Release Date: Oct 30, 2015
Record label: Rhino
The Velvets' last album is generally seen as their least. It suffers dubious production and lacks drummer Moe Tucker, due to her pregnancy; Lou Reed left the band before its release and, as he'd later complain, his songs were hacked down (notably "Sweet Jane" and "New Age") and his intended sequencing re-shuffled. Loaded was a last-ditch effort to connect with a mass audience, something the first three Velvets albums failed spectacularly to do — and it met the same fate.
The latest of The Velvet Underground’s studio efforts to be given the book-style multi-disc reissue treatment proved was by far their most eclectic album – as well as their most divisive. The opening triple whammy of Who Loves The Sun, Sweet Jane and Rock & Roll see Lou Reed at his most crowd-pleasing with the band under strict instructions to produce a hit. Elsewhere, I Found A Reason’s evocation of doo-wop simplicity would have slipped unnoticed on to the self-titled third album and the loose, resigned Oh Sweet Nothing closes the album beautifully.
Velvet Underground, "Loaded: Re-loaded 45th Anniversary Edition" (Rhino/Warner Music). The fourth album by the Velvet Underground is the most polarizing of the lot and far removed from the classic grit of "Venus in Furs," the mesmerizing freakout "Sister Ray" or any of vocalist Nico's delicately morose ballads. Recorded after both she and founding member-bassist-violaist John Cale had split from singer-guitarist Lou Reed, drummer Moe Tucker and guitarist Sterling Morrison, "Loaded" has more in common with the Grateful Dead's melodic folk-guitar songs than with Andy Warhol-sponsored abrasiveness.