Monday, 20 April 2009

The Velvet Underground.

Marguerita Passion had to get her fix
She wasn't well, she was getting sick
Went to sell her soul, she wasn't high
Didn't know, thinks she could buy it
And she would run, run, run
Take a drag or two
Run, run, run, run, run
Gypsy Death and you
Tell you whatcha do
~ Run Run Run.

A blackened shroud, a hand-me-down gown
Of rags and silks, a costume
Fit for one who sits and cries
For all tomorrow's parties
~ All Tomorrow's Parties.

You're put down in her book
You're number 37, have a look
She's going to smile to make you frown, what a clown
Little boy, she's from the street
Before you start, you're already beat
She's gonna play you for a fool, yes it's true
~ Femme Fatale.

It is said that In the history of rock n roll, VU's influence could only be rivalled by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Highly influential on alt rock, lo-fi, garage type music, even though they are not commercially successful as they would have hoped, history would prove otherwise, as evident on their debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico through to their fourth album, Loaded. Their debut remains a favourite of mine, even though the late Nico's voice still sound "cold and flat" to me, it opens with sweet sounding Sunday Morning, then a song about junkies in Heroin and Run, Run, Run and close with the epic proto industrial sounding European Son. White Heat, White Light reminds me of Sonic Youth, Jesus & The Mary Chain and their early albums, as well as other noize smiths of the modern times. By the time third album called The Velvet Underground came out, John Cale is gone and replace by Doug Yule. Immediately, the influence of Lou Reed's more accessible and calmer/folkier songs structure as well as the absence of avant garde/noise are noticible. When Loaded came out, songs ownership dispute and internal strife have wrecked VU apart, of which Lou Reed departed a month before the album came out. Main drummer Maureen Moe Tucker was on maternity, so an assortment of other individuals are called in to fill in her roles during the making of the album. The late Sterling Morrison took his role as far as he could and eventually left a year later. Even so, this album gave two of the most memorable songs in rock history, Sweet Jane and Rock & Roll.

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