“Loaded” by The Velvet Underground - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1970Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

After three stupendous LPs, the fourth, arriving in November ’70, was a big come-down for the punk-orientated within their following. Straight from the off, “Who Loves The Sun” is a straight pop concession, and the exceedingly bland vocal of Doug Yule does the VU no favours, as good as the tune is. “Sweet Jane” immediately bursts in without pause, offering hope that we might yet have another classic on our hands. The song almost single-handedly sets up the power-pop decade which will blossom fully, post-punk. Aside from the wonderfully exaggerated power chord hooks, it’s quite possibly the coolest vocal Lou ever delivered. My perfect 10 board is up without hesitation. The New Wave motifs that would so influence The Modern Lovers et al are reinforced with the cool jangle of “Rock And Roll”. Here, Lou connects with millions. Writing in Peel Slowly and see he wrote: “‘Rock and Roll’ is about me. If I hadn't heard rock and roll on the radio, I would have had no idea there was life on this planet. Which would have been devastating – to think that everything, everywhere was like it was where I come from. That would have been profoundly discouraging. Movies didn't do it for me. TV didn't do it for me. It was the radio that did it.” Rock And Roll was about Lou. And me. Quite possibly it was about you too. Unbelievably, after these initial highs, the album reveals itself as a thoroughly ordinary affair, with none of the thrills that we’ve become accustomed to on a Velvet Underground; a devastating blow for we punks. Produce an album “loaded with hits” said Atlantic. Groan. John Cale was well out of it. Ironically, so was Lou Reed. He jumped ship 3 months before the album was released, leaving Doug Yule as the group leader. The “straight” Velvet Underground was “weirder” to me than ever-before. It was, by now, all very strange.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:50] 6.8.png The Velvet Underground - Who Loves The Sun (Lou Reed) Pop
A2 [03:55] 10.0.png The Velvet Underground - Sweet Jane (Lou Reed) New Wave
A3 [04:47] 7.5.png The Velvet Underground - Rock And Roll (Lou Reed) New Wave
A4 [03:05] 6.2.png The Velvet Underground - Cool It Down (Lou Reed) Alternative Country
A5 [05:20] 6.4.png The Velvet Underground - New Age (Lou Reed) Pop Ballad
B1 [02:52] 6.3.png The Velvet Underground - Head Held High (Lou Reed) Rock
B2 [02:48] 6.9.png The Velvet Underground - Lonesome Cowboy Bill (Lou Reed) Alternative Country
B3 [04:15] 5.5.png The Velvet Underground - I Found A Reason (Lou Reed) Pop Ballad
B4 [03:20] 5.6.png The Velvet Underground - Train Round The Bend (Lou Reed) Blues Rock / Soul Rock
B5 [07:23] 5.9.png The Velvet Underground - Oh! Sweet Nuthin’ (Lou Reed) Folk Rock / Americana

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