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White Light/White Heat [Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered]

Velvet UndergroundAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)

Price: $7.25 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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MP3 Music, 20 Songs, 2013 $16.49  
Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, 1996 $7.25  
Vinyl, 2013 $28.72  
Audio Cassette --  

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Velvet Underground White Light/White Heat 45th Anniversary Editions


The Velvet Underground's debut album, 1967's The Velvet Underground & Nico, is among the most important and influential ever made--and every new generation, as the Sex Pistols, David Bowie, R.E.M. and Sonic Youth have previously, rediscovers it. With the now two-CD, digitally remastered The Velvet Underground & Nico (Deluxe Edition) (Polydor/UME), released March 5, 2002, yet ... Read more in Amazon's Velvet Underground Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 7, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Polydor
  • ASIN: B000002G7E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,175 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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

Editorial Reviews

The proto-punk rock revolution that VU sparked reached its pinnacle right here. Feedback frenzies and narcotic odes abound as you behold Here She Comes Now; I Heard Her Call My Name ; the title cut; the mind-blowing epic Sister Ray , and more!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whip it on me Jim May 25, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Once you tame this wild, noisy, amphetamine-fueled, out-of-control beast of an album, it will be your best friend for a lifetime. Few albums are as off-putting on initial hearing; fewer still will reward you more after hundreds of spins. Inexplicably, its chaos, noise, and howling confusion will become comforting. But it takes awhile...
For example, I doubt anyone ever thought they'd play side two (for those who remember vinyl) a second time after weathering the "I Heard Her Call My Name"/"Sister Ray" barrage...but if you can brave Lou Reed's paint-stripping lead guitar and John Cale's shrieking organ a second and then third time, slowly the initial repulsion will turn to compulsion. And the mysteries will unfold...20 or 30 years later, you'll still be trying to figure out "Lady Godiva's Operation" or "Sister Ray"...or at least basking in their glorious noise.
Songwise, it's not the best music the Velvets, Reed, or Cale ever made, but it's probably the most influential--would Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo, Jesus & Mary Chain, Pavement, My Bloody Valentine, the lo-fi movement, etc., ever have happened without it?
"White Light/White Heat" is the sound of smart, cool, frustrated, and heavily amped (in all senses of the word) people coming apart and making as loud a noise as possible while they still could. And it's timeless because to this day it still irritates and scares people even after we've all been numbed by decades of hardcore, shock rock, and death metal.
Finally--the louder you play it, the clearer it gets. Volume is the key to this swamp creature of an album emerging from the murk...and the creature wants to be your friend despite its initially scary face.
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88 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The album that warped my fragile little mind... June 13, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Okay, so many years ago, I can't remember the exact year, but I was a teenager so it seems like a few billion, I was visiting a friend of mine in upstate New York. This friend was schizophrenic, although at the time I knew little about such things; I only knew he was freakin' out of his mind. (apologies to mental health and disabilities rights advocates, whom I think do good and valuable work, but this guy was loopy!) At the time, my musical obsessions were the Beatles and Pink Floyd, and I loathed anything having to do with "heavy" or otherwise abrasive sounds. This friend, who was afraid to approach a mailbox because he thought they were government spying devices, had a somewhat different take. First he played for me the Sex Pistols, a group that I had never heard of. I thought it sounded like two wolverines tied up inside a burlap sack being smashed against large rocks. I hated it. (of course, later on I would end up loving the thing for exactly the reason I just noted) Undeterred, and dare I say a little emboldened by offending my sensibilities so thoroughly, he got out a worn copy of the Velvet Underground's second album, "White Light/White Heat" and slapped it on the turntable. (hey, I said it was a long time ago) I have never been the same ever since.

The opening title track to me sounded like an old Jerry Lee Lewis song being ripped to shreds by the aforementioned wolverines. Right away, I was, to put it mildly, skeptical. I believe my exact comments were "put this &%#@!!! away and let me play you side one of "Wish You Were Here" already" He didn't budge. Next came "The Gift" which was John Cale reciting a short story by Lou Reed over a stormy sea of guitars and Maureen Tucker's primal drumming.
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82 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Life/Street Life January 3, 2006
By xxxxxx
Format:Audio CD
Having been a precocious kid I had the distinct pleasure (yes, I said pleasure) of seeing this band at the original Tea Party in the South End of Boston shortly after the release of "White Light/White Heat". Moe Tucker was still playing her drums standing like a mad majorette. Cale's electric voila was so loud plaster dust fell from the ceiling, literally.

