White Light/White Heat

Polygram Int'l
Release date
15 Jan 2002
Running length
6 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 White Light/White Heat 2:46 181,210
2 The Gift 8:16 128,926
3 Lady Godiva's Operation 4:53 136,679
4 Here She Comes Now 2:03 176,626
5 I Heard Her Call My Name 4:36 129,442
6 Sister Ray 17:27 134,337

About this album

The world of pop music was hardly ready for The Velvet Underground’s first album when it appeared in the spring of 1967, but while The Velvet Underground and Nico sounded like an open challenge to conventional notions of what rock music could sound like (or what it could discuss), 1968’s White Light/White Heat was a no-holds-barred frontal assault on cultural and aesthetic propriety. Recorded without the input of either Nico or Andy Warhol, White Light/White Heat was the purest and rawest document of the key Velvets lineup of Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, and Maureen Tucker, capturing the group at their toughest and most abrasive. The album opens with an open and enthusiastic endorsement of amphetamines (startling even from this group of noted drug enthusiasts), and side one continues with an amusing shaggy-dog story set to a slab of lurching mutant R&B (“The Gift”), a perverse variation on an old folktale (“Lady Godiva’s Operation”), and the album’s sole “pretty” song, the mildly disquieting “Here She Comes Now.” While side one was a good bit darker in tone than the Velvets’ first album, side two was where they truly threw down the gauntlet with the manic, free-jazz implosion of “I Heard Her Call My Name” (featuring Reed’s guitar work at its most gloriously fractured), and the epic noise jam “Sister Ray,” 17 minutes of sex, drugs, violence, and other non-wholesome fun with the loudest rock group in the history of Western Civilization as the house band. White Light/White Heat is easily the least accessible of The Velvet Underground’s studio albums

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  • barbwireboy2

    such a strange album, it's crazy to think that this came out 46 years ago

    10 Aug 7:57pm Reply
  • Rezzo64

    lol sure is a lot of elitism in this shoutbox

    11 Apr 11:20am Reply
  • vano40674

    10/10; If you don't think this is the best VU album, remind me to never take any music advice from you [3]

    24 Mar 4:36am Reply
  • Gaffes

    This record is literally a trip.

    23 Mar 5:05pm Reply
  • Hollie452

    Because of the praise ... & Nico gets i wasn't expecting a better album, i was wrong. This is definitely better.

    17 Feb 4:22pm Reply
  • RussellChap

    Sister Ray is so influential it's criminal.

    13 Feb 8:28pm Reply
  • rhayader18

    This album > Rest of rock

    6 Feb 1:53pm Reply
  • jpzitoleopold

    v your ears are such a pussy.

    3 Dec 2013 Reply
  • OcellatedGod

    This album has a really irritating sound to it. I like the next two much more.

    28 Nov 2013 Reply
  • WaldoJeffers_X

    Best VU album. Best psych-rock album. Music Milestone.

    22 Nov 2013 Reply
  • jpzitoleopold

    10/10; If you don't think this is the best VU album, remind me to never take any music advice from you [2]

    16 Nov 2013 Reply
  • fank19

    They took it to another level with this album.

    13 Nov 2013 Reply
  • althefknamsrtkn

    If you don't think this is the best VU album, remind me to never take any music advice from you

    28 Oct 2013 Reply
  • jpzitoleopold

    pure chaos. one of the best albums ever.

    12 Oct 2013 Reply
  • dAdriano


    29 Aug 2013 Reply
  • Wondermoose

    Oh! Also, Cromagnon's Cave.

    7 Aug 2013 Reply
  • Wondermoose

    If the Beatles s/t is the White Album, this is it's polar opposite, the Black Album. This, Silver Apples S/T, Uncle Meat, Philosophy of the World, Trout Mask Replica, Funhouse, Black Monk Time, Challenge, and No Record are the best sixties albums, in my opinion.

    7 Aug 2013 Reply
  • Gaffes

    In my opinion White Light/White Heat is the greatest psychedelic album of all time.

    3 Aug 2013 Reply
  • Estranged_Ann

    The Gift is very cool

    23 May 2013 Reply
  • luisbeefheart

    Me quiero casar con esta mierda.[2]

    25 Apr 2013 Reply
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