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Velvet Underground: White Light / White Heat 12" (Half-Speed Master)

Velvet Underground: White Light / White Heat 12" (Half-Speed Master)


Tags: · 70s · experimental · proto-punk · rock and pop
Regular price
$36.00
Sale price
$36.00

The Velvet Underground's White Light/White Heat is one of the most confrontational and inspirational second albums ever made by a rock band. Recorded in a matter of days at the end of the summer of 1967, a season in which everything seemed possible in rock and much of it happened at now-mythic speed, White Light/White Heat is an album that reeks of the gritty NY street life and could only have been made in New York, by one band. And that group is the classic quartet lineup of The Velvet Underground – singer-guitarist Lou Reed; bassist-organist and viola player John Cale; guitarist-bassist Sterling Morrison; and drummer Maureen Tucker. Originally released by Verve Records on January 30, 1968, the LP cracked Billboard's Top 200 albums chart on March 16, entering at No. 199. Over 50 years later, White Light/White Heat is considered one of the most influential albums of all time, laying down the blue print for punk and experimental rock.

White Light/White Heat starts with the album's title track plunging you head first into 40 minutes of unprecedented, transgressive rock storytelling, propelled by epic distortion, lacerating guitar drone and severe, rhythmic purism – "the Statue of Liberty of punk," Reed contends, "with the light on top. It's beyond unique and wonderful. No other group can touch what that is. You can't try to be that." Other tracks include the airy yearning of "Here She Comes Now," one of the Velvets' finest ballads which gives the listener a two-minute breather with its "almost" serene beauty before being launched back in; the upbeat, hard-hitting proto-punk track "I Heard Her Call My Name," punctuated with Reed's biting guitar soloing, intertwined with a wall of distortion and feedback; the experimental sung and spoken noir of "Lady Godiva's Operation" and "The Gift"; climaxing with the propulsive, distorted eternity of sexual candor and twilight drug life, rendered dry and real in Reed's lethal monotone, in the 17-minute-plus "Sister Ray."