The Velvet Underground was an American rock band, active between 1964 and 1973, formed in New York City by Lou Reed and John Cale. Although the group achieved little commercial success during its career, they would later become recognized as one of the most important and influential musical groups of all time. Originally managed by Andy Warhol, the group served as the house band at the Factory and Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable events from 1966 to 1967. The provocative subject matter and often nihilistic attitudes explored in their music would prove massively influential in the development of punk rock and alternative music.
Their 1967 debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico (which featured German singer and collaborator Nico), was called the "most prophetic rock album ever made" by Rolling Stone in 2003. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked the band No. 19 on its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 by Patti Smith.