Skip navigation

Composed principally of songs that would have appeared on the Velvet Underground’s unreleased fourth MGM album, this is only slightly less impressive than their first three LPs, striking a balance between the searing pre-punk of their first two efforts and the calm eloquence of the third. “Lisa Says,” “Ocean,” and “Stephanie Says” are some of Lou Reed’s greatest ballads; “I Can’t Stand It” is one of the Velvets’ toughest and best conventional hard rock songs. Some of the other tunes are slight (if engaging) in comparison with the Velvets’ prime work. Many of the tracks were re-recorded by Reed on his early solo albums, and in every instance, the Velvets’ versions are better.

After 18 years of having little or no idea of what to do with the Velvet Underground, sometime in 1985 it seems to have suddenly dawned on Verve Records that they had the back catalog of one of America’s greatest and most influential rock bands languishing in their vaults, and they began to act accordingly; remastered (and budget-priced) versions of the group’s first three albums were released, as well as VU, a superb collection of unreleased Velvet Underground tracks, most of which were recorded for a fourth Verve album that never saw the light of day. Commendably, the label went back to their tape archives a year later looking for more VU goodies, and Another View was the result. One thing that’s obvious from the outset is the cream of the band’s unreleased material had already been skimmed off for VU, and several of the tracks on Another View are rough demos for which the group never even recorded vocals (“Guess I’m Falling in Love,” “Ride Into the Sun,” and “I’m Gonna Move Right In” all have lyrics, but you don’t hear ’em here). And while the non-bootleg emergence of “I Can’t Stand It,” “Foggy Notion,” and “Temptation Inside Your Heart” made VU a major addition to the Velvet Underground’s catalog, it’s unclear how many fans were clamoring for an authorized release of second-string tunes like “Ferryboat Bill” and “Coney Island Steeplechase.” But if Another View is marginalia, it’s marginalia from a truly great band; the rough but rocking takes of “We’re Gonna Have a Real Good Time Together” and “Rock & Roll” are great fun, and the two versions of “Hey Mr. Rain” are beautiful explorations of the band’s psychedelic undercurrent. Another View isn’t essential Velvet Underground, but it’s still well worth a listen.

-Richie Unterberger, Mark Deming,

VU (1985)


One Comment

  1. VU is excellent – better than Loaded in fact. Unfortunately Another View is not so good.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: