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White Light/White Heat [45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition]
     

White Light/White Heat [45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition]

by The Velvet Underground
 

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The world of pop music was hardly ready for the Velvet Underground's first album when it appeared in the spring of 1967, but while The Velvet Underground and Nico sounded like an open challenge to conventional notions of what rock music could sound like (or what it could discuss), 1968's White Light/White Heat was a no-holds-barred frontal assault on

Overview

The world of pop music was hardly ready for the Velvet Underground's first album when it appeared in the spring of 1967, but while The Velvet Underground and Nico sounded like an open challenge to conventional notions of what rock music could sound like (or what it could discuss), 1968's White Light/White Heat was a no-holds-barred frontal assault on cultural and aesthetic propriety. Recorded without the input of either Nico or Andy Warhol, White Light/White Heat was the purest and rawest document of the key Velvets lineup of Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, and Maureen Tucker, capturing the group at their toughest and most abrasive. The album opens with an open and enthusiastic endorsement of amphetamines (startling even from this group of noted drug enthusiasts), and side one continues with an amusing shaggy-dog story set to a slab of lurching, mutant R&B ("The Gift"), a perverse variation on an old folktale ("Lady Godiva's Operation"), and the album's sole "pretty" song, the mildly disquieting "Here She Comes Now." While side one was a good bit darker in tone than the Velvets' first album, side two was where they truly threw down the gauntlet with the manic, free-jazz implosion of "I Heard Her Call My Name" (featuring Reed's guitar work at its most gloriously fractured), and the epic noise jam "Sister Ray," 17 minutes of sex, drugs, violence, and other non-wholesome fun with the loudest rock group in the history of Western Civilization as the house band. White Light/White Heat is easily the least accessible of the Velvet Underground's studio albums, but anyone wanting to hear their guitar-mauling tribal frenzy straight with no chaser will love it, and those benighted souls who think of the Velvets as some sort of folk-rock band are advised to crank their stereo up to ten and give side two a spin. [To commemorate the 45th anniversary of the album's release, Universal assembled a Super Deluxe three-disc edition of White Light/White Heat that presents the album in its rare, harder mono mix, as well as the more familiar stereo version. The set includes 11 unreleased studio tracks, including an alternate version of "I Heard Her Call My Name," an early take of "Beginning to See the Light," the non-LP tracks "Temptation Inside Your Heart" and "Hey Mr. Rain," and two versions of "The Gift" that allow you to hear it with just vocals or music. Even better, the third disc contains an oft-bootlegged 1967 live show from the New York City rock club The Gymnasium, with the Velvets clearly having a blast as they rip through a relatively danceable set that includes the otherwise unrecorded "I'm Not a Young Man Anymore" in audio that's very good for an audience tape of this vintage. Add a handsome book-format package, lots of rarely seen pictures, and excellent liner notes from David Fricke, and you get what's likely to remain the definitive edition of one of the Velvet Underground's signature works.]

Product Details

Release Date:
12/10/2013
Label:
Polydor / Umgd
UPC:
0602537540938
catalogNumber:
001924602
Rank:
137622

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Velvet Underground   Primary Artist
John Cale   Organ,Bass,Vocals,Electric Viola,Group Member
Lou Reed   Guitar,Piano,Vocals,Group Member
Maureen Tucker   Percussion,Group Member
Sterling Morrison   Bass,Guitar,Vocals,Group Member

Technical Credits

John Cale   Composer,Tape Sources
Lou Reed   Composer
Maureen Tucker   Composer
Velvet Underground   Arranger,Producer
Jeff Gold   Memorabilia
Jack Hunt   Engineer
Sterling Morrison   Composer
Val Valentin   Director Of Engineering
Tom Wilson   Producer
Gary Kellgren   Engineer
David Fricke   Essay
Acy Lehman   Cover Design
Billy Name   Cover Photo
Richie Unterberger   Memorabilia
Johan Kugelberg   Memorabilia
Sal Mercuri   Memorabilia
Andrew Skurow   Tape Research
Mario Anniballi   Back Cover Photo
Chris Van Tuyll   Memorabilia

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