question about 3rd album songs

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Sheila Klein
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question about 3rd album songs

Post by Sheila Klein » 18 Jan 2021 02:51

I've been asked by a friend of mine who saw the VU a number times in the '60s to help him understand which of the third album songs might've been written and played out when John Cale was still in the group. I'm hoping in turn that you'all can help me help him. The songs he mentioned as being of especial interest are:

I'm Set Free
Pale Blue Eyes
Jesus
What Goes On
Beginning To See The Light
Some Kinda Love


My friend is writing an article for Uncut about his experiences with having seen the VU, and I believe his question is intended to help him with a part of his article that he's been having some trouble with.

peppergomez
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Re: question about 3rd album songs

Post by peppergomez » 18 Jan 2021 03:15

Lucky guy...seeing VU in their prime is the only reason I wish I'd been born earlier than I was

That's the Story of My Life was played w/ Cale and he played viola on it. There's a snide comment from a contemporary reviewer that mentions that song in the context of something like even an ugly band can write some pretty songs.

Cale also played on Ocean and I assume on I Can't Stand It, Foggy Notion, Move Right In, and any other tunes that they played w/ Yule at his first gig.

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Mark
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Re: question about 3rd album songs

Post by Mark » 18 Jan 2021 10:22

Well, they recorded a version Beginning to See the Light with Cale of course. And Pale Blue Eyes and What Goes On have both been anecdotally mentioned as being played with Cale in the summer of '68.

And if - if - this listing from the NYPL Lou archive is accurate, they recorded most of the others with him too...

XII - 4/68 [Velvet Underground] 1968 July 5
Jesus
Pale Blue Eyes
Beginning To See The Light
Story Of My Life
If You Close the Door [After Hours]
8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1

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iaredatsun
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Re: question about 3rd album songs

Post by iaredatsun » 19 Jan 2021 18:47

Mark wrote:
18 Jan 2021 10:22
Well, they recorded a version Beginning to See the Light with Cale of course. And Pale Blue Eyes and What Goes On have both been anecdotally mentioned as being played with Cale in the summer of '68.

And if - if - this listing from the NYPL Lou archive is accurate, they recorded most of the others with him too...

XII - 4/68 [Velvet Underground] 1968 July 5
Jesus
Pale Blue Eyes
Beginning To See The Light
Story Of My Life
If You Close the Door [After Hours]
We've debated this entry here before. No one can agree that the entry is actually correct without more evidence.
underground, overground

hkmartin
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Re: question about 3rd album songs

Post by hkmartin » 21 Jan 2021 04:23

For sure, Pale Blue Eyes was written when Cale was in the band (or possibly even before VU?). It was on the NYPL tape "Lou Reed and John Cale [Demo] 1965," which I listened to. As I recall, these were mostly Lou playing solo, with Cale serving mostly as the audience, adding occasional harmonies.
See my more detailed write-up here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=145696

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Re: question about 3rd album songs

Post by Kill Mick » 23 Jan 2021 10:55

Wasn't Pale Blue Eyes written about a woman Lou had an affair with? If we know when the affair ended it might give us a clue at to when he wrote the song...
Keep the faith

hkmartin
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Re: question about 3rd album songs

Post by hkmartin » 23 Jan 2021 17:11

Wasn't Pale Blue Eyes written about a woman Lou had an affair with? If we know when the affair ended it might give us a clue at to when he wrote the song...
It was written about Shelley Albin, his college girlfriend (whose eyes, apparently, were not blue). I think a date even earlier than 1965 is not out of the question. She's the same Shelley name checked in I Can't Stand It. The 1965 version of Pale Blue Eyes had very different (and inferior) lyrics, but the melody and the chorus were the same as the version we know.

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Re: question about 3rd album songs

Post by bobbydriver » 03 Feb 2021 17:46

Sheila Klein wrote:
18 Jan 2021 02:51
My friend is writing an article for Uncut about his experiences with having seen the VU


I'm really looking forward to this article. I know who your friend is :D

meep meep!

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Re: question about 3rd album songs

Post by peppergomez » 04 Feb 2021 03:46

Ditto. I have always been curious to read the recollections of those who saw them in their prime since there was no precedent to prepare listeners for their sound in the wild wooly Cale years.

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Sheila Klein
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Re: question about 3rd album songs

Post by Sheila Klein » 04 Feb 2021 20:10

Thank you for your help. I’m not trying to be coy, but sometimes people prefer their identity to not be public in all cases.

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