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Peel Slowly & See
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The Velvet Underground has grown over the years to be recognized as the most groundbreaking band of the '60s, and this 5-CD set is a shattering testament to their greatness and Lou Reed's genius. On its 5 CDs are newly remastered versions of all four of their studio albums (with The Velvet Underground presented in its alternate, "closet" mix version), plus-hold on-25 unreleased tracks, including 11 demos with John Cale and one without, seven Loaded outtakes and six live performances, plus other rarities plucked from VU and Another View . An 88-page booklet with complete credits and rare photos and memorabilia round out the set. Essential listening.
This comprehensive five-disc retrospective of the Velvet Underground chronicles the band from its earliest demo tapes, recorded in 1965, to Lou Reed's final work with band, in 1970. At their notorious peak, Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, and Mo Tucker epitomized the sound of intellectual art punks being spontaneously creative in Andy Warhol's Manhattan. Rock & roll has never been the same since Reed's gutter-rock observations and Cale's cool, droning electric viola blanketing the band's mysterious three-chord innovations. It's all here: loads of feedback, classic songwriting, and Reed's transformation from Dylan imitator to sonic-rock auteur. With previously unreleased gems, live performances, and other oddities, this is everything you wanted to know about the Velvets but were afraid to ask. --Mitch Myers
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“Peel Slowly and See” (1995, Polydor/Chronicles) is a 5 CD Box Set including all first 4 Velvet’s studio albums remastered up to that time. CD 1 is a collection of 6 early 1966 Demos recorded at John Cale’s living room. CD 2 is the entire “The Velvet Underground & Nico” (1967) album plus 2 Nico tunes and an unreleased song. CD 3 is “White Light/White Heat” (1968) album plus 7 unreleased songs and 2 songs from 1985’s “VU” and one from 1986 “Another View”. CD 4 is “The Velvet Underground” (1969) album in its ‘Closet Mix’ version plus 5 songs from “VU” and 2 unreleased. CD 5 is the “Loaded” (1970) album plus 5 unreleased songs, and 2 live songs.
Personally, this box set is necessary for real VU fans, but it has three missing details like all song’s lyrics, the separate CDs didn’t include the original album artwork just a little picture of the covers on the back tray of each CD. It didn’t include the entire 1984 “VU” and 1986 “Another View” unreleased songs compilations properly remastered this last point it’s the most disappointing aspect for me but the box set it’s 99% perfect in my opinion.
The box cover is based on the original Andy Warhol “Banana” album cover with a pealable banana sticker. The box contains an 88-page booklet with a very extensive essay by Journalist David Fricke with lots and lots of memorabilia and photos provided by Sterling Morrison himself. Also includes many conversations with Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison, John Cale and Maureen Tucker. A very very good collectable box set.
Peel Slowly and See It’s Alright!...
On disc 1 there are demo versions exclusive to this release. We are all excited to hear new Velvet's material, but it's mostly Cale singing the same verse over and over accompanied by Reed on acoustic guitar. Interesting, but you won't be anxious to hear this more than a couple of times.
On disc 2 there's the short version of All Tomorrow's Parties (Single Version) which is before The Velvet Underground & Nico. There is no reason for this to start the disc; it's the shorter, lesser version of the song. The huge bonus on this disc is the live track Melody Laughter, which is VU live w/Nico; wish there was more tracks like this on here.
Disc 3 features demos and live tracks before the main release that is White Light/White Heat. Again, all of these tracks should be at the end of the official release. The live tracks Guess I'm Falling In Love and Booker T. are particularly noteworthy, but are awkward listens before the showcase release.
Disc 4 has a live version of What Goes On and you get to hear the "closet" version 2 tracks later. A minor annoyance, but still. The live and bonus tracks on this are outstanding.
Disc 5 I have little to complain about. Loaded precedes all of the great extras.
On to the packaging. Comes in a great book shelf worthy cardboard case w/a vinyl peel off banana that encloses the discs themselves which are in plastic cases as opposed to the annoying cardboard digipacks that are customary these days. There is also the awesome 80 page booklet w/musings from the Velvets as reported by David Fricke. What is disappointing about the packaging is that the original LP covers are reduced to thumbnails on the back of the cds. These are replaced, on the front cd cover, by scans of the analog tape cases w/hand written notes; very cool, but not worthy enough to replace the original covers.
In conclusion, lots to like here, but my big gripe is I wanted an all inclusive box set w/track listings that were suitable to my tastes.
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BUT: The version I received Christmas Day 2013 started falling apart the moment I...Read more