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The Verve/MGM Albums Box set

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Vinyl, Box set, October 30, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

At a time when the Rolling Stones were forbidden from singing about spending the night together on national television, the Velvet Underground was crafting songs about such taboo subjects as illegal drugs, sadomasochism and black angels of death. And that was just on their debut. Throughout their first three albums, VU continued to challenge societal norms through their lyrics and rock music itself through their unorthodox instrumental approach. Their sound was theirs alone, which proved to be an obstacle when it came to sales. The majority of popular music fans simply weren t ready for the bleakly beautiful vision of VU. But for those who were, this LP trilogy was a clarion call, drawing together the outsiders who felt disenfranchised and unfulfilled by Top Forty fodder. Like time release capsules, these LPs became catalysts for change as they spread from city to city and were consumed by adventurous listeners. Bands formed, scenes coalesced and new musical paths emerged which would eventually branch off into punk, alternative, indie and more. Take a sample from any underground music genre and you re likely to find VU DNA pulsing through its core.

As the alternative scene grew, so did the legend of the Velvet Underground. However, with relatively few of the original LPs in circulation, finding them could be difficult and, as a result, more people had probably heard OF the band than had actually heard their music. The emergence of compact discs in the mid-80s, along with a groundswell of VU-influenced bands singing their praises, finally got their music into wider distribution. Yet, for vinyl enthusiasts who longed to place those precious albums on their turntables, that thrill remained elusive.

Until now. With tremendous pride, Sundazed presents The Velvet Underground: The MGM/Verve Albums. This beautiful, deluxe boxed set gathers the rare mono versions of the band s first three studio albums along with the superior mono version of Nico s Chelsea Girl and a definitive edition of the band s unfinished fourth album! Sourced from the original Verve/MGM analog reels and mastered by Bob Irwin, this collection is an essential purchase for the discerning vinyl devotee. For all tomorrow s parties, this is your soundtrack.

The ultimate collection of underground rock s big bang!

Includes the rare mono versions of the VU s first three albums, the superior mono version of Nico s Chelsea Girl (featuring Reed, Cale & Morrison) and a definitive edition of the band s unfinished fourth album!

Housed in a beautiful deluxe box with all original LP artwork along with two bonus poster inserts!

Introduction by Rolling Stone senior editor/MOJO contributor David Fricke.

Sourced from the original Verve/MGM analog reels and mastered by Bob Irwin.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Sunday Morning
  2. I m Waiting for the Man
  3. Femme Fatale
  4. Venus In Furs
  5. Run Run Run
  6. All Tomorrow s Parties
  7. Heroin
  8. There She Goes Again
  9. I ll Be Your Mirror
  10. The Black Angel s Death Song
  11. European Son

Disc: 2

  1. The Fairest of the Seasons
  2. These Days
  3. Little Sister
  4. Winter Song
  5. It Was a Pleasure Then
  6. Chelsea Girls
  7. I ll Keep It with Mine
  8. Somewhere There s a Feather
  9. Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams
  10. Eulogy to Lenny Bruce

Disc: 3

  1. White Light/White Heat
  2. The Gift
  3. Lady Godiva s Operation
  4. Here She Comes Now
  5. I Heard Her Call My Name
  6. Sister Ray

Disc: 4

  1. Candy Says
  2. What Goes On
  3. Some Kinda Love
  4. Pale Blue Eyes
  5. Jesus
  6. Beginning to See the Light
  7. I m Set Free
  8. That s the Story of My Life
  9. The Murder Mystery
  10. Afterhours

Disc: 5

  1. Foggy Notion
  2. One of These Days
  3. Lisa Says
  4. I m Sticking with You
  5. Ocean
  6. I Can t Stand It
  7. I m Gonna Move Right In
  8. We re Gonna Have a Real Good Time Together
  9. Rock and Roll
  10. Ride into the Sun

Product Details

  • Vinyl (October 30, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Sundazed Music Inc.
  • Run Time: 33.00 minutes
  • ASIN: B009439H26
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,538 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Nanook Jones on November 2, 2012
Verified Purchase
Mine came in today, and while I'm sure the mono sound is amazing, and obviously the music itself is essential, I have to admit to being very disappointed by the packaging.

1. The box holding the LPs is very lightweight and flimsy. Mine already has a crease across the back--I don't know if this occurred during shipping or before.

