingly subtle (especially for The Velvet Underground), the performances have an enchanting energy, and the production is appropriately raw. "What Goes On," "Pale Blue Eyes," and "Beginning to See the Light" are absolutely fantastic examples of alternative songwriting. It's a power album for The Velvets where they flex and show their depth. My guess is that most detractors get stuck at "Murder Mystery" which is admittedly extremely avant garde. But it's not enough to tank the whole album and, if you take the time to dig into what's being said, it's actually a really great piece of poetry about existential identity confusion brought on by an onslaught of popular culture. It's often considered to be a great example of the power of modern poetry.

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Tue Dec 07 2021
4

Aside from the iffy experiment "Murder Mystery", this album is tight from top to bottom and shows a lot of craft. Reed's vocals and lyrics are their characteristic mix of enthusiasm and apathy and ruminate on love and morality.

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Thu May 26 2022
4

Surprisingly gentle and charming. This had a lot of sweetness to it backed by strong songwriting. And while we lost John Cale and subsequently a lot of the bite that I loved in the debut, we also got rid of Nico. So, you know, trade offs.

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Fri Dec 31 2021
2

Fell asleep briefly in the middle of the day listening to this. When I awoke it was to a cacophony of babbling. Then Mo Tucker sang a song. Most unsatisfying.

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Fri Dec 11 2020
5

A stunning collection of songs. Side One has some of Lou Reed's finest work, and then Side Two sees the band branching out. Bands based entire careers out of the ideas on the final two tracks. I'd argue they are both more exciting than the noise experiments of the first two albums. Although it was not to last, this album presents the Velvet Underground as a cohesive, collaborative unit, adding magic to Lou Reed's masterpieces.

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Tue Nov 24 2020
5

Classic album

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Sun Feb 07 2021
5

кэнди сэйс айв кам ту хейт май бади

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Mon Feb 15 2021
5

Great album

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Tue Mar 23 2021
5

I had only ever heard the song "pale blue eyes" on many mixed tapes - the rest of their music I only knew with Nico. Much better without her.

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Sat Mar 20 2021
5

Beautiful album. I've never listened to this VU album all the way through. It may be my favorite of all their albums.

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Wed Feb 03 2021
5

So good

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Mon Jul 05 2021
5

Oasis musical en medio del desierto de sonidos iguales.

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Thu Apr 08 2021
5

One of my top 5 favorite bands, and second favorite of their albums. No good words to describe it, but the storytelling + the music are excellent

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Wed Apr 07 2021
5

Fantastic album!

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Sat Feb 06 2021
5

AOOOOOOOOO DELÍCIA DE SONZIM, AMEI

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Mon Feb 01 2021
5

Awk sure this album isn't as fried out as the one that came before it, but you can't really expect me to dislike it can ye?

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Fri Apr 30 2021
5

I love this, it’s a (mostly) pleasant listen with great songwriting. Murder Mystery is so strange but in an interesting way. gets a 10

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Tue Mar 02 2021
5

This shit rocked hard. Really enjoyed it, but the final song was kinda strange.

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Thu Mar 18 2021
5

this is why i started this thing

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Wed Apr 28 2021
5

The first Indy Rock album—inspired so much that came after it, strokes, shins, Elliott smith, the list goes on. This is my idea of a perfect album, every note seems minimal to the point of feeling essential, Lou Reed’s poetry shines and every song is good, it’s fun, it’s melancholic, it’s hard, it’s soft, it’s about drugs, drinking, love, friendship, enlightenment and nostalgia. Whether it’s the the or the softness of “Candy Says,” the driving road trip vibes of “what goes on,” the jug band vibes of “some kind of love,” the perfectly soft darkness of “pale blue eyes,” the rock and roll lullaby of “Jesus,” the swinging good time of “Beginning to See the Light,” the enlightened release of “I’m set free,” the folksy, “That’s the story of my life,” even the avant- guard juxtaposition of “The Murder Mystery” its grating chanted poetry dissonant against the softer hazy moments create a sometimes skippable but still excellent song, and finally twee notes of “After Hours” this album never misses a beat, it’s relentlessly good. Easy 5

