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  • The Velvet Underground - 1969 (2LP) [Vinyl] - Drowned World Records
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The Velvet Underground

1969 [Vinyl 2LP]

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Though 1970 brought LOADED and (relative) commercial success for the Velvets, it also saw the beginning of their decline. Apparent commercial concessions and interpersonal tensions had already begun to tear the band apart at the seams. Their real peak came the year before, when--finding themselves halfway between artiness and pop pursuits--they dived headlong into amphetamine-fueled, minimalist-influenced proto-punk. The European influence had lessened with the departure of John Cale, allowing the VU to become a pure rock & roll band of unprecedented fervor.From the strung-out stomp of "Waiting For the Man" to the churning, perversely repetitious rhythms of "What Goes On" and the ironically revelatory "I'm Beginning To See The Light" the band blares away with such determinism it sounds like they're trying to bore a hole through the bottom of the stage. This live recording sees the fruition of their structural collectivist ethic; there are essentially no solos or improvisations, and yet they jam on the progressions of many of the songs for several minutes, allowing minute changes in dynamics to substitute for melodic/harmonic explorations. One of the finest live albums you'll hear, this is rock at its purest and most functional.