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The Velvet Underground - 45th Anniversary [6 CD][Super Deluxe Edition]

4.6 out of 5 stars 191 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 24, 2014
$77.08
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$77.08 & FREE Shipping. Details Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

The Velvet Underground's classic self-titled third album, released in March 1969, by MGM, was a departure from the band's first two albums in more ways than one. Gone was co-founding member John Cale, and in his place was a 21-year-old with Long Island roots named Doug Yule, who stepped right in. The record was also a stylistic leap, as Lou Reed describes it in Rolling Stone editor David Fricke's liner notes, 'I thought we had to demonstrate the other side of us. Fricke calls it 'a stunning turnaround… 10 tracks of mostly warm, explicit sympathy and optimism, expressed with melodic clarity, set in gleaming double-guitar jangle and near-whispered balladry. Or as the late rock critic Lester Bangs put it, 'How do you define a group like this, who moved from 'Heroin' to 'Jesus' in two short years?'


Celebrating its enduring longevity, Polydor/Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) will releases The Velvet Underground - 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition. This 64-track, six-CD package is housed in a case-bound book and features several different mixes including the remastered stereo mix by MGM house engineer Luis Pastor 'Val' Valentin, a set of 1969 recordings, many of which were previously unreleased, from the Record Plant in New York City that were supposed to be the band's fourth album, several of which ended up on Loaded and Reed's first two solo releases, and unreleased live recordings from The Matrix in 1969.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 24, 2014)
  • Deluxe Edition edition
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Label: Polydor
  • ASIN: B00O1GGAZI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (191 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,454 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Velvet Underground Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Charles Miller on November 25, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is the third of what is so far, three 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Editions, each focusing on The Velvet Underground's first three albums. Due to how expensive these editions are, they have all been released shortly before the holiday season as they would make for the perfect present for those who may resist spending a lot of money to get it. As was the case with the previous two releases ("The Velvet Underground & Nico" and "White Light / White Heat"), the same question must be raised: Is it worth buying this self-titled album yet again? And as before, the answer remains the same: No, if you are a casual listener, but a very definite yes if you are fanatical about The Velvet Underground. What is most interesting about this is the fact that the discs devoted to the self-titled album this anniversary set celebrates are not the main event... it is the 1969 Sessions mixes (Disc 4) and the breathtaking sound quality of The Matrix recordings (Discs 5 & 6) that makes this set worth the price of admission.

DISCS ONE & DISC TWO
There were three versions of this self-titled album, and disc one is known as the Valentin mix. It is bright-sounding and typical for 1960s albums. Lou Reed mixed the second version and it is known as the "closet mix" because that is how Velvet Underground guitarist, Sterling Morrison, correctly thought it sounded like (as if it were recorded in a closet... boxy, quiet and unsurprisingly with Reed's voice way up in the mix). The third version is the promotional monaural mix. Critics of these pricey issues will state you only need a single CD version, but such is not the case. First off, any serious listener recognizes the value and differences between the Valentin mix and Reed's version; so much so in fact, both versions are necessary.
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By A Customer on April 30, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This fantastic album is the exact opposite of "White Light/White Heat": where "WL/WH" was loud, this one is quiet; where "WL/WH" was bold, this album is beautiful; where "WL/WH" was an undisputed masterpiece, this album is...um, also an undisputed masterpiece. (Damn, that was going so well...).
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Format: Audio CD
The Velvet Underground were such a great band they probably could have made even third-rate material sound interesting. Fortunately, they were never faced with this challenge. During his days with VU, Lou Reed was on one of the all-time great songwriting tears; and nowhere is this more obvious than on the band's eponymous third album. For the ballads alone, Reed's work here is staggering -- "Pale Blue Eyes," "I'm Set Free," "Candy Says," "Jesus." Throw in the two delirious rockers "What Goes On" and "Beginning to See the Light" and the undefinable but wonderful "Some Kind of Love," and you begin wondering which devil Reed made his pact with. No joke, folks: Lou has come up with a batch of songs here as uniformly strong as 'Blood on the Tracks' or 'Plastic Ono Band.' I can't give any higher praise than that.
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Format: Audio CD
For their third album, the self-titled THE VELVET UNDERGROUND, Lou Reed got rid of both producer Andy Warhol and art-rocker John Cale. And the result is a surprisingly melodic collection of soft ballads, thoughtful lyrics, and flashes of flat-out fun rock and roll that echos the sound of the band's previous recordings without actually repeating it in any discernable way.
This is the Velvet Underground's most accessible album, the one that most people first experience and find easiest to enjoy. After opening with the meloncholy "Candy Says," a song suggested by the musings of transexual Candy Darling, the band ramps up into a go-go beat with slightly mid-eastern guitar twists for my personal favorite on the album, "What Goes On"--and then settles into a series of equally memorable cuts that range from the soft beauty of "Pale Blue Eyes" to the mantra-like "Jesus" to the good time "Beginning to See the Light." Whether upbeat or meloncholy, Lou Reed's unique style of talk-singing imparts a chant-like quality to the entire album, and although he has sometimes equaled these vocals in later work, he has never really bested them. Of course, the Velvets wouldn't be the Velvets without out at least one truly far-out-down-right-weird selection, and they offer it with "The Murder Mystery," a collage of conversation-like speech and lanquid singing that changes rhythms from moment to moment and which challenges the listener to sort out the individual voices and words. And then the album wraps up with an unlikely 1930-ish tune, "Afterhours," sung by drummer Maureen Tucker--and her completely unaffected, non-singer and off-key voice has surprising unstudied charm, rather like that of a school girl unaware that she is being recorded.
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Format: Audio CD
I know people say the 1st album is essential but this is more representation of the Velvets than anything. No John Cale but his vision remains. Soft songs like CANDY SAYS, PALE BLUE EYES and JESUS are minimal and quiet but still retain a subtle groove that explodes on tracks like WHAT GOES ON, BEGINING TO SEE THE LIGHT and IM SET FREE. This combination of quiet and loud is great. My Favorite song SOME KIND OF LOVE is a groovin country twang with some great lyrics from Lou Reed about who really knows what for sure. THE MURDER MYSTERY is a hold over experimental track from the WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT album. All styles are here.
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