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Wed Apr 28 2021
5

What a lovely relief from the previous albums. I hadn't listened closely to Candy Says before, but holy trans that song is so bittersweet and beautiful especially the final lines. The whole album is pretty, and it sounds like they're authentically having fun. Even the moody murder mystery song - the closest thing to their experimental previous stuff - sounds a bit playful among the stereo poetry jumble. If I had to program my mind to sync with one album, it would be this one. Tasteful. Well paced. Open eyed. Accepting. Empathetic. Authentic. Energy-giving. What a goddamn delight. A+

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Wed Mar 03 2021
5

All time

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Wed Apr 07 2021
5

O wiele przystępniejsza niż ta z bananem

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Fri Jun 04 2021
5

Such an uncanny thirst for heroine after listening to this a few time

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Mon Apr 12 2021
5

great album!!!

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Wed Jul 07 2021
5

My favorite VU album,which means one of my favorite albums of all time. From the needle drop and the delicate strains of Candy Says barely a note out of place on this incredible album. Some Kinda Love, Pale Blue Eyes, Jesus, I'm Set Free, wow! 5 🌟

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Thu Jun 03 2021
5

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Fri Jun 04 2021
5

My favorite of their four records

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Fri Jun 11 2021
5

Pale Blue Eyes, Candy Says, and After Hours - Three GREAT Tracks.

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Tue Jul 13 2021
5

Absolute classic. Is 1969 the greatest year in music history?

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Mon Jul 26 2021
5

I was looking forward to some Velvet Underground as I wasn't very familiar going in. This was good! I especially liked Pale Blue Eyes and That's The Story of My Life

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Mon Aug 02 2021
5

Würde man dieser Liste 2 Nullen streichen, diese Platte wäre unzweifelhaft immer noch drin. Und zwar völlig zu Recht, weil das hier nimmt aus sich selbst heraus so viel vorweg, dass mich ernsthaft wundert warum man nicht ein eigenes Genre danach benannt hat. Aber gut, Punk, Garage, Glamrock auch das sind ja schöne Namen. Solange ich das mit dem Heroin nicht selbst ausprobiert habe, ist das hier auf jeden Fall Ersatzdroge of Choice. Oh, but I guess that I just don’t know.

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Thu Aug 19 2021
5

Lou Reed is a legend. Such great melodies, such a raspy, dry voice. It works. I love it.

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Sat Aug 28 2021
5

Funcionou bem demais com o clima acústico, e mostrou a origem da candy says.

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Mon Sep 20 2021
5

Хороший альбом, но не такой яркий как первый их

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Tue Oct 12 2021
5

I actually think this is better than "Velvet Underground And Nico".

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Fri Oct 15 2021
5

60-S rock

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Sat Oct 16 2021
5

I am being blessed by this random generator. I am a huge fan of The Velvet Underground, but I had not yet listened to this album in full before, so the amount of serotonin that entered by body upon seeing the cover was...quite a lot! Much like The Velvet Underground & Nico, the album that first got me into the band, The Velvet Underground (the album lol) is a calm (for the most part) and introspective series of songs, layered together with thoughtful instrumentation, delicate vocals, and intelligent lyrics. But what really struck me about this album in particular is how full each song sounds. There are never any instances where some element of a song feels unnecessary; everything fits together perfectly, and nothing feels "tacked on". When music sounds complete to me, that is when I know that I have found some musical geniuses. And The Velvet Underground, both the band and the record, without question, are fucking genius. This album is much shorter than The Wall, so I was able to pick out some favourite tracks on my initial listen, and they are Candy Says, Pale Blue Eyes, I'm Set Free, The Murder Mystery, and After Hours! Another big recommend to anyone.

