Rolling Stone (5/17/69, p.17) - "...the Velvet Underground can write and play any kind of music they want to with equal brilliance..." -Lester Bangs
Q (6/02, p.128) - 5 stars out of 5 - "...a flickering, unforgettable band preformance..."
NME (Magazine) (10/2/93, p.29) - Ranked #58 in NME's list of the 'Greatest Albums Of All Time.'
NME (Magazine) (10/2/93, p.29) - Ranked #6 in NME's list of the `Greatest Albums Of All Time.'
Personnel: Lou Reed (vocals, guitar, background vocals); Sterling Morrison (guitar, background vocals); Doug Yule (organ, background vocals); Maureen Tucker (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Val Valentin.
Recording information: T.T>G. Studios, Hollywood, CA (11/1968-12/1968).
Photographers: Doug Yule; Billy Name.
Arranger: The Velvet Underground.
Velvet Underground's self-titled third album seemed like the debut of a new band. John Cale had left (replaced by Doug Yule) and the group became, for all intents and purposes, Lou Reed's back-up band. The songs actually sounded like rock music and John Cale's screeching musicality was reworked into songs that featured Sterling Morrison's most eloquent guitar accompaniment.
Reed's songwriting moved beyond the armed-to-disarm approach of the previous two albums towards a spiritual level of empathy with the human race--a change that wouldn't go unnoticed. The man who once begged someone to "nullify [his] life" ("Heroin") was now asking "Jesus" to "help me find my proper place," and whooping his way through the equally inspiring "Beginning To See The Light." To this day, every song on VELVET UNDERGROUND sounds like a breakthrough.
In short, VELVET UNDERGROUND showcased the human side of Lou Reed's songwriting. Unobstructed by walls of sonic noise, Reed's insight and genius was finally allowed to shine through.