The VELVET UNDERGROUND – ” The Matrix Tapes ” 4 Disc Box Set

Posted: November 22, 2015 in Classic Albums, MUSIC
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The Velvet Underground: The Complete Matrix Tapes Box Set to Be Released

In November and December 1969, between the release of their self-titled LP and the following year’s Loaded, the Velvet Underground held a residency at two venues in San Francisco: the Family Dog and the Matrix (a pizza parlor-turned-concert hall opened by Jefferson Airplane’s Marty Balin). All in all, the Velvets performed for 18 nights, and a significant portion of the gigs were captured on a four-track recorder.
Now, recordings from those shows will be released as a four-disc box set, The Velvet Underground: The Complete Matrix Tapes. released November 20th via Polydor/Universal Music Enterprises, the collection compiles 42 recordings, including nine previously unreleased tracks.
According to a press release, The Velvet Underground: The Complete Matrix Tapes focuses on two gigs in November 1969: November 26th and November 27th (Thanksgiving).
Many of the collection’s tracks have been released before, on the 1974 release 1969 The Velvet Underground Live, on 2001’s Bootleg Series, Vol. 1: The Quine Tapes, and last year’s Super Deluxe Edition of the self-titled album’s reissue. However, this marks the first time all of the tapes will be available commercially as a single release.
The collection’s highlights include previously unreleased versions of “Some Kinda Love”, “Sweet Jane”, and “After Hours”, among others. Find the entire tracklisting below.
Rolling Stone editor David Fricke wrote the liner notes for the new collection.
The Complete Matrix Tapes isn’t the only Velvet Underground release coming soon; the 45th anniversary edition of Loaded is due out October 30th.

You would think that by now—after fifty years—the cupboard would be getting pretty bare when it comes to unreleased Velvet Underground material, but that’s simply not the case. Despite the incredible amount of material made available for the first time on legit releases in recent years via UMe’s Super Deluxe packages, there is still even more to come. And not just a little, but a lot of primo vintage VU white light, white heat recorded in high fidelity.

Two-to-three-minute excerpts of nine of these tracks and a seven-minute excerpt of “Sister Ray”—all starting at the beginning of the songs, and fading out mid-performance—that have leaked into circulation verify that the sound quality on these recordings is outstanding, and notably (though not hugely) superior to the tapes used on 1969 Velvet Underground Live. Of even more interest, the performances themselves are good-to-superb, including a version of the rarely-heard “There She Goes Again” with noticeably more jagged rhythm guitar than the studio cut; “I’m Set Free” with magnificent Reed lead vocals; a really slowed-down “I’m Waiting for the Man” with great curling blues guitar riffing, and a cool interjection of ominously stroked chords right after the white boy’s asked what he’s doing uptown; and a “Sister Ray” that starts off super-slow and bluesy, but just keeps accelerating in rhythm and intensity until the tape cruelly cuts off. If not quite as novel, the other excerpts—including “Ocean,” “Some Kinda Love” (introduced as “an alcoholic’s dream”), “The Black Angel’s Death Song,” “After Hours,” and two versions of “Venus in Furs”—likewise make the Velvet Underground fan yearn for the day when these tapes can be released.

The Velvet Underground: The Complete Matrix Tapes:
Disc One
01 I’m Waiting For The Man (Version 1)
02 What Goes On (Version 1)
03 Some Kinda Love (Version 1)
04 Heroin (Version 1)
05 The Black Angel’s Death Song
06 Venus In Furs (Version 1)
07 There She Goes Again (Version 1)
08 We’re Gonna Have A Real Good Time Together (Version 1)
09 Over You (Version 1)
10 Sweet Jane (Version 1)
11 Pale Blue Eyes (Version 1)
12 After Hours (Version 1)
Disc Two
01 I’m Waiting For The Man (Version 2)
02 Venus In Furs (Version 2)
03 I Can’t Stand It (Version 1)
04 There She Goes Again (Version 2)
05 Some Kinda Love (Version 2)
06 Over You (Version 2)
07 After Hours (Version 2)
08 We’re Gonna Have A Real Good Time Together (Version 2)
09 Sweet Bonnie Brown/Too Much
10 Heroin (Version 2)
11 White Light/White Heat (Version 1)
12 I’m Set Free
Disc Three
01 We’re Gonna Have A Real Good Time Together (Version 3)
02 Some Kinda Love (Version 3)
03 There She Goes Again (Version 3)
04 Heroin (Version 3)
05 Ocean
06 Sister Ray
Disc Four
01 I’m Waiting For The Man (Version 3)
02 What Goes On (Version 2)
03 Some Kinda Love (Version 4)
04 We’re Gonna Have A Real Good Time Together (Version 4)
05 Beginning To See The Light
06 Lisa Says
07 New Age
08 Rock and Roll
09 I Can’t Stand It (Version 2)
10 Heroin (Version 4)
11 White Light/White Heat (Version 2)
12 Sweet Jane (Version 2)
Here’s one version of “Heroin” from the band’s stint at the Matrix:

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