With their lyrical preoccupations, the Velvet Underground may not have been a label's dream client, but they had cleaned up their act. Well, they'd at least cleaned up their sound by the time The Velvet Underground
The band then recorded another album's worth of tracks, after which MGM/Verve got cold feet. That's because in 1970, MGM's plans seemed to revolve around ideas like the 'Bosstown sound', and dumping drug-related acts from their roster. Way to stay popular guys - why not just go bulk-up on crooners, and ignore the kids, middle-class white folk, that's the ticket - now go rustle up some more folk singers Marv.
Recorded 1968-69 but not released until 1985, VU
is not 'The Great Lost Velvet Underground album', but a large portion of it is, along with a couple of Cale-era tracks. The tracks all date from the band's post-feedback era, where they focused more on straightforward songcraft, without wails, and less obvious references to the more consuming aspects of life.
The album retains the band's unique sound - the persistent rhythm of Tucker's simple beats, along with uncluttered bass and rhythm guitar. That lockstep rhythm section is mirrored somewhat in the squalls of overarching feedback they employ on "I Can't Stand It", that still provides enough space for snappy little guitar lines or Reed's offhand lyrical delivery.
Only "Ocean" fails to provide enough cover for the music, instead relying on the band's soothing repetitive noise. Otherwise, Reed's interest in country ("One of These Days"), 50's music (portions of "She's My Best Friend"), and heartfelt pop ("Stephanie Says") all appear here.
by Reviewer: Obscurity
(blogging at Obscurity!