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Sat Oct 23 2021
5

VU's first album is the obvious one to get a 5 rating given how influential it was and how it redefined avant garde. This third album one was also a game changer and transformational for Lou Reed. This was the start of what we all think of as Lou Reed's sound as Lou's speaksinging became the main attraction and a lot of the White Light / White Heat experimentation with sounds not really made by the instruments were tossed.  The cover photo is hilarious with Lou looking so young and wholesome. He doesn't look like a guy who two years earlier wrote a song about his heroin dealer always showing up late.  Candy Says is a fine song although Lou does fuck with my memory with Candy Says, Caroline Says, Lisa Says, etc.  I can't remember which woman says what but I like them all. Pale Blue Eyes is probably the best song on the album. I like the Christian trilogy starting with, duh, jesus and continuing on Side 2. I'm sure some will say  they aren't a trilogy and who knows if Lou intended this but hey the customer's always right!  Lou sums up his religious experience so well in I'm Set Free:  "Let me tell you people what I found. I saw my head laughing, rolling on the ground" I'm guessing our Jewish friend either didn't find jesus after all or didn't like the religious narrative he found wrapped around jesus.  Hallelujah Mr. Reed.  After Hours is a great way to finish the album and works so well with drummer Mo's haunting voice.I even like Murder Mystery. All the talking over each other is quite rhythmic.  It's interesting that the album has the same name as the band.  Many bands have an eponymous first album. Examples include the first albums by Elvis Presley, The Doors, Miriam Makeba and Black Sabbath.  When bands get around to their second album,  they usually give it a name. The VU's second album had a name (White Light/ White Heat) but its third album reverted to being eponymous.  It's much less common not to give a separate album name to later albums.  One other case I can think of is the Beatles' eponymous ninth album. I guess Pater Gabriel also did this but all of his first four solo albums were eponymous. He was on a roll! I like the 6 CD set that the 1001 app leads to on Spotify. This allowed me to listen to the live versions of most of the songs. I know this isn't how we are supposed to play this game but Lou is so much better live especially in the early days when his studio budgets were tight.

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Mon Nov 08 2021
5

281221 15:28 4.5

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Wed Nov 10 2021
5

Alright my first album on this website... aaaaand I've already listened to this one. Regardless, it's a classic and arguably better than their debut.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
5

Prototype indie album. Must have been so far ahead of the times, couldnt beleive it was a 1969 album.

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Sun Nov 14 2021
5

Classic album. Pale Blue Eyes a highlight. One of the best songs ever written. Rest of the album is great also.

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Mon Nov 15 2021
5

I mean, it's a classic. Revolutionary album.

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Thu Dec 09 2021
5

Idk why I never got into this band before. I dig this a lot.

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Tue Jan 11 2022
5

Wonderfully reminiscent album for me. So unique, inimitable sounds.Andy Warhol did good creating the VU

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Tue Jan 11 2022
5

Un poco lentillo, pero como es Lou, le pongo un 5.

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Thu Jan 20 2022
5

Não conhecia o álbum. Achei sensacional! Meio rock progressivo, meio experimental; uma junção de bons toques. Vou pesquisar mais.

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Sun Jan 23 2022
5

What an album. Outstanding.

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Mon Jan 24 2022
5

fremragende arbejde boiz

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Sat Jan 29 2022
5

Love it

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Sat Jan 29 2022
5

Every indie alt rock song pretty much ever is seeded here.

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Fri Feb 04 2022
5

Amazing album. 2nd favorite VU album. 9-10/10

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Sun Feb 13 2022
5

my second fave tvu album. the vibes are pristine. I LOVE the murder mystery.

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Sun Feb 13 2022
5

sandy says: i find this album very beautiful. i was only familiar with pale blue eyes, which i loved obv, but i had not noticed the last verse, so i didn't know it was about infidelity :o first and last track of the album are masterpieces, and the one that grew on me were What goes on, the jesus one and The murder mystery. The latter captures anxiety impressively.

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Mon Feb 14 2022
5

Good album, somehow slow and melancholic…

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Wed Mar 09 2022
5

Honestly might be my favorite VU album or at least the one I revisit the most.

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Sat Mar 19 2022
5

Brilliant album from start to finish. I can even appreciate Tucker's slightly-out-of-tune singing.

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Sat Mar 19 2022
5

One of these superclassic albums (just like VU albums 1,2,4) and probably the most perfect album on the list.

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Mon Mar 21 2022
5

Enjoyed

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Tue Mar 29 2022
5

Pretty much perfect

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Tue Mar 29 2022
5

What the fuck is this? It's fucking brilliant that's what it is. Why have I never heard this. That's on me really.

