Loaded 45th Anniversary box reactions thread

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leamanc
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Loaded 45th Anniversary box reactions thread

Post by leamanc » 30 Oct 2015 23:26

Since the other thread about the Loaded box was about the drama and other events leading up to its creation, I thought I'd start a new thread for our reactions to the set.

First, let me explain my thoughts on Loaded. While I rate the first three albums a perfect 10/10, Loaded has always been more problematic for me. I still give the original version a 9/10, due to indeed being loaded with killer songs, but it had its problems -- the biggest of which was the absence of Moe. It's hard to be a great VU album without Moe's beats. Then there was the mixing, which was very thin and tinny. It's the only Velvet Underground album to truly sound like the year it came out, whereas the others sound like they came from the future, or are just generally timeless. Lou's complaints were also very revealing: after he left the band, they cut out the bridge in "Sweet Jane," and they cut a minute-plus out of "New Age," and they got the sequencing wrong, apparently all in attempts to make the album more commercial.

When the PS&S box came out in 1995, it was a big step forward for me. The addition of the bridge in "Sweet Jane" was much appreciated, but it was still very obviously spliced in, and Lou's vocals in the bridge were much lower than the rest of the song. Still, the mixing was better, a few other things were tweaked, and it sounded more like a Velvets album than it did before.

I really love the new mix that's on the DVD included in the 45th anniversary box. There are a lot of new tweaks and additions, and the mix is powerful and even. I love that the intro to "Sweet Jane" is longer than before, and the bridge no longer sounds tacked-on. I really, really love the new mix on the vocals of "I Found a Reason." It seems Doug's parts are brought up higher than Lou's on the choruses. It just sounds fantastic, and the segue into "Head Held High" is brilliant. (I can't believe I never noticed before that the beginning of "Head Held High" was the end of "I Found a Reason.") I love that "Rock and Roll" and "New Age" are extended even beyond the previously available "full length versions." A "New Age" that runs for just under six minutes is fantastic!

I'm also very happy that this box is the same shape and size as the three 45th anniversary sets that came before it. With it coming out on a different record label, I feared it wouldn't follow the format of the first three, but it is perfect in that regard. It looks great on the shelf, and the set is now complete.

In short, I love it a lot more than I thought I would, considering that Loaded has always been somewhat of a letdown for me that was only somewhat rescued with PS&S in 1995 and Fully Loaded in 1997. The new DVD mix goes a long way toward making it as great as the first three albums.

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stooge
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Re: Loaded 45th Anniversary box reactions thread

Post by stooge » 31 Oct 2015 09:02

Thank you leamanc, i'm about to buy it. Could you tell us more about thé Second Fret stuff and Max's please?

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Re: Loaded 45th Anniversary box reactions thread

Post by rnranimal » 31 Oct 2015 22:05

stooge wrote:Thank you leamanc, i'm about to buy it. Could you tell us more about thé Second Fret stuff and Max's please?
I've only listened to the samples on iTunes, but can say that Max's is not speed corrected.

leamanc
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Re: Loaded 45th Anniversary box reactions thread

Post by leamanc » 01 Nov 2015 01:29

stooge, the Second Fret stuff is truly unlistenable, due to extremely low fidelity. As VU fans, we've all suffered through poor-sounding bootlegs, but this one takes the cake. I wasn't really familiar with this show, other than the closing "Train Round the Bend" and "Oh! Sweet Nuthin'" that have appeared on many bootleg compilations. I always liked those two performances, despite the poor fidelity, due to their extremely narcotized take on the songs. But somehow, they sound worse here than on the bootlegs. I wasn't expecting a miracle with this disc, but I at least expected it to sound better than existing bootlegs, given what they did with the Columbus set on the Banana Album 45th anniversary. It's a shame, and a curiosity as to why this set was included at all. It's inaudible at points, especially on "Sweet Jane."

