Sunday, October 11, 2009


I've been re-listening to my CDs of the Velvet Underground's 1993 reunion tour, both Live MCMXCIII -- the legitimate 2CD set -- and a bunch of bootlegs. I'm not done, but here are some generalizations:

The parts that reward repeated listening are the guitar or guitar/viola workouts. These occur in the places you'd expect; and also, surprisingly, in Some Kinda Love. The Velvets didn't play Sister Ray on the tour, alas. But Hey Mister Rain filled the "controlled chaos" spot more than adequately, though there was a lot less variation between different performances of Hey Mister Rain than there had been for Sister Ray back in the day.

On the other hand, the new versions of the songs whose main interest was the vocals are mainly dispensible. Reed's vocals are different from before -- and, frankly, bizarre -- but the difference is not to the newer stuff's advantage. An exception to this is Pale Blue Eyes: not that Reed's vocals are any better, but the addition of Cale's viola improves the song enormously.

Coyote is a good song, not a great song. It would be a standout on Loaded and would hold its own on VU or Another View (as you can probably tell, I'm not a fan of Loaded).

The synthesizer intro to I'm Waiting for the Man is just strange. Unless it's supposed to be a parody of stadium rock (something that just occurred to me), I don't see the point.

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