The Velvet Underground - White Light/White Heat

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White Light/White Heat is the second studio album by the Velvet Underground, originally released in 1968.

"Of all of the Velvet Underground‘s officially released studio and live albums, White Light/White Heat is by far the noisiest and most difficult. “No one listened to it,” said Lou Reed of the LP in 2013, just a few months before his death. “But there it is forever – the quintessence of articulated punk. And no one goes near it.”

Recorded in a short flurry of studio sessions in September 1967, and released on January 30th, 1968, White Light/White Heat – the band’s final studio album with co-founder and multi-instrumentalist John Cale – boasted none of the louche charm of the Velvets’ 1967 debut, The Velvet Underground & Nico; nor, for that matter, did it contain any of the hushed melodicism heard on the band’s self-titled 1969 LP, and it was utterly devoid of any instant classic-rock anthems like “Sweet Jane” and “Rock and Roll” from 1970’s Loaded.

With its needle-pinning assault of overdriven instruments, and lyrics about methamphetamine abuse (the title track), botched medical procedures (“Lady Godiva’s Operation”), grisly violence (“The Gift”), cries from beyond the grave (“I Heard Her Call My Name”) and heroin-dealing drag queens (“Sister Ray”), White Light/White Heat was all about pushing the boundaries of sound and taste. Even 50 years after its initial release, it remains a bracing and challenging listen. “It’s a very rabid record,” Cale opined in the liner notes to the 1995 box set Peel Slowly and See. “The first one had some gentility, some beauty. The second one was consciously anti-beauty.”

Largely ignored by the music press, White Light/White Heat would prove profoundly influential upon such artists as the Stooges, David Bowie, Jonathan Richman, Suicide, the Buzzcocks and a little band called Nirvana, to name a few – and in 2003, Rolling Stone ranked White Light/White Heat at Number 293 on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time." Rolling Stone

 

TRACKLIST:
  1. White Light/White Heat
  2. The Gift
  3. Lady Godiva's Operation
  4. Here She Comes Now
  5. Stephanie Says
  6. Temptation Inside Your Heart
  7. I Heard Her Call My Name
  8. Sister Ray
  9. Hey Mr. Rain

 


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