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Beginning To See The Light: 6-CD Super Deluxe “Velvet Underground” Coming In November

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VU BoxFor the third year in a row, a classic album by The Velvet Underground will receive the super deluxe treatment from Polydor and Universal Music Enterprises (UMe).

On November 24, 2014, the label will release The Velvet Underground – 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition, a 65-track, 6-CD hardcover book-style box set, following 2012’s release of The Velvet Underground and Nico and 2013’s White Light/White Heat.  The 1969 release of The Velvet Underground introduced Doug Yule to the band, replacing founding member John Cale, and also introduced a somewhat more accessible, melodic sensibility perhaps best described as in a “folk rock” vein.  Not that the group’s experimental tendencies were absent; “The Murder Mystery” employed both spoken-word and musique concrete, proving that Lou Reed (who wrote every track on the album), Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker were still at the vanguard.

The 45th Anniversary set presents two distinct stereo mixes of the original LP on the its first two discs, and a promotional mono mix on the third disc (along with two mono single sides).  The fourth disc features the Velvets’ 1969 session recordings which were to comprise a fourth album; ten of the fourteen tracks are heard in previously unissued mixes (four from 1969, six from 2014).  Tracks from this disc appeared in different form on Lou Reed’s 1972 solo album as well as his classic David Bowie-produced Transformer, as well as on The Velvet Underground’s Loaded album for Atlantic Records  The fifth and sixth discs are devoted to the band’s November 26 and 27, 1969 concerts at San Francisco club The Matrix, featuring new-to-CD mixes and performances.

David Fricke provides the new liner notes for this set.  The remastered “Val” Valentin stereo mix of The Velvet Underground (Disc One of the box set) will also be made available as a single-disc CD release, and as part of the two-CD Deluxe Edition with a 12-track audio bonus disc featuring highlights from Live At The Matrix.  Digital versions of both the single disc “Valentin mix” and the Super Deluxe set will also be available through UMe’s digital partners including MFiT and HD Audio formats.

After the jump, we present the press release for The Velvet Underground: 45th Anniversary Edition as well as the complete track listing and pre-order links!

LOS ANGELES – The Velvet Underground’s classic self-titled third album, released in March 1969, by MGM, was a departure from the band’s first two albums in more ways than one. Gone was co-founding member John Cale, and in his place was a 21-year-old with Long Island roots named Doug Yule, who stepped right in. The record was also a stylistic leap, as Lou Reed describes it in Rolling Stone editor David Fricke’s liner notes, “I thought we had to demonstrate the other side of us. Fricke calls it “a stunning turnaround… 10 tracks of mostly warm, explicit sympathy and optimism, expressed with melodic clarity, set in gleaming double-guitar jangle and near-whispered balladry. Or as the late rock critic Lester Bangs put it, “How do you define a group like this, who moved from ‘Heroin’ to ‘Jesus’ in two short years?”

How indeed do you describe an album which includes such classics as “Candy Says,” Reed’s ode to Warhol superstar Candy Darling; the aching love song “Pale Blue Eyes,” allegedly inspired by a girlfriend at Syracuse University who got away, with lead vocals by Yule; the inspiring “Beginning to See The Light”; the spoken-word narrative and musique concrete of “The Murder Mystery,” and the beautiful Maureen Tucker-sung “After Hours”?

Celebrating its enduring longevity, Polydor/Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) will release The Velvet Underground – 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition, on November 24, 2014. This 65-track, six-CD package is housed in a case-bound book and features several different mixes including the remastered stereo mix by MGM house engineer Luis Pastor “Val” Valentin, a set of 1969 recordings, many of which were previously unreleased, from the Record Plant in New York City that were supposed to be the band’s fourth album, several of which ended up on Loaded and Reed’s first two solo releases, and unreleased live recordings from The Matrix in 1969.

The remastered Valentin stereo mix of The Velvet Underground will also be made available as a single-disc CD, and as part of the two-CD Deluxe Edition version with a 12-track audio bonus disc featuring the best of Live At The Matrix, taped on November 26 & 27, 1969. Digital versions of both the single disc “Valentin mix” and the six-CD, Super Deluxe Edition will also be available through other digital partners including MFiT and HD Audio formats.

The Velvet Underground was the first album produced and arranged by the band themselves. Disc One of this collection contains the album stereo mix by MGM house engineer Luis Pastor “Val” Valentin, a veteran of sessions for Ella Fitzgerald and Stan Getz, recorded at T.T.G. Studios in Hollywood, while the band was staying at the Chateau Marmont. The second disc features what Sterling Morrison dubbed “The Closet Mix,” which Reed described as a way to “get directly to somebody, unfiltered… So, if you listen to the record, it’s like sitting across from you.” This was the original version on the 1969 pressings of the album, later replaced by yet another Val Valentin stereo mix. The third disc features “the promotional mono mix” of the album, including a mono version of the first single, “What Goes On” b/w “Jesus.”