2. The box is way bigger spine-wise than the LPs themselves--there's a lot of air in there. Sundazed does such great vinyl, are they not aware that LPs need to be stored pressed snugly together, and not tilting where they could bow? I'm going to have to store the LPs out of the box with my other albums, or stuff some styrofoam or other LPs in there... I'd like to think I'll find some other use for the box, but really, wouldn't it have been cheaper to make it a little smaller anyway?

3. For those of you who care about the "introduction by David Fricke" (I do), note that it appears on a label outside the shrinkwrap. The box has no liner notes or booklet.

Am I still grateful to have it? You betcha. But in a day and age of deluxe box sets, I'm used to a more premium experience for $100 bucks... not what I expected from Sundazed. Sorry, guys!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ralph from Brooklyn on November 3, 2012
As far as packaging, I must agree with Nanook, this is pretty flimsy. Two vintage posters, very brief liner notes included on one of them, no session info, The box is too big and thin. I've had none of the cover scuffing issues that a lot of folks seem to have.
As for the music, it is sublime, these mono pressings are the best the Velvets have ever sounded. The first album finally sounds as clear as it should, nothing will ever make side two of WL/WH sounds perfect,but this gets close.
For me,the crown jewels of the set are the s/t third album and Chelsea Girl. The third album sounds gorgeous, retaining the closed in sound of the "closet mix" while letting in a bit of the air found on the Valentin mix. Just a perfect balance. Nico's Chelsea Girl has never sounded better, the strings are warm and natural, it finaly sounds like the luminous folk-pop album it is. As for the 1969 comp made up of alternate takes, it sounds like the next great Velvets album we never got. Great flow to it, sounds like a lot of thought went into it.
The vinyl is perfect, flat with no noise at all,although I've heard that some of the pressings are not up to par. Maybe I lucked out. There will be a second presing that will hopefully resolve some of the issues here, but the music is amazing, the best presentation of the Velvets I have ever heard, well worth the money.
I'm going to dock this one star for the presentation, but as far as the sound, it's a ten star set.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Geoffrey Myers on December 25, 2012
As noted by most of the other reviews the problem with this set is not the music (part of my collection for over 35 years),but the actual condition that the records are in. My box arrived covered in shrink wrap and each individual album in shrink wrap with both the box and covers in A1 condition but the condition of all five records themselves was beyond anything I have ever encountered apart from charity shop clearance bins. All records looked like they had been dropped on a dirty floor, picked up, sneezed on, given a wipe with a old rag and then put into paper sleeves which had been sitting around in a dusty warehouse. When you felt the inside of the inner sleeves you could feel fine grit which obviously contributed to the large number of surface scratches on the vinyl, each record also had numerous smudges of who knows what. Even after cleaning the records with a thoroughness I usually only need for the worst of the worst second hand vinyl (not new !)each record still jumped and stuck at various points on ALL sides of ALL albums. I had to clean all with a record cleaning machine to get them to the point where they would all play through with no problems, luckily once all the filth was removed the pressings proved to be of a good standard so obviously the problems occurred in the packing, not the pressing of the records. Hopefully Sundazed can find out who was responsible for the problems and fix them, they are a great label (never had a problem with their vinyl before) but a mess this big unfortunately would make me hesitate to buy any vinyl from them again.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dan Watkins on February 3, 2013
I'm not sure if Sundazed ran a new and improved second pressing of these or what, but my copy is completely free of all of the issues that the other reviews mention. I ordered mine straight from Sundazed in January of 2013, and I honestly have no complaints. My box came with a foam filler that keeps the LPs from shifting around inside the box, and all of the jackets and LPs are in fine shape (see my pictures in the customer images). I have a compulsion to wash every new LP I purchase, but these looked nice and blemish-free before I cleaned them. Listening to them now, they sound great: very little, if any, surface noise. The mono mixes might be a matter of personal taste, but I don't have any complaints. Plus, it's cool to have the alternate mixes. These were mastered from the analog tapes by Bob Irwin, and they sound great to my ears. In fact, after being burned by some recent cruddy vinyl reissues, these are honestly a breath of fresh air. The outer box isn't anything fancy (the pictures online actually fooled me into thinking it had a real working latch), but it isn't showing any wear and tear yet. I don't know. If you bought this set and it arrived in less than great shape, I would contact Amazon about getting a replacement.
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The Verve/MGM Albums
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