Director Todd Haynes has long emphasized music in his filmography. One of his first works to garner significant attention was 1987's controversial and unauthorized Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story; four years later, his evocation of the glam rock era in Velvet Goldmine made more commercial waves. More recently, he's been attached to direct Michelle Williams in the forthcoming Peggy Lee biopic Fever. But before Haynes tackles Peggy, he's returning to a different Velvet: The Velvet Underground.
On October 15, The Velvet Underground: A Documentary Film by Todd Haynes will be released in theaters and to the Apple TV+ streaming service. The same day, Republic Records/UMe will issue the film's soundtrack on 2-CD and digital formats. The movie secured the participation of surviving bandmates John Cale and Maureen "Mo" Tucker in chronicling the story of the groundbreaking group formed by Cale, Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison, and Angus MacLise (replaced in 1965 by Tucker). Upon its July premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, the documentary was met with acclaim and Oscar buzz.
The album, offering 16 tracks by the Velvets and others, has been curated by Haynes and music supervisor Randall Poster. It includes some of the band's best-loved anthems ("I'm Waiting for the Man," "Sweet Jane") as well as deeper cuts (the mono version of "Heroin," the 1969 outtake "Foggy Notion") and live tracks ("After Hours," a nearly 20-minute-long jam on "Sister Ray"). Distinguishing this from the standard VU compilation, the soundtrack adds Nico's "Chelsea Girls" and the novelty "The Ostrich" from Lou Reed and John Cale's early band The Primitives. Some of the Velvets' influences are also featured via Bo Diddley's "Road Runner," doo-wop group The Diablos' "The Wind," and La Monte Young's "17 XII 63 NYC The Fire Is a Mirror (excerpt)," performed by the avant-garde unit known as The Theatre of Eternal Music.
The Velvet Underground: A Documentary Film by Todd Haynes explores the band's integration of the avant-garde into the burgeoning rock genre. The soundtrack and film are due October 15. You'll find the album's tracklisting and pre-order links below.
- Venus In Furs - The Velvet Underground (5:12)
- The Wind - The Diablos (3:05)
- 17 XII 63 NYC The Fire Is a Mirror (excerpt) - The Theatre of Eternal Music (6:21)
- Heroin [Mono] - The Velvet Underground (7:14)
- Road Runner (Live) - Bo Diddley (4:14)
- The Ostrich - The Primitives (2:25)
- I'm Waiting for the Man - The Velvet Underground (4:40)
- Chelsea Girls - Nico (7:27)
- Sunday Morning - The Velvet Underground (2:56)
- Sister Ray (Live) - The Velvet Underground (19:03)
- Pale Blue Eyes - The Velvet Underground (5:40)
- Foggy Notion - The Velvet Underground (6:59)
- After Hours (Live; Version 1) - The Velvet Underground (2:56)
- Sweet Jane - The Velvet Underground (4:09)
- Ocean - The Velvet Underground (5:14)
- All Tomorrow's Parties - The Velvet Underground (5:53)