241

The Velvet Underground: Bootleg Series Volume 1: The Quine Tapes

By

Sign in to view read count
A sprawling triple-disc album featuring over three and a half hours of music, The Quine Tapes is also an especially historic one. Despite two previously issued live albums, the Velvets' live legacy had suggested more than it revealed. 1969 was a fine, arresting document, but lacked both "Foggy Notion" and "Sister Ray," setlist cornerstones, the two numbers most purely evocative of the Velvets in their live setting. And then there is Live at Max's Kansas City , a lo-fi, low-key, lackluster recording of the band's last show with Lou Reed. The bootlegs were thus crucial; the best came from a show in New Hampshire and featured six songs, as much a testament to a surreal pairing of band and place as to the Velvets themselves. But with The Quine Tapes , a revitalization is at last secured.

As will be crucial to both admirers and scholars of the band, The Quine Tapes has two complete and one medley version of "Sister Ray," the latter fused with "Foggy Notion" and taken from a St. Louis source tape from '69 that rounds out the two principle venue recordings of the set. The first, from November of '69 at the Family Dog in Los Angeles, occupies the opening disc, and labors somewhat. The predominantly hippie-type crowd seems at best vaguely aware of the band's presence, and the Velvets' songs are stripped of their typical verve, sounding instead more apathetic than earnest, save perhaps in presenting an affront to tolerance; droning, laconic, in no hurry to get anywhere, let alone end their songs, the Velvets seem to be indulging themselves. As an extension of the group's peculiar ideology, the album is sequenced so that "I'm Sticking With You" and "Sunday Morning" are performed in succession and even received warmly by the Family Dog audience; a coursing, twenty-four minute rendition of "Sister Ray" follows. One supposes that antipathy has its place.

Omitting the final medley, the second and third discs come from late November/early December '69 at the Matrix in San Francisco and display the Velvets as acutely animalistic, a group in a wretched mood with a sound that would like to rip your throat open. For ten minutes, "White Light/White Heat," with its rhythm guitar pulse, virtually fibrillates, and "Venus in Furs," even without John Cale's viola, possesses a ravaging, eviscerating quality, Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch with seventy-five decibels at his disposal. The Matrix version of "Sister Ray" lasts nearly two-thirds of an hour and was, by then, to the Velvets what "My Favorite Things" had been to John Coltrane, a freeform soundscape presenting songs within a song and ideas within ideas. A vital live album then, and a fretful portion of an afternoon.


Copyright 2004 Discoveries / Krause Publications . Reprinted with permission.


Track Listing: Disc 1: I'm Waiting for the Man 2. It's Just Too Much 3. What Goes On 4. I Can't Stand It 5. Some Kinda Love 6. Foggy Notion 7. Femme Fatale 8. After Hours 9. I'm Sticking With You 10. Sunday Morning 11. Sister Ray Disc 2: 1. Follow the Leader 2. White Light/White Heat 3. Venus in Furs 4. Heroin 5. Sister Ray Disc 3: 1. Rock & Roll 2. New Age 3. Over You 4. Black Angel's Death Song 5. I'm Waiting for the Man 6. Ride into the Sun 7. Sister Ray/Foggy Notion

Personnel: Lou Reed (rhythm and lead guitar, lead vocals), Sterling Morrison (lead and rhythm guitar, vocals), Doug Yule (bass, organ, vocals), Maureen Tucker (drums, vocals)

Title: Bootleg Series Volume 1: The Quine Tapes | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Universal Music Group


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read A Night Walking Through Mirrors CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Barry Witherden
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Jondo CD/LP/Track Review Jondo
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Jazz Flute Traditions CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Flute Traditions
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Nerve Dance CD/LP/Track Review Nerve Dance
by John Sharpe
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Déjà Vu CD/LP/Track Review Déjà Vu
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts CD/LP/Track Review Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 20, 2017
Read "Guitar Fantasies" CD/LP/Track Review Guitar Fantasies
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: November 2, 2016
Read "PausaLive" CD/LP/Track Review PausaLive
by Patrick Keyes
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "Escape  from The Unhappy Society" CD/LP/Track Review Escape from The Unhappy Society
by Anthony Shaw
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "Fly Or Die" CD/LP/Track Review Fly Or Die
by John Sharpe
Published: July 10, 2017
Read "On Hollywood Boulevard" CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau" CD/LP/Track Review Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 16, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.