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This is the one with Sweet Jane; Rock & Roll; Oh! Sweet Nuthin'; New Age , and more of the last tracks by an iconic rock band.
While John Cale certainly gave the first couple of Velvet Underground albums a signature sound, his departure enabled Lou Reed to do exactly what he does best: write kick-ass, stripped-down rock songs. On Loaded his talent comes to full fruition. Who can imagine a world without "Sweet Jane" and "Rock & Roll," arguably two of the greatest rock tunes ever penned? The brilliance of those songs is so bright, it's easy to overlook a couple of other Reed masterpieces: the tender, epic discourse of "New Age" (which highlights his assured sense of poetic wordplay: "And when you kissed Robert Mitchum / Gee, but I thought you'd never catch him!") and the extended sweet blues romp of "Oh! Sweet Nuthin'." On Loaded the Velvet Underground--who before had hit the sonic ceiling experimenting with shattered chords, feedback, screeching violas, and what Reed once claimed was "the fastest guitar playing ever"--eschew the dark side of noise for clarity. Check out the ringing chime that begins "Who Loves the Sun" and the sterling (no pun intended) guitar riff that drives "Rock & Roll." This is not to say that the old ragged punch of the original Velvets is completely gone. Moe Tucker still beats a mean set of skins; there's no stopping Sterling Morrison's train-wreck rhythm guitar on "Train Round the Bend"; and "Head Held High" achieves near-"Sister Ray" moments of madness. --Tod Nelson
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I'm not one of them.
I'm going to review what we've got not what we didn't get.
"Loaded" remains a high point one of Lou's best albums as a songwriter and the VU as a band. By the time this was recorded, the VU had changed--Lou wanted to make an album that went in a different direction.
This remaster/expanded edition of a classic album includes a mono mix (which was only issued as a promotional release) of the original album. We also get the outtakes and alternate versions of tracks from "Loaded" . These tracks were largely released on the previous two disc version of the album.
The fourth disc is "Live at Max's Kansas City" had been a long time release on CD but is remastered here.
The fifth disc is "Live at Second Fret, Philadelpha, 1970" none of the tracks here have been previously released.
The sixth disc includes a 5.1 surround remix, a stereo downmix of the same tracks and finally the original album in high resolution stereo.
All of these are presented in a large format book with pictures and an essay discussing the album (roughly the same size as the Allman Brothers 12 CD expanded Live at The Fillmore but smaller than the "The Velvet Underground and Nico", "VU" releases).
This is an excellent reissue. Are there things that could have been included but weren't? Yes but we don't know WHY some of these were released as part of this set. There could have been contractual issues for the single and rehearsal tapes.