White Light / White Heat [180 Gram Vinyl Expanded Edition] (LP)


The Velvet Underground

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Amoeba Review

12/09/2013

Even with its immortal status in the annals of rock and punk, White Light/White Heat is the runt of the litter in VU’s brief four-album canon. The notoriously difficult, six-song album has neither the Earth-altering status of the band’s debut nor the friendlier appeal of the band’s second two albums. Yet White Light/White Heat is undoubtedly one of the band’s strongest works, perhaps only second to the band’s debut—some might say it’s even better, and definitely stranger. Much as the 2012 reissue of The Velvet Underground & Nico did, this 45th anniversary edition appends the remastered album’s re-release with two discs of bonus material, including B-sides and previously unreleased takes. With some bands, that would read as tiresome; with the Velvet Underground, all B-sides tend toward revelatory, given their brief run and the amount of ground they covered within, whereas their live shows would end up in riots. B-side “Hey Mr. Rain’” reined-in pop predates area they’d tread on their third album (though John Cale’s viola awesomely makes for a sometimes beautiful, sometimes jarring presence, which would be notably absent after their second album); “Temptation Inside Your Heart” features lovably goofy asides throughout; and “Guess I’m Falling In Love” is tumultuous enough to have been included on the original album. (“Stephanie Says” and the original songs have been talked about to death, so we’ll not bother discussing here.) The live disc, culled from a classic 1967 show at New York’s The Gymnasium, is remarkably clear, more so than the heavily distorted studio album, culminating in the epic “Sister Ray,” which benefits greatly from having a new way to experience its sinister riffs and psychosexual thump. The inclusion of both a mono and stereo mix allows for audiophiles to have their preference (mono all the way!), and a hardbound book with photos and memorabilia make the set a collector’s item. John Cale and Lou Reed helped curate this set before Reed passed away earlier this year. That personal touch can be felt on this reissue, as it feels entirely essential, from the packaging to its smart 30-track run.



Track Listing



Side A Titles
Artist
Length
1.
White Light/White Heat
The Velvet Underground 02:47
2.
The Gift
The Velvet Underground 08:19
3.
Lady Godiva's Operation
The Velvet Underground 04:56
4.
There She Comes Now
The Velvet Underground 02:05


Side B Titles
Artist
Length
1.
I Heard Her Call My Name
The Velvet Underground 04:38
2.
Sister Ray
The Velvet Underground 17:31


Side C Titles
Artist
Length
1.
I Heard Her Call My Name [Alternate Take]
The Velvet Underground 04:39
2.
Guess I'm Falling In Love [Instrumental]
The Velvet Underground 03:34
3.
Temptation Inside Your Heart [Original Mix]
The Velvet Underground 02:32
4.
Stephanie Says [Original Mix]
The Velvet Underground 02:49


Side D Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Hey Mr. Rain [Version 1]
The Velvet Underground 04:40
2.
Hey Mr. Rain [Version 2]
The Velvet Underground 05:24
3.
Beginning To See The Light [Early Version]
The Velvet Underground 03:39

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Also available in: CD , CD
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