Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday Flashback

Doing a 180 from last week's all out rockin' tune. This one just feels right tonight. To say it's mellow doesn't do the song justice. It's difficult to share any good live vids of this legendary band simply because I'm not sure there are any that have both decent footage and sound quality. I'm a big fan of the first album, released in 1967. VU went through many line-up changes, and it became Lou Reed's band within a couple years after with the departure of John Cale. VU became a little more rock oriented while Lou Reed managed to define his edgy, gritty sound while continuing to write about controversial topics.

I'm no VU historian, just a huge fan of The Velvet Underground and Nico, that now famous debut album, so here's a bit quoted from wikipedia:

The Velvet Underground was an American rock band first active from 1965 to 1970 (and 1970 to 1973 in a different incarnation). Their best-known members were Lou Reed and John Cale, who both went on to find success as solo artists. Although never commercially successful while together, the band is often cited by many critics as one of the most important and influential groups of their era and to many future musicians.

The Velvet Underground was a part of the New York City art scene surrounding Andy Warhol's Factory and his Exploding Plastic Inevitable events. The band's music and lyrics challenged conventional societal standards of the time, and broke ground for other musicians to do the same. The band experimented with bending the rules of traditional rock & roll musical composition, often adding then-atypical instruments to their music and introducing a nihilistic outlook. The band was controversial in their day, and their outsider attitude and experimentation has since been cited as pivotal to the rise of punk rock and, later, alternative rock.

So, I hope you can enjoy this flashback. A bit of a departure for the series thus far!

Since I'm a bit late with today's flashback, let's make it a double feature so you can also hear a non-Nico song by VU:

The above songs are, in my mind, transcendent of genre. Just plain old well-written, moving songs.

~Sham, Quixotic Referee


nomilieu said...

Rock on, Sham.
I'm also a fan the Velvet Underground (which is somewhat odd, since I'm 22).

Sham aka Dave said...

I'm with ya, I didn't "discover" VU until I was in my early 20's. The band had broken up like 15 years prior. I did feel as though I had stumbled onto buried treasure, but in the current information age their stuff is much more accesible.

Glad to hear you like 'em!