I have an admission to make. Well, actually, two. I honestly did not know about this record until very recently. And…I found this record in my home, part of my and my wife’s personal collection. Amazing. (And while yes, this is technically my wife’s record, I’d bet large she’s never listened to it…or at least remembers listening to it). So, this record is pretty much universally loathed. And if it could be loathed on a larger level, it probably would. And for good reason, I suppose, as said Velvet Underground album contains absolutely no members of the, ummm, Velvet Underground. Well, “original” members.
According to the Wikipedia, entry, it appears the band’s manager at the time – Steve Sesnick – conspired it all to be. He scored a one-off record deal for the band, for which the only original member was Maureen Tucker, and then cut the entire band – including Tucker – except Doug Yule. Yule replaced John Cale when he left, debuting on the band’s third record, the self-titled “Velvet Underground” in 1969. A year later everything came undone, as Lou Reed left the band right before “Loaded” was released in 1970. I guess the fact that Yule sings four songs on that record made some kind of admittedly warped thinking that Yule had a mandate to record under the band’s name. Ad that kids, is how a Doug Yule solo record became a Velvet Underground record. Crazy.
You know that else is crazy? Ian Paice from Deep Purple played drums and helped with the recording. (I’ll now bet money that the Paice connection is the only reason she has this record, which would be cool unto itself). I don’t think the record is anywhere as bad as the legend would make one believe. But I suspect more folks may have been a but more open-minded about the music if there wasn’t expectations attached to what a VU album would/should sound like. Duh. I’m guessing Yule just got caught up in a Sesnick inspired hope of a cash grab. Or something like it. At the least, seriously misdirected.
While the record was reissued on vinyl a couple of times (I think), it has never been released on CD (now that I know). And I would be stunned at this point if it ever were. The copy I stumbled across in the house is currently up for auction on eBay. It remains a tough find, probably there were few people who bought it and those that did hated it. This copy has a VG+ jacket, but the vinyl is truly beautiful. The auction ends next Sunday and you can find it here…
Ya know…for whatever reason, I’ve never bothered to find out what that record is all about. Take away all the VU related BS and on a purely musical level, I’ll bet that’s a respectable record. Best I can do is cue up the Darren Hayman track “Doug Yule’s Velvet Underground”. So great!