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Sun Apr 17 2022
5

Un poco lentillo, pero como es Lou, le pongo un 5.

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Wed May 04 2022
5

HOW DOES IT FEEEEEEEEEL TO BE LOOOOOOOOOOOOVED Prefs: TOUT Moins pref: RIEN

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Sat May 07 2022
5

if you close the door

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Fri May 13 2022
5

Just a classic druggy album… these tunes are dripping in narcotics; but they don’t suffer from it at all. Amazing!!

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Sat May 21 2022
5

Nice album :) "After Hours" is so cute

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Thu May 26 2022
5

Wow, sometimes the 60s is music that makes you feel like you are on drugs, and sometimes it sounds like it was made on drugs. This is both, in a really good way.

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Fri May 27 2022
5

i love john cale most of all but also i think this is my favorite VU i cannot square the circle

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Tue Jun 14 2022
5

Like a party that hasn’t quite fizzled out yet

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Fri Jul 08 2022
5

oh lou

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Fri Jul 08 2022
5

Listened while doing astrophotography. It was really enjoyable, and the setting made it better.

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Fri Jul 22 2022
5

I’ve always loved this album. I wonder what substances they were on.

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Sat Jul 23 2022
5

What's the saying? VU didn't sell many copies of its first album but everyone who bought or heard it started a band. Seminal.

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Sat Aug 06 2022
5

meu favorito deles, de certa forma é um dos menos experimentais, a unica musica que da pra dizer que assustaria alguem é murder mistery, e mesmo assim, não é tão dificil de gostar. destaque pras progressão de acordes e o trabalho de solo de guitarra. beginning to see the light e im set free são as preferidas

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Sun Sep 04 2022
5

Lou reed and Jon car never miss

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Mon Sep 05 2022
5

On their way to see the light, The Velvet Underground had found a way forward, however short-lived. On their third, perhaps most straightforward, outing Lou, Sterling, Moe and new recruit Doug Yule shed the skin of their avant-garde, Warholian past and began to paint their corners into somewhat brighter colors (thus, this being The Gray Album). Gone were the transgressive songs about prostitutes, drug users and dealers, grisly deaths via well intended acts of love and sucking on ding-dongs. What we're dealing with here is a set of songs whose most shocking attribute is that you can hum to them; that it's accessible and approachable. That it didn't tilt the world on its axis, as most VU records didn't, is mostly the worlds' fault; as it always is. But maybe it's best that it didn't, that it didn't garner the infamy that the first record did. Maybe it's better that way? It's quite loaded but there are plenty of people that feel the same as me.

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Mon Sep 05 2022
5

Revolutionary. Every song takes you on a different trip.

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Wed Sep 14 2022
5

Right up my alley

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Sun Sep 18 2022
5

Album super i embel.E shijova shume.Per kohen, tingujt e ri besoj se kane qene super modern.Overall shume i kendshem.

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Tue Sep 20 2022
5

One of my all time favorite bands! Great stuff.

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Sat Sep 24 2022
5

Even though the songs are a lot more straightforward than the two previous Velvet Underground albums, the same uneasy feeling of discontent and disconnect flows through me while listening to this album. Opener Candy Says is a bit of a strange one to me, is very slow, but it gets picked up shortly after by What Goes On. Pale Blue Eyes is absolutely beautiful and one of the best love songs ever written, even if it has the Lou Reed strangeness in story. The straightforward songs continue till the strange Murder Mystery - with its several stories and voices at the same time - which would've fitted perfectly on the John Cale experimental beginnings of the band. Only to have the drummer Moe Tucker close the album marvelously with the sweet After Hours. It is a great VU album, even if it doesn't have a Venus In Furs or Heroin on it.

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Tue Sep 27 2022
5

Outstanding album. Every song is a standalone hit, and put all together its one of the best of all time. 5/5

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Mon Oct 03 2022
5

This one is probably my favourite Velvet Underground album

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Tue Oct 04 2022
5

fucking incredible. This is my favorite underground album. the prototypes

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Wed Oct 05 2022
5

Un très bon album, doux avec plusieurs chansons qui sont dans leur genre. J'adore ca et je vais réécouté plusieurs fois 5

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Fri Oct 14 2022
5

My friend says I'm stingy, so I'm rounding up this time. The Murder Mystery is too weird, but I liked it more on my second listen.

