To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the seminal band The Velvet Underground’s game-changing debut LP The Velvet Underground and Nico, UMe is releasing a special vinyl edition of the album on June 30, 2017. The anniversary edition will be available as standard black vinyl in addition to limited edition pink vinyl, with a pressing of only 1,000 copies that will be available exclusively through uDiscover.
Although The Velvet Underground met with little commercial acceptance during their existence, the seminal New York foursome of Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, and Maureen Tucker has long since attained legendary status, and much of their catalog is available at 192/24 and 96/24 on HDtracks.
In addition to reproducing Warhol’s beloved original “banana cover” design, complete with peelable banana sticker, the 50th anniversary vinyl edition also reproduces the album’s original gatefold cover as well as its rare original back-cover “torso” photo, with Lou Reed’s face superimposed over the torso of Warhol associate Eric Emerson. The photo appeared in this form on The Velvet Underground and Nico‘s initial pressing, but was quickly altered for later editions when Emerson threatened legal action. The shot is restored to its original glory on the 50th anniversary edition, along with a replica of the black sticker that was once used to obscure the disputed image. The sticker will be attached to the shrink wrap of the anniversary LP, allowing listeners to experience the album’s full original package.
An additional insert has been added for this edition, with vintage images plus new liner notes by Velvets co-founder John Cale and Richie Unterberger, author of the book White Light/White Heat: The Velvet Underground Day-By-Day.
Watch the “Sunday Morning” animated video right here:
On November 16-18, 2017, John Cale will celebrate The Velvets’ 50th anniversary by curating 3 nights of special performances as part of the 2017 Next Wave Festival at New York’s BAM. For the first 2 nights, Cale will be accompanied by an orchestra and special guests to perform The Velvet Underground and Nico in its entirety. On the third evening, Cale, backed by an orchestra ensemble and choir, will perform selections spanning his full career, including VU selections.
With Warhol credited as producer, The Velvet Underground and Nico is one of the most auspicious debut albums in rock history. With such essential numbers as “Heroin,” “I’m Waiting for the Man,” “Sunday Morning,” “Venus in Furs,” “The Black Angel’s Death Song,” “Femme Fatale,” “All Tomorrow’s Parties,” and “I’ll Be You Mirror” (the latter three featuring Nico’s haunting lead vocals), the album chronicles a seamy urban milieu while also exploring a gentler baroque pop sensibility that provides a complementary contrast to the album’s harsher insights.
As Cale writes in his liner notes, “We focused on trying to inject psychological techniques of hypnosis, drone, and repetition into music about topics that we thought were incendiary but within a literary tradition.”
In its original release, The Velvet Underground and Nico rose no further than No. 171 on Billboard‘s album chart. Yet the album has emerged as a one-of-a-kind classic, occupying the No. 13 spot on Rolling Stone‘s list of the top 500 albums of all time, and is included the Library of Congress’ prestigious Recording Registry, established “to maintain and preserve sound recordings and collections of sound recordings that are culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”
VU VINYL PURCHASE LINKS
Standard Black-Vinyl: https://UMe.lnk.to/TVU50LPPR
Limited Edition Colored-Vinyl (1,000): https://UMe.lnk.to/TVU50LPPinkPR