Some of y'all are fucking crazy. There were tastes of TVU's softer side on their previous albums. Why anyone would consider this not a VU album is just ridiculous. Why would you want a band to keep putting out the same type of tracks without showing some range?
The music on this record isn't just soft, it's repressed (perhaps a deliberate "fuck you" to the creative direction Cale wanted to take). The Velvet Underground are regarded as the single most influential rock band solely because of their first two albums; the subsequent records, which are mere footnotes and VU records in name only, have nothing to do with their legend.
Okay, so according to you, "Sunday Morning" isn't a true VU song. Nor is "I'll Be Your Mirror", "There She Goes Again", "Here She Comes Now", even "I'm Waiting For The Man". All of these songs would fit perfectly well in this album. I just don't get the point of trashing this album other than trying to assert yourself as some kind of amateur music historian.
No, not according to me; I didn't write that. Among the songs you listed, only "I'll Be Your Mirror" could have found a place on a post-Cale record (albeit in a form degraded by the absence of Nico's tone-deaf drawl). The self-titled album is a good album, but not one worthy of the Velvet Underground name. That's the problem: because it carries that name it will always be compared to the first two records. It's impossible to look at an album titled "The Velvet Underground" in a vacuum where those two earth-shattering records don't exist.
I'm sorry, I just don't like that you speak in such absolutes like you have the final say on this matter. People are allowed to disagree with you and whatever critics you seem to form your opinions through. Were the first two albums more influential and ground-breaking? Yes. That doesn't mean that the records after it are "not Velvet Underground". That's just arrogant bullshit talk and makes music discussion very frustrating. It's like talking to the comic book guy from The Simpsons.
Great album. After cutting a couple of ground-breaking psychedelic/proto-punk masterpieces, The Velvet Underground, sans John Cale, wanted to mellow out and record a softer rock album, a la Rubber SOul. What's wrong with that? This album is awesome, and with the Murder Mystery, it still has that experimental element that the first two had. Also, Doug Yule has such a fantastic singing voice, and it's great to hear Lou Reed's sensitive side.
@Spacer Well, you got your wish. The 45th anniversary "super deluxe" edition of this album is arguably even better than the similarly comprehensive packages for the debut and White Light/White Heat. I love this album. When I first started listening to this band, it was this record that got me into them; the earliest stuff was a little too noisy and/or atonal and/or "weird" for me at the time, but this one was (and is) just a collection of incredible songs. Who would've thought after the cacophony of White Light/White Heat that these guys could be capable of an album of such generally quiet beauty? It's remained a favorite of mine in the many years since.