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Thu Oct 27 2022
5

no brainer

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Sun Nov 06 2022
5

First things first, The Murder Mystery is a tough listen and is representative of Lou Reed's most self-indulgent artistic impulses. It's confrontationally experimental and while I wouldn't necessarily call it bad, it's not a good song either. This is an album that I bought when I was younger and just never got into. Listening to it 20 years on, I'm now very glad that I have it. The first side is stellar top to bottom, and I like Doug Yule's vocals on Candy Says and Jesus, the latter of which has some rich vocal interplay between Reed and Yule. Beginning to See the Light is a fun rave-up, and even the Mo Tucker sung After Hours is ok. A great album with a weird art project shoved into it.

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Mon Nov 07 2022
5

Brilliant

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Tue Nov 08 2022
5

Indeed!

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Tue Nov 15 2022
5

I love this album. It has a gentle, easy-going energy, which is a total left-turn from the first two Velvet Underground albums. The hardest-rocking songs are "What Goes On" and "Beginning to See the Light," which are both relatively mellow (especially compared to the experimental noise rock from the Velvets' previous album "White Light/White Heat"). A number of songs feel like lullabies, like "Candy Says," "Pale Blue Eyes" and "Jesus." They're beautiful songs with understated singing from Lou Reed. Rather than pushing the boundaries of rock like their other albums do, this album focuses on songcraft. The only hint that they were wild experimentalists is the strange psychedelic penultimate track "The Murder Mystery." But if you make it through all 9 minutes of that song (I rarely listen to the whole thing), you're rewarded with the closing track "After Hours," a gem of a song and a personal favorite sung by the drummer Moe Tucker.

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Tue Nov 15 2022
5

Any album that can contain Pale Blue Eyes and The Murder Mystery is going to be either brilliant, or a mess. This is brilliant with none of the horrendous irritation that we were delivered when Nico was around.

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Mon Nov 21 2022
5

Every Velvets album could be a completely different band, and they're all absolutely 5 star. This here is Understated Velvets, and it's the absolute best Understated Velvets album ever made. I love every song. "There are problems in these times, but woooooergh none of them are mine!", still makes me laugh.

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Tue Nov 22 2022
5

Peak fucking love Lou Reed

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Wed Nov 23 2022
5

So I have known this album was a classic. It was much lighter than I expected, idk why I was expecting a heavier sound. Very pleasant.

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Fri Dec 02 2022
5

Really good really liked jt

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Thu Oct 08 2020
4

loved it!

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Mon Jun 14 2021
4

3.75/5. I liked this, some songs are better than others.

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Tue Dec 22 2020
4

8/10, absolute classic

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Thu Nov 19 2020
4

its still bizarre to me how ahead of their time these fuckers were. first they do all that experimental bs and now this? what the fuck? how did it not catch on anyways?? like why did it take so long for twee pop and slowcore and whatever to catch on after this thing came out its so good!!! theres more misses than on WL/WH but the good stuff is amazing, it has just the right amount of raw-ish production and a lot the lyrics were kinda unexpected for 1969 too like damn they rly lived up to their name didnt they .................................................................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................ murder mystery isnt super interesting until the last section with the pianos and shit though 9/10 barely

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Tue Jan 12 2021
4

8/10 FT: Pale Blue Eyes

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Tue Oct 27 2020
4

Own. Fave Song "Pale Blue Eyes" lots of good songs - 4.25.

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Fri Nov 06 2020
4

Pale Blue Eyes Jesus Some Kinda Love

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Tue Apr 06 2021
4

Wonderful. One of my favorites of theirs, if not my favorite.

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Wed Dec 09 2020
4

Amazing album 9.3/10

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Sun Jan 24 2021
4

I enjoy VU. I knew Pale Blue Eyes (I think it got played at Starbucks for some reason??) Having Beginning to See the Light after Jesus reeled me back in. Solid album throughout, really enjoyed the aforementioned track, What Goes On, and a couple others at the end.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
4

Very cool live album, great for work jams. Loved the live renditions of Heroin and songs with Lou Reed

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Tue Jan 19 2021
4

Pretty great overall, but the A side is definitely better than the B side. That penultimate track...ugh. No. Just, no.

