October 28th | Posted by: NMJ
The Velvet’s first album (see ABON 0092) contained a wide variety of song types, styles and sounds - from bittersweet, twisted pop songs sung by the Hungarian ice-maiden Nico to distortion-heavy Bo-Diddley-from-another-planet-inspired guitar riffing. But even in the guitar-heavy rockers on that album Lou Reed’s lyrics were prominent in the mix and in revolutionising what could and what couldn’t or shouldn’t be said in a Rock or Pop song.
By the time we reach 1968 and the second Velvets’ album (‘White Light/White Heat’) all the subtlety and narrative focus of the first album - and Nico herself - had been jettisoned. In favour of all-out noise-assault. It had been there in patches on the first album - in ‘Run, Run, Run’ for example - but on the second it was given full rein. And if Lou’s words on the first album liberated lyrics from teenage innocence and naive unworldliness then the guitars, feedback, distortion and dollops of wailing organ noise on the second did something similar for music.