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The Velvet Underground: New York Art Hardcover – October 9, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"This is a handsome book with more full-color images than a strong acid trip.  If you dig on The Velvets, you should buy it." ~Dazed & Confused

"The book has minimal text (including an exclusive interview between bandmates Lou Reed and Maureen Tucker).  The strength lies in the knockout imagery.  It visually traces the narrative of the group, and of the '60s era itself.  The wraparound-sunglasses, all-black amphetamine cool of their early days as Andy Warhol's house band, to the bell-bottom jamming of their swan song period." ~Raw

The Velvet Underground: New York Art is the ultimate visual biography of the greatest rock band in history. The new hardcover tome was lovingly and exhaustingly compiled by Johannes Kugelberg who managed to unearth a staggering amount of never-before-scene images.” ~VMAN

“The reunion of the legendary New York band comes on the heels of the publication of The Velvet Underground: New York Art, a compendium of previously unseen photographs, poster and cover designs by Andy Warhol, Lou Reed's handwritten music and lyrics, underground press clippings and other reviews, flyers, handbills and posters.  The book, published by Italian book house Rizzoli, also contains a recorded conversation between Reed and Tucker, as well as contributions from former Czech president Vaclav Havel and author Jon Savage.” ~Billboard

"The Velvet Underground is now the subject of a hefty coffee table book from Rizzoli. As could be expected for a volume commemorating perhaps the first and definitely the ur-art rock band, it’s handsome and heavy and comes in a limited edition of 400, complete with a seven-inch 45, for $300. (There’s also a trade edition for $50).  The book is a collection of Velvet Underground ephemera: posters, screen prints, photographs, ticket stubs, record covers, alternative record covers, film stills, letters and lyric sheets — essentially a lavishly printed and protracted set of liner notes... But perhaps the most poignant parts of the monograph are those wistful moments when you can see that the rock gods are mere mortals after all" ~New York Times

About the Author

Lou Reed, and Maureen Tucker were key members of the Velvet Underground.

Johan Kugelberg is the author of Born in the Bronx, also published by Rizzoli.

Vaclav Havel is a playwright and author, and was the first president of the Czech Republic.

Jon Savage is the author of several books, including England’s Dreaming.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli (October 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847830845
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847830848
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.3 x 12.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,411,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just wrote a 1-star review for the so-called "deluxe" version. It's selling points are point-blank lies. The 7" vinyl and CDR are not exceptionally rare as these tracks were previously "released" albeit as downloads or on bootleg recordings. But the biggest complaint has to be it is unnumbered and unsigned as promised. There's a place for these (___/400), but nobody could be bothered to fill in the blank. I returned that crap and got the meat of the matter: this regular edition.

That said, the "regular" edition, and the one to get, is a huge coffee table book and it needs to be. There are more photographs and reproductions of original concert posters, potential album covers, the band in action, etc. between the covers compared to any other book about The Velvet Underground. For followers of this band, you can spend hours and hours just looking at these (in many cases, never before seen) photographs. The interviews with the participants is a nice touch too, but John Cale's absence is a sore thumb. That said, it does not detract from its otherwise perfection for what it is: again, the best visual document of this band ever. I cannot see how it will ever be superseded by any future books.

I highly recommend this "regular" edition, while at the same time, warn those thinking they are getting a collectable with the "deluxe" edition to avoid it. I would also like to take this opportunity to recommend the best written word document of all time regarding this band: White Light/White Heat The Velvet Underground Day By Day (Genuine Jawbone Books) by Richie Unterberger. The detail contained there is far beyond what has gone before. That title is the ultimate chronological resource.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderful book full of rare & well-reproduced photos, on heavy high quality pages. How about Lou Reed performing at Syracuse University for rare? How about the Falling Spikes (with Lou, Sterling, Sterling, & Angus, before Mo) on the streets of New York City, for rare? The photos are of every imaginable aspect of the group's history (including a contract with MGM Records, July 1966, signed by Christa Paffgen & the others). Probably more than a casual fan of the group would want, but a real goldmine for the most velvet of Underground fans. Includes several interviews with Velvet Underground members that are interspersed throughout the photos. A chronology, compositional music sheets (including "Heroin"), publicity photos, record labels/covers, are among the photos. My only complaint is the lack of an index.
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Format: Hardcover
When people speak of the work of New York's first underground art-rock band, the word that usually comes to mind is 'seminal' - after all this is the group that later influenced an entire NY rock scene from Television to Sonic Youth and many others (their influence extended well beyond these shores to most of Europe as well.)

In this new book, edited by Johan Kugelberg, the word that most comes to mind, is `art.' Kugelberg, in his love and devotion to this early NY rock ensemble, has assembled the first and only monograph of the band's formative years. This unique, coffee-table format art book compiles an impressive collection of rare photographs, handbills, press clippings, flyers, posters and handwritten lyrics from the beginning and early days of the Velvets journey.

Known in the beginning as `Andy Warhol's Velvet Underground,' (the book begins with a classified ad that Warhol placed offering to associate his name with products, bands, etc, in the New York area), the band made their name largely by playing `events' rather than mere concerts, that revolved around places like Warhol's loft parties and Steve Paul's NY club, The Scene.

While this volume's focus is primarily on the early days of the band, there is also an updated interview with the VU's Lou Reed and Maureen Tucker (the band's Sterling Morrison has since passed away while Reed and John Cale remain somewhat distant) as well as an extensive band chronology which adds the perspective of time to the mix. Several of the other reprinted articles and interviews (from Lester Bangs and others) provide a window into many of the thoughts of the band at the time of their ascent (Beatles, good - Zappa, bad.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was looking forward to this book from the day I first heard about it. I ordered it the day it came out and went through it a couple of times and haven't since. It's surprising because there probably aren't too many bigger fans of the Velvet Underground than I am.

The book has lots of great photos and some interesting interviews, but it just didn't work for me. I was much happier with a bio that came out in the 1980's called Uptight. I would highly recommend that book.

This one is good and I have no doubt that there are many VU fans who will love it. You may too and I would probably defer to the other reviews if I were someone considering buying this book. For some reason, it didn't resonate with me very strongly.
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