Published on January 6th, 2014 | by Joseph Climer0
Record of the Issue: Velvet Underground’s *Another View: Previously Unreleased Recordings*
Having waited until Lou Reed’s death to review some Velvet Underground seems cliché and for that, Lou, I apologize. I am merely re-polishing what is already golden. I still remember the first time hearing the Velvet Underground. Shacked up in the cluttered bedroom of my best friend, who also happened to be the pastor’s son, we had just watched SLC Punk as we shared a pair of shitty headphones plugged into the box set television. There was a tension in the room, anxious of Brother Jerry marching in, asking, “What the hell are you kids up too?” But as SLC Punk drew to the credits and Velvet’s “Rock and Roll” ensued, I forgot everything I had ever known. It may not have been much for a fourteen year old, but that’s not the point here. This isn’t about me, or Brother Jerry, or God. It’s about much more; it’s about The Velvet Underground.
With an opening track full of beach groove and na-na-nas, you’ll wonder why these tracks went unreleased, knowing immediately you’re in for a good time. This is reinsured by the song title, “We’re Gonna Have a Real Good Time Together.” The next track up-shifts into an improv jazz session, with a grungy undertone. “Hey Mr. Rain” manages to shift the album back down to an “Another Side of Bob Dylan” feel. The song winds down with a scorching wail of viola. It sends chills down your spine from its sinister and its beauty, which transitions nicely to the end of Side A, as it drifts into “Ride Into The Sun.” While it is voiceless (instrumental) the song holds a kind of triumph or victory with spacey synthesizer solos and deep guitar bends from way down under.
Side B brings out all the classic punk rock, lo-fi we all know and love. What is so great about Another View is the track layout. It is introduced to the listener slowly with care and consideration, like a new friendship or lover. This seems strategic with following titles such as, “We’re Gonna Have a Real Good Time Together,” “I’m Gonna Move Right In,” and “Guess I’m Falling In Love.” Then we are brought to the final track, “Rock and Rock,” and I’m taken back over a decade. There’s Lou, singing his own anthem and there I am, in awe, sitting too close to that old box set. Now, I didn’t know it at the time, but while I was running late for Sunday school, I was being saved by “Rock and Roll.” In a lot of ways, those SLC Punk credits will never stop rolling, “Rock and Roll” will never end, and Lou Reed will never die.
For more information on The Velvet Underground, buy out The End of All Music’s stellar used selection.