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Tue Jan 19 2021
4

some songs are super good some are just not my style but overall great experience, pale blue eyes was ahead of time imo.

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Sun Jan 17 2021
4

Nunca tinha ouvido, curtindo bastante, são canções, algo que não tava esperando, muitas em um tempo mais lento. Adorando, as letras as vozes, até as guitarras. Bem diferente do primeiro disco deles, que conheço muito melhor.

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Fri Feb 05 2021
4

8

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Sat Jan 16 2021
4

Pretty good. Kind of an album to just have playing in the background softly.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
4

Great Album. Chill vibes. I liked Some kind of love Pale blue eyes Thats the story of my like After Hours

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Thu Jan 14 2021
4

Nice calm vibe with the first few songs beginning to see the light is jamming Murder Mystery is also nice

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Wed Apr 14 2021
4

kinda cool

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Mon Feb 01 2021
4

Pretty, pretty cool.

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Mon Feb 01 2021
4

This is some seriously chill shit! I don’t know the Velvet Underground that well but this album really cements the fact that I’m going to have a massive heroin phase ✌🏼

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Mon Jul 05 2021
4

Muy pinches bueno. Una joyita que no conocía.

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Mon Jan 18 2021
4

Music ahead of its time, good vocals

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Wed Jan 13 2021
4

9/10

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Fri Jan 15 2021
4

V good.

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Sat Feb 27 2021
4

Great record, not my favorite of theirs. Definitely still "Velvet Underground," but more pleasant, not as noisy as later records.

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Sat Feb 13 2021
4

Great one

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Sun Jan 24 2021
4

Enjoyed the vibes, but wasn't able to focus much on lyrics or songwriting. I expected velvet underground to be weirder, but I got a kick out of it!

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Mon May 03 2021
4

I really enjoyed the slower songs that weren't as dissonant as the others. I still prefer the Andy Warhol album

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Fri Jan 15 2021
4

Very chill easy listening, can definitely see why it is regarded as so influential

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Wed Apr 07 2021
4

Schön

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Fri Apr 30 2021
4

Pretty good for being slow and British. I think the production and lyrics are good and it's a bit more musical than other British stuff so yay. 8

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Tue Jan 19 2021
4

nice

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Sun Jan 17 2021
4

Muy bueno!

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Mon Feb 08 2021
4

Nice and mellow

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Fri Apr 30 2021
4

8/10, solid album, and I especially like that it is not super samey throughout. After much reflection, I did find that the singing on the last song really reminded me of the bit in Elf where the main gal sings in the shower.

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Thu Apr 15 2021
4

Love the Velvet Underground but prefer the noisy albums. Still some nice songs

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Tue Jan 19 2021
4

Warhol house band stop being angry and start singing about god and girls

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Fri Apr 30 2021
4

9, very much enjoyed it

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Tue Feb 02 2021
4

Top

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Thu Feb 18 2021
4

typisch 60's best goed

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Tue Apr 20 2021
4

good!

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Wed Apr 07 2021
4

Another one of those bands that I understand are important culturally, but I've never actually listened to. I enjoyed it a lot.

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Wed Mar 17 2021
4

easy listening while reading

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Sat Feb 20 2021
4

Iconic album

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Thu Mar 11 2021
4

Норм

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Wed Mar 17 2021
4

Groß!! Klug und eingängig zugleich.

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Tue Mar 09 2021
4

How modern

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Wed Mar 17 2021
4

Wirklich gut durchzuhören.

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Sun Apr 11 2021
4

Oh my god i love it a;ready Final Thoughts: 4/5

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Fri Jun 04 2021
4

Velvet underground with Nico was the first album I listened to on this journey and I remember being distinctly disappointed. I’m happy to announce this has completely changed my mind about the VU (Velvet Underground). I really liked this album. True to their name. Sounds like velvet. Sounds like underground. I delighted in Murder Mystery and pale blue eyes. It’s gonna stay in my thoughts for a long time. Turns out Nico was the problem huh??? But I love Nico.

