Velvet Underground ’69 SF Concerts on 4-CD Set

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Velvet Underground Matrix TapesIn late 1969, the Velvet Underground set up shop in San Francisco for 18 nights, playing intimate sets at fabled North Beach club the Matrix, with a four-track recorder rolling through much of it. Now fans hear the sounds of those shows via The Velvet Underground – The Complete Matrix Tapes, a four-CD box set out now via Polydor/Universal Music Enterprises (UMe).

The 42 tracks highlight two nights in particular – November 26 and November 27, taped in-between the release of the band’s third self-titled album and the beginnings of their next release, Loaded, which they recorded the following spring.

The live performances have previously only been heard in abbreviated form. Some versions were issued in 1974 by Mercury Records as part of 1969 The Velvet Underground Live. Other audience-recorded versions were taken from cassette tapes made by the late Bob Quine, who later went on to play guitar for Richard Hell and Reed, released as The Quine Tapes. The Matrix Tapes, however, offer fans their first opportunity to hear recordings that have been mixed down directly from the original in-house multitracks.

Hear the sounds of San Francisco in the late 1960s – two of the most iconic performances in the band’s history, including multiple versions of “White Light/White Heat” and “Sweet Jane” before it was even recorded. Joining Lou Reed, guitarist Sterling Morrison and percussionist Maureen Tucker is Doug Yule on bass and keyboards, who had recently replaced John Cale.

It’s been two years now since Lou Reed passed away, and 20 since the death of Morrison, but the Velvet Underground lives on. “On the one hand, [it] is just two nights, in one room, in the life of a working band,” Rolling Stone editor David Fricke writes in the accompanying liner notes. “It also has everything they aspired to and achieved on stage, every night, everywhere: the magnificent aggression and determined joy; the fictions shot through with truth; the lasting bonds established in almost total, commercial blackout. You can easily walk into the music and never want to leave – a perfect definition of both a great rock & roll gig and a history that keeps on giving.”

The Velvet Underground – The Complete Matrix Tapes Track List:

Disc 1:
1. I’m Waiting For The Man (Version 1)
2. What Goes On (Version 1)
3. Some Kinda Love (Version 1)
4. Heroin (Version 1)
5. The Black Angel’s Death Song
6. Venus In Furs (Version 1)
7. There She Goes Again (Version 1)
8. We’re Gonna Have A Real Good Time Together (Version 1)
9. Over You (Version 1)
10. Sweet Jane (Version 1)
11. Pale Blue Eyes
12. After Hours (Version 1)

Disc 2:
1. I’m Waiting For The Man (Version 2)
2. Venus In Furs (Version 2)
3. I Can’t Stand It (Version 1)
4. There She Goes Again (Version 2)
5. Some Kinda Love (Version 2)
6. Over You (Version 2)
7. After Hours (Version 2)
8. We’re Gonna Have A Real Good Time Together (Version 2)
9. Sweet Bonnie Brown/Too Much
10. Heroin (Version 2)
11. White Light/White Heat (Version 1)
12. I’m Set Free

Disc 3:
1. We’re Gonna Have A Real Good Time Together (Version 3)
2. Some Kinda Love (Version 3)
3. There She Goes Again (Version 3)
4. Heroin (Version 3)
5. Ocean
6. Sister Ray

Disc 4:
1. I’m Waiting For The Man (Version 3)
2. What Goes On (Version 2)
3. Some Kinda Love (Version 4)
4. We re Gonna Have A Real Good Time Together (Version 4)
5. Beginning To See The Light
6. Lisa Says
7. New Age
8. Rock And Roll
9. I Can’t Stand It (Version 2)
10. Heroin (Version 4)
11. White Light /White Heat (Version 2)
12. Sweet Jane (Version 2)

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