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The Velvet Underground


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New York City (1965 – 1973, 1992 – 1995)

The Velvet Underground was a pioneering band from New York City first active from 1965 to 1973. Its best-known lineup consisted of vocalist/guitarist Lou Reed, bassist/violist John Cale, guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker. The band also collaborated with Nico for their debut album in 1967, under the supervision of producer and pop artist Andy Warhol.

Some see The Velvet Underground as being a bridge between the pacifist themes of the late 60s and the sheer chaos and indifference of the mid-70s movement.

The Velvet Underground was one of the first music groups to experiment heavily with the form by incorporating influences. The group’s often raw, sometimes difficult sound would influence many later , , and music performers, and singer Lou Reed’s lyrics brought new levels of social realism and sleaze to rock. Critics Scott Isler and Ira Robbins argue that “The Velvet Underground marked a turning point in rock history. After the release of The Velvet Underground & Nico knowing the power of which it was capable, the music could never be as innocent, as unselfconscious as before.”

Pre-history (1964-1965)

The foundations for what would become The Velvet Underground were laid in late 1964.


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