The Velvet Underground :: Fully Re-Loaded

10 tunes were chosen for Loaded, each one a perfect pop miniature. The album is famous for its unparalleled one-two punch of “Sweet Jane” and “Rock & Roll,” of course. But that’s just the beginning of its delights. There’s also the twilit balladry of “I Found A Reason,” the choogling groove of “Train Round the Bend,” the garage rock abandon of “Head Held High,” and the slow, sad sway of “Oh! Sweet Nuthin’.” Slyest of all is the groovy opener, “Who Loves the Sun,” which wouldn’t have sounded out of place next to the Archies on Lou’s beloved AM radio.

Lou Reed :: Words & Music, May 1965

Listening to this phenomenal collection of Velvet Underground prehistory, it’s fairly mind-boggling how fast Lou Reed and John Cale moved in the earliest stages of their creative partnership. Less than a year after these acoustic demos were made, the pair were in the studio recording the epochal Velvet Underground & Nico — an LP whose reverberations are still being felt today.

Move Right In: The Velvet Underground At The Boston Tea Party, 1968-1969

Dig into a homemade comp of choice Velvet Underground performances at the Boston Tea Party, the club that served as the band’s home away from home in the late 1960s. These so-called “Professor Tapes” have circulated for years, but the master reels were made available a while back, and – though they’re still far from an audiophile experience – they’re much more listenable now. And the music here more than makes up for the 50+ year old tape hiss.

The World’s Behind You :: The Velvet Underground & Nico Reimagined

Here’s our own reimagining of The Velvet Underground & Nico, featuring obscure takes on the VU, spanning from the 1960s to the 1990s. Some of these renditions are fairly faithful to the source, while others are decidedly irreverent, finding some truly weirdo approaches to these very sturdy songs. Synth-pop, goth, glam, industrial, grunge, garage … it’s all here, and more.

The Velvet Underground :: The Second Fret, Philadelphia, January 1970

…fiery renditions of “White Light / White Heat,” “Sister Ray” and “Foggy Notion” (Sterling Morrison sounding especially killer on the latter tune). There’s a rare take on the lovely “Over You,” for some reason never attempted in the studio — here, Lou Reed calls it his “Billie Holiday impersonation.” And then there’s “Sweet Jane,” still in its original, slow-and-steady incarnation, Reed making up lyrics as he goes. Lo-fi quality? Yeah. Hi-fi experience? Oh yeah.

Unearthed, Vol. 11 :: UnLoaded

Loaded has been rightly celebrated plenty over the decades, but what the hell, let’s celebrate it a little more. This latest Unearthed mix cobbles together an alternate version of the LP via some tasty live recordings, rehearsal tapes, backstage jams and other obscurities. Recording quality varies wildly, performance quality is great throughout. Heavenly wine & roses await.