The fourth disc in the set offers a version of the never-to-be-released fourth album, recorded in October 1969 at the Record Plant in New York City, and intended to get the band out of its contract with MGM. The sessions include 10 previously unheard mixes – four original 1969 vintage mixes and six new mixes, including 2014 mixes of “Lisa Says” and “I Can’t Stand It,” and the original 1969 mix of “Ocean,” which eventually were re-recorded for Lou Reed’s 1972 self-titled solo debut. Also included are the original 1969 mixes of “Andy’s Chest,” which appeared in a different version on Transformer, and “Rock & Roll,” redone for Loaded.

The last two discs feature performances by the Velvets from their stay at San Francisco’s The Matrix, owned by Jefferson Airplane’s Marty Balin, on November 26 and 27, 1969. These performances are, for the first time, compiled and mixed from the legendary, original 1969 multi-track recordings made by club manager Peter Abram and now owned by The Velvet Underground. Tracks include a nearly 37-minute-long “Sister Ray” and a version of “There She Goes Again,” interpolating the opening guitar quote from Marvin Gaye’s 1962 hit, “Hitch Hike.”

Newest member Doug Yule describes the year best to Fricke in his liner notes, pointing to the band’s “cohesiveness and creativity and just great music. We were feeling good. All we had to do was play. And it showed. That comes out in a band. You get tight, and you get creative.”

The Velvet Underground: 45th Anniversary Edition is due on November 24 from Polydor/UMe and can be pre-ordered at the links below!

The Velvet Underground, The Velvet Underground : 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (UMe, 2014)

6-CD Super Deluxe Box: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. TBD

2-CD Deluxe Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. TBD

CD 1: THE VELVET UNDERGROUND (“The Val Valentin Mix”)

  1. CANDY SAYS
  2. WHAT GOES ON
  3. SOME KINDA LOVE
  4. PALE BLUE EYES
  5. JESUS
  6. BEGINNING TO SEE THE LIGHT
  7. I’M SET FREE
  8. THAT’S THE STORY OF MY LIFE
  9. THE MURDER MYSTERY
  10. AFTER HOURS

CD 2: THE VELVET UNDERGROUND (“The Closet Mix”)

  1. CANDY SAYS
  2. WHAT GOES ON
  3. SOME KINDA LOVE
  4. PALE BLUE EYES
  5. JESUS
  6. BEGINNING TO SEE THE LIGHT
  7. I’M SET FREE
  8. THAT’S THE STORY OF MY LIFE
  9. THE MURDER MYSTERY
  10. AFTER HOURS
  11. BEGINNING TO SEE THE LIGHT (alternate “Closet Mix”)

CD 3: THE VELVET UNDERGROUND (“Promotional Mono Mix”)

  1. CANDY SAYS
  2. WHAT GOES ON
  3. SOME KINDA LOVE
  4. PALE BLUE EYES
  5. JESUS
  6. BEGINNING TO SEE THE LIGHT
  7. I’M SET FREE
  8. THAT’S THE STORY OF MY LIFE
  9. THE MURDER MYSTERY
  10. AFTER HOURS
  11. WHAT GOES ON (Mono Single Version)
  12. JESUS (Mono Single Version)

CD 4: 1969 SESSIONS

  1. FOGGY NOTION (original 1969 mix) *
  2. ONE OF THESE DAYS (new 2014 mix) *
  3. LISA SAYS (new 2014 mix) *
  4. I’M STICKING WITH YOU (original 1969 mix) *
  5. ANDY’S CHEST (original 1969 mix) *
  6. CONEY ISLAND STEEPLECHASE (new 2014 mix)*
  7. OCEAN (original 1969 mix)
  8. I CAN’T STAND IT (new 2014 mix) *
  9. SHE’S MY BEST FRIEND (original 1969 mix) *
  10. WE’RE GONNA HAVE A REAL GOOD TIME TOGETHER (new 2014 mix) *
  11. I’M GONNA MOVE RIGHT IN (original 1969 mix)
  12. FERRYBOAT BILL (original 1969 mix)
  13. ROCK & ROLL (original 1969 mix)
  14. RIDE INTO THE SUN (new 2014 mix) *

* previously unreleased mixes

CD 5: LIVE AT THE MATRIX – November 26 & 27, 1969 (Part 1)

  1. I’M WAITING FOR THE MAN *
  2. WHAT GOES ON *
  3. SOME KINDA LOVE **
  4. OVER YOU *
  5. WE’RE GONNA HAVE A REAL GOOD TIME TOGETHER *
  6. BEGINNING TO SEE THE LIGHT **
  7. LISA SAYS **
  8. ROCK & ROLL **
  9. PALE BLUE EYES *
  10. I CAN’T STAND IT ANYMORE *
  11. VENUS IN FURS *
  12. THERE SHE GOES AGAIN *

CD 6: LIVE AT THE MATRIX – November 26 & 27, 1969 (Part 2)

  1. SISTER RAY ***
  2. HEROIN *
  3. WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT **
  4. I’M SET FREE *
  5. AFTER HOURS *
  6. SWEET JANE **

All mixes previously unreleased.

* previously unreleased performance

** different source mix of this performance appears on 1969: The Velvet Underground Live

*** different source mix of this performance appears on The Quine Tapes Box Set

Written by Joe Marchese

October 1, 2014 at 13:43

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