Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Velvet Underground - Gymnasium

velvet Underground & Nico album coverI remember clearly when I first got into the Velvet Underground. I was 15, and my best friend Donald (who was far cooler than I) gave me The Velvet Underground & Nico for my birthday, followed by Lou Reed's album Berlin. At first I found both albums hard going. They seemed so dark and somewhat depressing, especially Berlin. But I persevered (because I knew he had very good taste), and I soon came to love both albums, and listened to them constantly.

At the time I was majorly getting into the early punk scene in the UK (this was 1977), so a taste of the band considered by many to be the honorary grandfathers of the punk movement fitted in well with all the other stuff I was listening to, like The Jam, Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, the Stranglers (my favourites), Tom Robinson Band, Stiff Little Fingers and The Boomtown Rats.

VUBOX1 boxed setI soon became a huge Velvet Underground fan, and gradually collected on vinyl everything they'd ever made, including the two rare bootlegs The Velvet Underground - etc and The Velvet Underground (and so on). One of my most prized albums (or should I say, album collections) is still The Velvet Underground boxed set VUBOX1:

1986 UK limited edition 5 x vinyl LP box set, includes the albums The Velvet Underground & Nico, White Light/White Heat, The Velvet Underground, VU and the previously unreleased Another View. Housed in a 12" x 12" picture box complete with an 8-page booklet.
Although by that time I already had most of those albums, I bought the boxed set anyway - as any good fan would. I think it's quite rare actually.

So it was with great delight that I stumbled upon news of a previously undiscovered live recording of the Velvets at The Gymnasium, New York City in 1967. Woah!

The Velvet Underground
OK so this is old news now (by a couple of weeks!) and I have Russell Brown to thank for the heads-up, but after 40 years, who cares about a couple of weeks? My God... is it really 40 years? Christ!

Tracklisting as follows:

  1. I'm Not A Young Man Anymore (previously unheard VU song)

  2. Guess I'm Falling In Love

  3. I'm Waiting For The Man

  4. Run Run Run

  5. Sister Ray (debut live performance)

You can download all 5 tracks here. Apparently this all started with some guy selling 100 green vinyl copies on ebay a couple of weeks ago. Damn! Wish I'd known!

The new track I'm Not A Young Man Anymore is pretty cool and very Velvets, and the debut version of Sister Ray is awesome, and at almost 19 minutes long, it's not for the fainthearted or impatient :)

Run (run run), don't walk - and download this new bit of Velvets' history. You know you want to.

Technorati tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .


Anonymous said...

Search Velvet underground on ebay worldwide or ebay uk. There are still green and black copies available. But hurry. velvetfan

webweaver said...

Yes! I saw them last night when I was taking a look at ebay! I bought one! woohoo!

Anonymous said...

woohoo! just bought a green copy

Anonymous said...

wooohoo! just bought two green copies from some dude in ireland