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Mon Jul 12 2021
4

very good album

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Mon May 17 2021
4

Some really standout songs on this album. Only marred by a couple duds towards the end.

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Mon May 24 2021
4

Pretty chill and nice

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Thu May 06 2021
4

Interesting album. Not really my type but I can appreciate the quality.

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Thu Jul 08 2021
4

Really strong album

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Thu Jul 01 2021
4

liked it

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Thu Jun 24 2021
4

Blue eyes on this album, which you already liked. Didn’t find any other favs but a cool and unique sound. Solid but not stellar for me

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Mon May 24 2021
4

Not my favorite Velvet Underground, but still a great album

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Wed Jun 16 2021
4

Know it well. Very good.

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Tue Jun 22 2021
4

Melancholic pop. Very pleasant to listen to and chill around. (7/10) Favourite Song: Pale Blue Eyes

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Mon Jun 21 2021
4

4/10🌟this will offend people alrighttt it’s giving classic, could be a sleep album which if you know me IM OBSESSED W THAT VIBE. i don’t love it but i alsnog buy vinyl, mane needs more time, i’ll listen afterwards fs! I THIBK?? I liked murder mystery it was cool like the weird harmonies but not the talking at the beginning i also have to commend the range of their music thk liked- candy says, after hours, jesus, i’m set free disliked - what goes on, some kinda love, beginning to see the light

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Mon Aug 02 2021
4

Viele sind es, in denen der Sound dieser Band bis in die Nuller widerhallte (Olivia Tremor Control, Moldy Peaches, Spiritualized, …) Die langsamen Nummern sind für die Ewigkeit, allen voran „Candy Says“, „Pale Blue Eyes“ driften wie müde Eisschollen am Ende der Schmelze durch das Morgenrot. Hier bleiben die Lider schwer und selbst das grellere „Beginning to See the Light“ (der beste Beatles Song, den die Beatles nie gemacht haben) ändert daran nicht viel. Niveau recht konstant, nah dran an Traditionen amerikanischer (Gitarren)musik und doch auch stark an seinen fransigen Rändern unterwegs. Samtige 4.1

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Tue Aug 03 2021
4

Es un álbum super tranquilo, me gustó, 8/10

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Mon Aug 09 2021
4

still not banana album BUT its good too!

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Fri Aug 13 2021
4

I'm not nearly as familiar with this album, as "The Velvet Underground & Nico", but it definitely still hits the spot! The Velvet Underground being a little more straight forward and accessible, what's not to like? Fave track - "Beginning to See The Light" and "What Goes On" have been my favourites in the past, but this play through I really dug "The Murder Mystery". Love the effect of two voices overlapping and interfering and generating urgency without sense...

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Thu Sep 02 2021
4

Slower and mellower than I would have expected from a late-60's rock group. Worthy of another listen with more attention to lyrics.

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Tue Sep 14 2021
4

Beautiful piece of work. Side one is a five star, side two's 3.5 bring this to a four star.

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Fri Sep 17 2021
4

I've heard a lot about the Velvet Underground. I don't know why but I thought they were a very early punk band. I was very wrong. That said, I liked it. Mellow jams, the voice is very familiar but I can't place it. (I cheated, realized it's Lou Reed). In the back half they seem to add some vocals and it's not just Lou. All goes with some easy melodies that work well and flow very easily. Murder Mystery was really hard to get through. Points for trying this in 1969, very ahead of their time with some ideas.

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Mon Sep 20 2021
4

Chilled, melodic, intimate.

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Wed Sep 29 2021
4

Murder Mystery threw me off Album feels more like a storytelling through music Good music overall - liked the vibe

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Wed Oct 06 2021
4

Good Album with Warhol cover art.

