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White Light/White Heat [2 LP][45th Anniversary Deluxe Edition]
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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, May 7, 1996
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'No one listened to it. But there it is, forever - the quintessence of articulated punk. And no one goes near it.' - Lou Reed, August 2013
'Cited by nearly every group in punk's long lineage and by more than a few arty types, the Velvets defined New York rock, poised between street-level grit and literary irony, rock simplicity and minimalistic drones, clarity and noise.' - The New York Times
This 45th Anniversary Deluxe Vinyl Edition, features 13 tracks spread across 2LPs and features the original stereo release, completely remastered, with bonus tracks including alternate versions and unreleased outtakes. Including four newly prepared remixes, including the earliest known, previously unreleased version of 'Beginning To See The Light,' and previously unreleased versions of 'The Gift (vocal version)' and 'The Gift (instrumental version).' The vinyl set comes in a beautiful gatefold jacket with the music on 180gram audiophile virgin vinyl. The 45th anniversary editions of White Light/White Heat have been developed in conjunction with Lou Reed and John Cale.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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...
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like the Velvets, especially Loaded and their first album with Nico, but was seriously underimpressed with this album. Read morePublished 2 months ago by matsci
Excelent album. The Best by VU.
However, on the version I purchased (2008 under the label 4 Men W/ Beards) the centre of the vinyl's label has their hideous label on it. Read more
my least favorite of their first four albums. still very strongPublished 10 months ago by Joseph McGuinness (Ray Ray's Records)
This album arrived in perfect condition. It was a gift, and my friend loves it.Published 14 months ago by Natasha