The Max's disc is pretty interesting. It does seem to revert to the un-corrected speed of the original release (the 2-CD deluxe edition has the proper speed, if I understand correctly). Basically, it's the original album version, but with the songs put in the order of the deluxe edition, and minus one version of "Sweet Jane" and the partial recording of "Who Loves the Sun." It's an odd duck, but I like it. It's nice to have most of the August 23 recording, all on one disc.

rnranimal
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Re: Loaded 45th Anniversary box reactions thread

Post by rnranimal » 01 Nov 2015 06:34

The Max's 2CD isn't at correct speed. It's been years since I listened to the original album version, but I believe it was even faster than the 2CD. But this new one is the same speed as the 2CD.

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iaredatsun
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Re: Loaded 45th Anniversary box reactions thread

Post by iaredatsun » 01 Nov 2015 11:10

Leaman, thanks for your enthusiastic report! I was inspired to listen to the album and the various versions of SJ. I'm not the hugest fan of Loaded, but I can and do enjoy it for what it is and I like the track Sweet Jane.

The remastered version sounds very good to me. Probably best I've heard it on CD. I've noticed increased bass and a full, detailed but relaxed openness to the sound. Actually I'm enjoying the album more than I have in a long time.

The mystery of Sweet Jane. All those different versions? Not sure how, but I've heard a remastered LP edit version and I prefer it to the new full length version with the improved bridge edit. The trouble with the new full version is that whilst the 'wine and roses' section sounds better as an edit, they have over-emphasised a lot of small percussive noises that sound wrong, plus the vocal is touch high/bright for me.

I like the alt mix, but the guitar at the start is very prominent at the moment and I'm just so familiar with the original mix ? and that, to me, is how SJ should sound - especially the smooth intro.

As Leaman says, 2nd Fret is bad. I could never listen to that recording.
Last edited by iaredatsun on 01 Nov 2015 13:15, edited 1 time in total.
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stooge
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Re: Loaded 45th Anniversary box reactions thread

Post by stooge » 01 Nov 2015 12:15

thank you leamanc for your answer
In fact, i bought it yesterday (can't resist, although i know i'd be disappointed in some ways, but...)
I've just finished to listen to the Second Fret right now and there's no surprise: still awful (speed too slow,...). I think this show is really really cool, wasn't there any ways to make it sound better? I had it from the VUAS 20 years ago, and it still the same (in fact, my tape 's got the end of "waiting for the man"). BUT... i like it
The Max's stuff,...well,.. no surprise

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Re: Loaded 45th Anniversary box reactions thread

Post by dial4 » 01 Nov 2015 13:04

Before the reissue of the Matrix as 4 cd's with after almost half a century, the right song order (!), I have just one question : is it the definitive statement for such a good band :(

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stooge
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Re: Loaded 45th Anniversary box reactions thread

Post by stooge » 01 Nov 2015 14:15

Hope not. Maybe some La Cave or Boston Tea Party stuff...
Or End Cole Ave, who knows. But nothing really new; I'm afraid

rnranimal
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Re: Loaded 45th Anniversary box reactions thread

Post by rnranimal » 01 Nov 2015 19:23

stooge wrote:thank you leamanc for your answer
In fact, i bought it yesterday (can't resist, although i know i'd be disappointed in some ways, but...)
I've just finished to listen to the Second Fret right now and there's no surprise: still awful (speed too slow,...). I think this show is really really cool, wasn't there any ways to make it sound better? I had it from the VUAS 20 years ago, and it still the same (in fact, my tape 's got the end of "waiting for the man"). BUT... i like it
The Max's stuff,...well,.. no surprise
2nd Fret is missing part of "I'm Waiting for the Man"? It's supposed to come from the master. I wonder what gives? Even if it was somehow erased from the master over the years, they could've tacked it on from another source. Max's is too fast, 2nd Fret too slow? Why can't they correct speed on these bootlegs when they release them? Or why DON'T they, I should say.

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