Thursday, January 11, 2007

Velvet Underground Acetate

At this point, any fan of The Velvet Underground knows the story of the rare acetate a guy found at a flea market in NYC with alternate versions of the songs on their first album. Well, it appears that mp3 files of the recordings have surfaced and WFMU has posted all of them.

While the versions are different than the takes that are on Velvet Underground & Nico, they aren't radically different. Also, the recordings are very scratchy. Eighteen years of listening to CDs has conditioned my ears away from pops and hiss of poorly maintained vinyl.

Having said all that, if you are a VU fan, they are interesting to listen to. Mo Tucker's drumming is so different from the known versions that it makes me wonder how much variability she carried with her night to night (which I think is kind of cool). The absence of the piano, however, on "I'm Waiting For the Man" deadens the song. I do like the noisy solo during "Run Run Run" on this take though. It's flairs out more with lots of screeching; not as clean as the final version.

It stills amazes me that they took these recordings to record executives in 1966 and got signed. It's so distant from everything going on in popular music in 1966. I guess it speaks to the influence Warhol had at the time within the NYC arts culture.


Anonymous said...

The files up on WFMU are from Moe's copy of the acetate that came out on a Japanese bootleg. Supposedly, the newly found acetate is going to be made into a CD by Universal, or some other major label.

Anonymous said...

Was that last assertion ever proved? I have yet to find anything supporting the claim. Does this person have documentation to prove this, statements from others, etc.? Don't see any such suggestion here. Every other bit of info I've read supports the notion that the WFMU posting is what they say it is.

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