White Light/White Heat
on the R.S 500 greatest albums list.
Lou Reed - Guitar, Vocals
John Cale - Viola, Bass, Vocals
Sterling Morrison - Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Maureen Tucker - Percussion
I'm just going to came strait out and say this. If you consider yourself artistically retarded, you hate change, you get annoyed easily, and you can not see inner beauty through ugliness. Then you will probably not care much for this album.
In 1967, The Velvet Underground dropped Nico and Andy Warhol, who were sometimes refered to as the artistic input of the band, though they were not even in the band. Through doing that they set aside all of the old gimicks from the previous and debut album The Velvet Underground and Nico
. And oddly enough, they came up with a more experimental, and artistic album than when they had Warhol and Nico. Which is very strange being as that Warhol was a famous and very abstract artist.
The album combines elements that are very annoying at times, but in the end (A few listens later), most will relise that there is beauty in the album, and it is a big step forward in the world of Rock N Roll. Though it may seem strange and dissonant, try to be opened minded when taking your first listen of White Light/White Heat
1. White Light/White Heat:
This opening track is terribley recorded, which may be on purpose, but my not be. The song is incredibly catchy, and as many other V.U songs, it seems so be about some kind of drug. "White Light/White Heat" is one of those songs that you start to love after a period of time, that basically goes for the album too. 5/5
2. The Gift:
"The Gift" is a spoken song that runs at a slightly long 8:16. Cale speaks the lyrics of a story the Lou Reed had written. It is quite funny the first time you hear this number. The background music combines a nice drum led rythm and beat, with a good amount of distortion. That is, in a way, assaulted by Reed. 4/5
3. Lady Godiva"s Operation:
Here's a song a great song. It combines most of the elements that The Velvet Underground were known for. It has a nice drum beat, by Tucker who use to turn her bass drum upside down so she could keep a a betterbeat. A little after the half way point on this song, Lou and Cale start finshing each other's sentences. And backing vocals that are very hard to hear, start whispering lyrics. Which is quite freaky. I love this song. 4.5/5
4. Here She Comes Now:
Instrumentally, this song is very lovely. Vocally, not as much so. Though still great. The track runs at a short 2:02, and doesn't have much change. so there really isn't that much more to say. 4/5
5. I Heard Her Call My Name:
This song sounds like a mix of The Beach Boys, Sonic Youth, The Beatles, and George Thurogood. The guitar playing is fabulous, and the rest of the instruments playing great. The vocals are sang nicely, with good backing and lead. The song is just amp torture, with one long great solo, with words. 3.5/5
6. Sister Ray:
"Sister Ray" runs at an extremely long 17:27. It is based around a simple guitar riff, that each instrument adds on to. John Cale adds some great viola playing to the song, with a solo. There is also an organ used in the song that adds a nice psychedelic feel to it, that this album lacks compared to The Velvet Underground and Nico
. The song is nothing that special to me. It is probably the lowlight on the album, in my opinion atleast. 2.5/5
I'll give this album a 4.3/5 for the reason that it explores so much, and is such a change fot The V.U and Rock n Roll.