Παρασκευή, 20 Νοεμβρίου 2015

The Velvet Underground: Music Suggestion Of The Day 20/11/2015


Today’s suggestion is coming rather easy like going with the flow even if kinda betrays the general principle of 365 different suggestions. This peculiarity already happened in other artists such as Maiden or Tom Waits. This time around we have a better alibi simply because today’s band is slightly different from yesterday solo artist suggestion. Nevertheless these 2 posts are strongly connected due to the fact that today’s suggestion has for principal member yesterday’s artist. It’ like Sabbath saying and let tomorrow’s dream seems like yesterday’s to me….

It’s the first time however that we choose a band that is memorized for its commercial failure then and yet, at the same time, being widely accepted and acclaimed nowadays. Experts say about the matter: «The Velvet Underground was an American rock band, active between 1964 and 1973, formed in New York City. The group achieved little commercial success during its career, but is now recognized as one of the most important and influential of its era. The group was briefly managed by Andy Warhol, and served as the house band at the Silver Factory and Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable events from 1966 to 1967. The provocative subject matter, musical experimentation, and often nihilistic attitudes explored in their music proved influential in the development of punk rock and alternative music.[1][2]
Their 1967 debut album The Velvet Underground & Nico featured German singer and collaborator Nico and was called the "most prophetic rock album ever made" by Rolling Stone in 2003.[3][4] In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked the band No. 19 on its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time".[5] The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 by Patti Smith.
pop art noise goth punk...
At Warhol's insistence, Nico sang with the band on three songs of their debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico. The album was recorded primarily in Scepter Studios in New York City during April 1966, but for reasons unclear, some songs were rerecorded at TTG Studios in Los Angeles, along with the new song "Sunday Morning", later in the year with Tom Wilson producing. The album was released by Verve Records the following year in March 1967.
The album cover is famous for its Warhol design: a yellow banana sticker with "Peel slowly and see" printed near the tip. Those who did remove the banana skin found a pink, peeled banana beneath.
Eleven songs showcased their dynamic range, veering from the pounding attacks of "I'm Waiting for the Man" and "Run Run Run", the droning "Venus in Furs" and "Heroin", the chiming and celestial "Sunday Morning" to the quiet "Femme Fatale" and the tender "I'll Be Your Mirror", as well as Warhol's own favorite song of the group, "AllTomorrow's Parties".[21] Kurt Loder would later describe "All Tomorrow's Parties" as a "mesmerizing gothic-rock masterpiece".[21]
The overall sound was propelled by Reed and Nico's deadpan vocals, Cale's droning viola, bass and keyboards, Reed's experimental avant-garde guitar, Morrison's often R&B- or country-influenced guitar, and Tucker's simple but steady and tribal-sounding beat with sparse use of cymbals. Another distinct feature on many songs was the "drone strum", an eighth-note rhythm guitar style used by Reed. Although Cale was the band's usual bassist, if he switched to viola or keyboards, Morrison would normally play bass. Despite his proficiency on the instrument, Morrison hated playing bass.[22][23] Conversely, some songs had Reed and Morrison playing their usual guitars with Cale on viola or keyboards, but with nobody playing bass.
In September 1967, the Velvet Underground began recording their second album, White Light/White Heat, with Tom Wilson as producer.
prophets of doom
The band performed live often, and their performances became louder and harsher and often featured extended improvisations. Cale reports that at about this time the Velvet Underground was one of the first groups to receive an endorsement deal from Vox. The company pioneered special effects, which were utilized on the album.
Sterling Morrison offered the following input regarding the recording:
There was fantastic leakage 'cause everyone was playing so loud and we had so much electronic junk with us in the studio—all these fuzzers and compressors. Gary Kellgren, who is ultra-competent, told us repeatedly: "You can't do it—all the needles are on red." and we reacted as we always reacted: "Look, we don't know what goes on in there and we don't want to hear about it. Just do the best you can." And so the album is fuzzy, there's all that white noise...we wanted to do something electronic and energetic. We had the energy and the electronics, but we didn't know it couldn't be recorded...what we were trying to do was really fry the tracks.[28]
The recording was raw and oversaturated. Cale has stated that while the debut had some moments of fragility and beauty, White Light/White Heat was "consciously anti-beauty." The title track sets a harsh opening, featuring bassist John Cale pounding on the piano in a style akin to Jerry Lee Lewis. It was later included in the repertoire of David Bowie. Despite the dominance of noisefests like "Sister Ray" and "I Heard Her Call My Name", there was room for the darkly comic "The Gift", a short story written by Reed and narrated by Cale in his deadpan Welsh accent. The meditative "Here She Comes Now" was later covered by Galaxie 500, Cabaret Voltaire, and Nirvana, among others.
Who knows about that kid??

 The album was released on January 30, 1968, entering the Billboard Top 200 chart for two weeks, at a dismal number 199.
Their 3rd album was recorded swiftly in late 1968 at TTG Studios in Hollywood, California, and was released in March 1969. The cover photograph was taken by Billy Name. The LP sleeve was designed by Dick Smith, then a staff artist at MGM/Verve. Released on March 12, 1969, the album failed to make Billboard's Top 200 album chart.
The harsh, abrasive tendencies on the first two records were almost entirely absent on their third album. This resulted in a gentler sound influenced by folk music, prescient of the songwriting style that would soon form Reed's solo career. While Reed had covered a vast range of lyrical subjects on the first two Velvet Underground albums, the lyrical themes of the third album were more "intimate" in nature.
During 1969 the band also recorded on and off in the studio, creating a lot of promising material (both singles and one-offs) that were never officially released at the time due to disputes with their record label. What many consider to be the prime songs of these recording sessions were released years later, in 1985, in a compilation album called VU. The album VU marks the transitional sound between the whisper-soft third album, and the band's movement to the later pop rock song-style of their final record, Loaded.»
So ladies & gents
The Velvet Underground

(with or without Nico)
The Essential Recordings

Related Links
Heroin

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