With all the peace and love nonsense cluttering what little media was free enough to experiment this album cut like a knife through to the truth of what city life was really about.

When my sons asked me if I was a hippie I gave them the first MC5 and Stooges' albums - and "White Light/White Heat". They now play in a Punk band. I'm glad they got the point...
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Jewel in the VU crown August 15, 2002
Format:Audio CD
"approach with caution"?? Ha! Approach with caution my... Approach this record with wild, reckless abandon and nothing less. Tear open the cellophane wrapping with a large sheet metal cutter, throw it in the cd player and rotate the volume knob clockwise. You have just purchased a rock n roll masterpiece, and by God you need to share it with your neighbors. Let them experience the crunchy guitars crashing over the drowning piano in the title track, take them to the apartment where Waldo Jeffers meets his untimely demise inside a shipping container, and let them experience the nightmare of Lady Godiva and her operation. Tempt them with the haunting beauty of Here She Comes Now just to set them up for the frantic I Heard Her Call My Name. And just when they think that their neighbor has completely flipped and that it can't possibly get any crazier, finish them with the incindiary Sister Ray. When it's finished, you're sure to be tops on everyone's Christmas card list come December.
This album is not background music. This isn't cuddle with your girlfriend music, or sing your toddler to sleep music. If you're looking for mellow, skip this album and buy something safe. This album is like an armed robbery. Give it all your attention and hopefully no one will get hurt. If youre looking for an album so obnoxiously loud and demanding that you're scared to give it anything less than what it wants, buy it. If you're not afraid of music that challenges you on all possible fronts, you have found an album that will keep you coming back for years. It will also clear your house of any lingering guests after Thanksgiving dinner to boot.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great collection of additional unreleased material
great collection of additional unreleased material
Published 1 month ago by The Magic Stranger
5.0 out of 5 stars R.I.P. Lou!
John Cale's last go-round with VU. Terrific album! From the darkly weird/humorous "The Gift" to the extended even weirder "Sister Ray", this is a must have for VU... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kurk Schoner
2.0 out of 5 stars Study to Avoid the Roots of Pop Music Depravity
If not quite the tap root of USA popular music depravity, this is on the historical trunk line. It is wise not to be beguiled, of course and equally wise to remember that... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Darling Clementine
5.0 out of 5 stars "A Guide To The DELUXE & SUPER DELUXE Velvet Underground...
When the recent DELUXE and SUPER DELUXE versions of 'THE VELVET UNDERGROUND AND NICO' and 'WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT' were first announced I was fairly disgusted with the price of the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by John H. McCarthy
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent in every way.
The CD exceeds my expectations in sound quality & musical excellence. A tour de force in the ground breaking infancy of pure pre-punk rock
Published 5 months ago by Michael Baumhofer
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Option for Those Not Needing the 3-Disc Edition
Unlike "The VELVET UNDERGROUND & NICO, WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT doesn't seem to have left much unreleased material behind it, so apart from the lovely book those buying this... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Richard B. Luhrs
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Record
This record is truly unique. It has almost a 'dirty' sound quality that works perfectly. The Velvets were truly ahead of their time. Enjoy & enter at your own risk!
Published 6 months ago by Ed McEachen
5.0 out of 5 stars A CLASSIC
Drowning their songs in guitar fuzz and drone, VU made the most extreme disc in their extreme catalog."Sister Ray" is 17 minutes of amplifiers screaming.
Published 6 months ago by socalbiga
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutal, Ugly, and Brilliant
When this album was released in January 1968, the public was not ready for it. It was not entirely ready for the Velvet's masterful debut either, but that album was a Sing Along... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Musicman1967
4.0 out of 5 stars Typical exploitation for the holiday season
Hey, it's White Light White Heat and it has never sounded better. So why only four stars? Too pricey, that's why. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Munch Twain
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Topic From this Discussion
the 12 people that didnt like white light white heat Iggy Pop?
Apr 26, 2013 by Walter Five |  See all 2 posts
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