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Tue Oct 19 2021
4

Me ha gustado bastante. 4. Tiene la canción Candy Says

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Tue Nov 09 2021
4

It's a go-to "it band" of the 60s, transitioning from their experimental art-college student phase to much sweeter, more conventional fare. Direct, catchy, at times achingly melodic: I'll take it any day over the overhyped, "proto-everything" of their debut. Without John Cale or Andy Warhol at the helm (big influences on the avant-garde side of the band) Lou Reed and the remaining members set about to create something warmer, more optimistic, more immediate: a broad change from their earlier work. For me, it's a progression I can completely get behind: this still carries a weight of melancholy and hurt, but has such tender delivery throughout where the whole band are given the chance to shine. Songcraft is put above improvisation, with a conscious effort to cherish (rather than challenge) the listener. The "European Son"s and "Sister Ray"s are mostly abandoned for the "Sunday Morning"s and "I'll Be Your Mirror"s, and it pays off beautifully: even though the VU's experimentation was noteworthy at the time, it hasn't aged as well for me and often seems to eclipse material like this. Opener "Candy Says" is so delicate and fragile, in instrumentation and vocals, that it feels like it could blow away on the wind. From there, it does take a little while to get going. "What Goes On" feels like a sub-standard attempt at a single, and "Some Kinda Love" falls flat as the dud of the record. But then, the run of songs from "Pale Blue Eyes" onwards is absolutely gorgeous. We're treated to incredibly intimate vocals and oblique heartbreak in "Pale Blue Eyes" and "Jesus", later rejoicing in the swinging breeziness of "That's The Story of My Life", and Reed getting into "Transformer" mode with "Beginning to See the Light", which lives in the credits sequence of one of the greatest indie films yet to be made. While "The Murder Mystery" isn't all my cup of tea, it's much more focused than it could have been and adds a nice touch of the abstract to the album without going overboard. The piano runs in the last couple of minutes more than make up for all the poetry recitation. And "After Hours"? A great move for Moe Tucker to sing it to close things off, and a delightfully ambiguous feel. It's either a very gentle landing back to earth, or moving out of the final reaches of its orbit: whichever way I'd like to feel at the time. On the whole this is my personal peak of Velvet Underground: sweet without being sugar-coated, sincere without being blinkered, experimental without being try-hard.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
4

The melodies are a bit boring, but overall very pleasant

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Fri Nov 12 2021
4

Fabulous album - incredibly creative people capturing the sound and zeitgeist of the late-60s

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Tue Nov 16 2021
4

Nice, just got a bit weird towards the end.

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Tue Nov 16 2021
4

Good album, I don't think I'd ever really heard any of these songs beyond Pale Blue Eyes and Candy Says. Would skip The Murder Mystery - it's annoying and long.

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Tue Nov 16 2021
4

This is a great album. A shame they put two slightly annoying tracks on it: The murder mystery What goes on - The guitar hurt my ears!

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Sat Nov 20 2021
4

Beter dan vorige plaat die we geluisterd hebben. Staan echt een paar mooie nummers op.

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Sat Nov 20 2021
4

A little sleepy, but over all very good.

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Tue Nov 23 2021
4

Un bell'album. In particolare ho apprezzato Pale blue eyes.

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Tue Nov 23 2021
4

Delicate songs about troubled people in difficult and dangerous situations

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Mon Nov 29 2021
4

Hadn't heard this VU album before. Much more subdued than Velvet Underground & Nico. Really interesting. Lou Reed is great as always. 4.5/5

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Mon Nov 29 2021
4

Медитативненько, но могло быть лучше.

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Thu Dec 02 2021
4

Bez par pjesama se moglo, al svakako prejak album

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Thu Dec 02 2021
4

Pošto su mi Velvet Undergroundovci u top 10 bendova, nije teško skužiti da mi se bar 90% njihove diskografije sviđa. Pa tako da je ovaj album u top 3 njihovih, većinom se zna natjecati za drugo mjesto sa White Light/White Heat - zavisno o raspoloženju. Lou Reed <3 Favoritne: Some Kinda Love, Pale Blue Eyes, Beginning to See the Light, I'm Set Free.

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Thu Dec 02 2021
4

Predivan album i sve, smatam da ne treba puno rijeci za opis (Isprike ekipi na neazurnosti ovih dana)

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Sun Dec 05 2021
4

I like this band a lot, surprises every time I listen to something they made. Not better than ”Niko" but just as good.

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Thu Dec 09 2021
4

I really liked this! Didn’t care for the murder mystery but I loved after hours.i dont agree with my 4 star rating. it's a 3.5 star album for me

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