Unripened CD

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Felix

Unripened CD

Post by Felix » 23 Jul 2007 13:46

Anyone listened to this ? What do you think ?

breakingglass
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Post by breakingglass » 09 Aug 2007 17:18

From Amazon.uk reader review:

This CD is a straight copy of the acetate famously discovered on a market stall in New York for less than a dollar a couple of years back and sold for tens of thousands of dollars. It inevitably sounds like a fragile 40 years old acetate in terms of surface noise and the occasional jump, but overall the sound quality is pretty good - the sleeve notes claim it's been cleaned up a bit and this is quite plausible, the surface noise is not particularly intrusive most of the time.

What it contains is an early version of the Velvets' debut album, minus a couple of the more tuneful songs (Sunday Morning and There She Goes Again). Of the 9 songs it does contain, 3 are completely different versions and the other 6 are different mixes. The different takes are as follows: Heroin, Venus In Furs and I'm Waiting For The Man. While these are arguably not (quite) as good as the versions on the album as finally issued, they sure ain't bad and alternate studio versions of some of their most important songs are like gold dust to Velvet Underground fans. More to the point, they're far better and more interesting than the "bedroom demos" that take up a whole disc of the Peel Slowly & See box set.

Heroin is quite similar to the issued cut, if slightly less cacophonous in the fast passages - it's a very good version; Venus In Furs has a less developed guitar part but is still very good; I'm Waiting For The Man is probably the most dramatically different, with a more garagey take on the familiar chug, snaky guitar solos and the drums surprisingly replaced by a tambourine.

Of the other songs, European Son is billed as a different take in the sleeve notes but this is probably because, unlike the issued version it is unedited - on the issued version about a minute has been edited out from immediately after the crashing sound at the end of the song part - for no obvious reason except presumably length - even without that extra minute The Velvet Underground & Nico is almost twice the length of many mid-60s lps. The most obvious difference on any of the other tracks is the presence of a female voice (Mo Tucker's? it doesn't sound like Nico) in the backing vocals on Femme Fatale, but they're all obviously different mixes - and like the alternate takes, they're all mono.

The other huge difference from the issued album is the running order. The issued album began with the gentle Sunday Morning (absent here) and ended with the cacophonous Black Angel's Death Song and European Son; this version OPENS with European Son and follows up with BADS. Whether the Velvets and Andy Warhol ever viewed this as a potentially finished album is unknown, but as a snapshot of one of the greatest debut albums in rock at an early stage of its evolution it's fascinating. It's not recommended to anyone not already a committed fan of TVU&N, but to anyone that is, its unexpected appearance is an unlooked-for joy. Get it before it disappears - or ends up only available as part of a revamped box set.

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simonm
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Re: Unripened CD

Post by simonm » 09 Aug 2007 18:51

Felix wrote:Anyone listened to this ? What do you think ?
there's another thread on this subject:
http://www.velvetforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=1621

or do a search here on Dolph.

It looks to me like the Amazon review was written by someone involved in the release or its distribution. It's not a copy of the market stall actetate, but from another copy in much worse condition, that has had some heavy handed audio processing to remove scratches and noise. I'm surprised Amazon are selling a blatant bootleg.

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Chance
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Post by Chance » 14 Aug 2007 04:46

Simonm wrote:It's not a copy of the market stall actetate, but from another copy in much worse condition
Thanks much, Simon. My heart has returned to it's normal rhythm. Some day, a copy of that "clean" acetate will make it's way to our desperate clutches - and I say probably via a legitimate release. That thing isn't going to be denied to the faithful forever.

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