The Velvet Underground (Lou Reed’s seminal rock band)

~ Group


The Velvet Underground was an American rock band formed in New York City in 1964. The original line-up consisted of singer/guitarist Lou Reed, multi-instrumentalist John Cale, guitarist Sterling Morrison, and drummer Angus MacLise. MacLise was replaced by Moe Tucker in 1965, who played on most of the band's recordings. Their integration of rock and the avant-garde achieved little commercial success during the group's existence, but they are now recognized as one of the most influential bands in rock, underground, experimental, and alternative music. The group's provocative subject matter, musical experiments, and often nihilistic attitudes also proved influential in the development of punk rock and new wave music.

The group performed under several names before settling on the Velvet Underground in 1965, inspired by the book of the same name. In 1966, pop artist Andy Warhol became their manager, and they served as the house band at Warhol's studio, the Factory, and his traveling multimedia show, the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, from 1966 to 1967. Their debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico (with German singer and model Nico), was released in 1967 to critical indifference and poor sales but has since drawn wide acclaim. They released three more albums, White Light/White Heat (1968), The Velvet Underground (1969), and Loaded (1970), with Doug Yule replacing Cale for the final two, and with none performing up to the expectations of record labels or of Reed, the band's leader.

The group functionally disbanded in the early 1970s as everyone except Yule left the band. An abortive UK tour with Yule as the band leader and with new musicians followed in 1973, and a final album released in the band's name, Squeeze (1973), consisting mostly of Yule with a few session musicians, marked the end of the band for some time. All of the members continued to collaborate on each other's solo work throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and a retrospective "rarities" album, VU, was released in 1985. A full reunion of the band came in the early 1990s, with the Reed-Cale-Tucker-Morrison lineup playing a series of well-received shows in 1993, and releasing a live album from the tour, Live MCMXCIII.

After Morrison's death in 1995, the remaining three members played together for a single performance at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1996, the last time the band performed together musically. In 2004, the Velvet Underground were ranked number 19 on Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". The New York Times wrote that the Velvet Underground was "arguably the most influential American rock band of our time".

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1966Scepter Studios Sessions (Norman Dolph acetate)The Velvet Underground3.54
1967The Velvet Underground & NicoThe Velvet Underground & Nico4.738
1968White Light/White HeatThe Velvet Underground4.3517
1969The Velvet UndergroundThe Velvet Underground4.1523
1970LoadedThe Velvet Underground416
1973SqueezeThe Velvet Underground22

Album + Compilation

1971Andy Warhol’s Velvet Underground featuring NicoThe Velvet Underground featuring Nico2
1971Pop HistoryFrank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention / The Velvet Underground featuring Nico1
1982Historia de la Música rock - 38The Velvet Underground31
1984VUThe Velvet Underground4.655
1986Another ViewThe Velvet Underground35
1989The Best of Velvet UndergroundThe Velvet Underground42
1989The Best of The Velvet Underground: Words and Music of Lou ReedThe Velvet Underground3
1990Super Stars Best CollectionThe Velvet Underground1
1990The Best of YesteryearThe Velvet Underground1
1991ChroniclesThe Velvet Underground1
1993What Goes OnThe Velvet Underground1
1995Peel Slowly and SeeThe Velvet Underground4.82
1995The Best of Lou Reed & The Velvet UndergroundLou Reed & The Velvet Underground2
200020th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of The Velvet UndergroundThe Velvet Underground1
2000Classic Velvet UndergroundThe Velvet Underground1
2001Rock and Roll: An Introduction to The Velvet UndergroundThe Velvet Underground1
2003The Very Best of The Velvet UndergroundThe Velvet Underground1
2005GoldThe Velvet Underground1
2007Rock LegendsThe Velvet Underground1
2008Playlist PlusThe Velvet Underground51
2009Singles 1966–69The Velvet Underground31
2009White Light/White Heat + The Velvet Underground & NicoThe Velvet Underground1
2011IconThe Velvet Underground1
2012The Verve/MGM AlbumsThe Velvet Underground2
2017CollectedThe Velvet Underground1
20171969The Velvet Underground1

Album + Compilation + Soundtrack

2021The Velvet Underground: A Documentary Film by Todd Haynes (Music From the Motion Picture Soundtrack)The Velvet Underground1

Album + Compilation + Live

2001Final V.U.: 1971–1973The Velvet Underground1

Album + Live

1972Live at Max’s Kansas CityThe Velvet Underground35
19741969: Velvet Underground Live With Lou ReedThe Velvet Underground58
19881969: Velvet Underground Live With Lou Reed, Volume 2The Velvet Underground52
1991Live at End Cole AveThe Velvet Underground3
1993Live MCMXCIIIThe Velvet Underground35
1994The Lost Live Tapes 1969The Velvet Underground1
2001Bootleg Series, Volume 1: The Quine TapesThe Velvet Underground52
2008Live at the GymnasiumThe Velvet Underground1
2009Velvet Redux: Live MCMXCIIIThe Velvet Underground21
2013La Cave 1968The Velvet Underground1
2013Live at the End of Cole Ave. – The First NightThe Velvet Underground2
2014Live at the End of Cole Ave. – The Second NightThe Velvet Underground0
2015Live at Second Fret, Philadelphia, May 9, 1970The Velvet Underground1
2015The Complete Matrix TapesThe Velvet Underground52
2020When Midnight Comes Around (Live 1969)The Velvet Underground0
1969-08-02: Hilltop Festival, Rindge, NH, USAThe Velvet Underground1
La Cave 1968The Velvet Underground2


1966All Tomorrow’s Parties / I’ll Be Your MirrorThe Velvet Underground and Nico51
1966Sunday Morning / Femme FataleThe Velvet Underground & Nico51
1966White Wind / LoopPeter Walker & The Velvet Underground1
1967White Light/White HeatThe Velvet Underground1
2011Foggy Notion / I Can't Stand ItThe Velvet Underground1
2015Rock & Roll (mono)The Velvet Underground1

Single + Remix

2015Sweet Jane (early version remix)The Velvet Underground1

Single + Demo

2015I’m Sticking With You (session outtakes)The Velvet Underground1


1990Andy WarholThe Velvet Underground1

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