In the spring of 1967, after sitting on it for about a year, Verve Records issued The Velvet Underground & Nico, a strange yet ultimately captivating album by a New York band comprised of singer/guitarist Lou Reed, instrumentalist John Cale, guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen "Moe" Tucker - with vocal contributions from Nico, a German singer and model introduced to the album at the behest of artist and album producer Andy Warhol. Producer Brian Eno summed the album up better than anyone in in 1982: while sales were modest - only about 30,000 copies - "I think everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band."
To celebrate the band's unconventional output and widespread influence, UMe will issue in February a 50th anniversary box set featuring all of the band's original albums on vinyl, plus a newly-created double album of the band's many outtakes from 1969, released years later on several compilations.
The set includes 180-gram vinyl versions of the band's four studio albums from 1967 to 1970, all presented in their original stereo mixes and recreations of the original album artwork: The Velvet Underground & Nico, White Light/White Heat (1968), The Velvet Underground (1969, featuring Doug Yule as a replacement for Cale) and Loaded (1970, Reed's last work with the group). The box also features Nico's Chelsea Girl (1967), which featured writing and performance from Reed, Cale and Morrison as well as up-and-coming musician Jackson Browne.
1969, a new compilation exclusive to the box, features all the outtake material from later compilations VU (1985) and Another View (1986); several are presented in remixed form as first heard on the band's 45th anniversary box sets of White Light/White Heat and The Velvet Underground. This burst of creativity was either rejected by Verve/MGM or not submitted at all, depending on who you ask, and precipitated the band's jump from MGM to Cotillion for Loaded.
Assembled by producer Bill Levenson, this box (limited to 1000 copies worldwide) is augmented by a 48-page book of photos, lyrics and a newly-penned foreword by Tucker. It's available February 23 and can be pre-ordered now through Universal's uDiscover Music store.
The Velvet Underground (Verve/UMe, 2018)
LP 1: The Velvet Underground & Nico (Verve V6-5008, 1967)
LP 2: Nico, Chelsea Girl (Verve V6-5032, 1967)
LP 3: White Light/White Heat (Verve V6-5046, 1968)
LP 4: The Velvet Underground (MGM Records SE 4617, 1969)
LP 5-6: 1969 (new compilation)
- Foggy Notion (Original 1969 Mix)
- One Of These Days (2014 Mix)
- Lisa Says (2014 Mix)
- I'm Sticking With You (Original 1969 Mix)
- Andy's Chest (Original 1969 Mix)
- I Can't Stand It (2014 Mix)
- She's My Best Friend (Original 1969 Mix)
- We're Gonna Have a Real Good Time Together (2014 Mix)
- I'm Gonna Move Right In (Original 1969 Mix)
- Ferryboat Bill (Original 1969 Mix)
- Coney Island Steeplechase (2014 Mix)
- Ocean (Original 1969 Mix)
- Rock & Roll (Original 1969 Mix)
- Ride Into The Sun (2014 Mix)
- Hey Mr. Rain (Version 1)
- Guess I'm Falling In Love (Instrumental)
- Temptation Inside Your Heart (Original Mix)
- Stephanie Says (Original Mix)
- Hey Mr. Rain (Version 2)
- Beginning To See The Light (Early Version)
Tracks 1, 4-5, 7, 12 and 17-18 from VU (Verve 823 721-1 Y-1, 1985)
Tracks 2-3, 6, 8, 11 and 14 from The Velvet Underground: 45th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Polydor/UMe B0021752-02, 2014). Tracks 2-3 and 6 originally released on VU; Tracks 8, 11 and 14 originally released on Another View
Tracks 9-10, 13, 15-16 and 19 from Another View (Verve 829 405-1 Y-1, 1986)
Track 20 from White Light/White Heat: 45th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Polydor/UMe B0019246-02, 2013)
LP 7: Loaded (Cotillion SD 9034, 1970)
A CD release of that 1969 compilation would be a nice upgrade, particularly for those of us who didn't spring for the anniversary box sets.