White Light/White Heat (SuperDeluxe 45th Anniversary Edition) – Velvet Underground

Velvet UndergroundSo here it is. The amazing second Velvet Underground album, the first grunge recording of all time, rebirthed with extra tracks—three CDs worth. I’ve never been a fan of these compilations. The album was a classic, ahead of its time and the last involving the musicianship and experimentalism of John Cale. Velvet Underground went into the studio with the endorsement of Vox, making them the first to use a multitude of fuzzboxes and compressors and giving the album its delicious abrasive quality. There are three tracks that stand out and are unavailable elsewhere: the rarely heard “Guess I’m Falling In Love,” a version of “Beginning to See the Light” with Cale on fuzz bass, and the greatest gem, Cale’s “Hey Mister Rain,” drenched in a viola-driven drone. This one may in fact be the song that makes me change my mind about the whole album. I was going to encourage you to buy the original instead. However, if you have it already…

Rating: ★★★★☆
– Tricia Roy