The VELVET UNDERGROUND – ” The Complete Matrix Tapes “

Posted: October 14, 2022 in MUSIC

The Velvet Underground toured extensively in 1969, but the band set up shop in San Francisco in November and early December for a series of 18 nights over four separate engagements, the first at the Family Dog, the rest at the fabled North Beach club the Matrix, opened in a one-time pizza parlour by Jefferson Airplane’s Marty Balin in 1965. Over the course of their residency, which began November 11th, the club’s four-track recorder, manned by owner Peter Abram from a booth at the side of the stage, was rolling through much of it. The Velvet Underground – The Complete Matrix Tapes, a 42-track box captures the highlights of two nights – November 26th, the day Richard Nixon authorized a bill to create a draft lottery, and November 27th, Thanksgiving – as detailed in Rolling Stone editor David Fricke’s liner notes in the box set booklet.

These shows, taped several months after the release of the third, self-titled Velvet Underground album earlier that year, and before heading to the studio to record “Loaded” the following spring, featured the post-John Cale incarnation of the band, with newest member Doug Yule on bass and keyboards joining Reed and remaining members guitarist Sterling Morrison and percussionist Maureen Tucker.

Some versions of these performances were first issued in 1974 by Mercury Records as part of a double LP, “1969 The Velvet Underground Live”, while other audience recorded versions released were taken from cassette tapes made by the late Bob Quine, a huge fan and, at the time, a St. Louis law student who later went on to play guitar for both Richard Hell and Lou Reed. Quine was at a number of the shows during their stint at the club, and his cache eventually was released in 2001 as “The Quine Tapes“.

Now, for the first time, “The Velvet Underground – The Complete Matrix Tapes” features 42 recordings that have been mixed down directly from the original in-house multi-tracks, including the 18 tracks featured in a Super Deluxe Edition of the Velvets’ third album and nine previously unreleased performances marking the first time all the available tapes will be released commercially. As can be heard, the shows were intimate, and features early versions of yet-to-be-recorded songs like “Sweet Jane”, “New Age and “Rock and Roll”. Highlights includes previously unreleased versions of “Some Kinda Love” and “Sweet Jane” plus the almost 40-minute-long “Sister Ray“.

The Velvet Underground Trust, under license to Universal Music Enterprises, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc. Released on: 2015-11-20

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