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The Velvet Underground

White Light/White Heat

the velvet's second albumrecorded quickly in 2 days in late 1967 distorted driven by feedback and roughly recorded the album became one of the prototypes for the punk movementtracks 'white lightwhite heat' 'lady godiva's operation' and 'the gift' the latter featuring a heavy rock rhythm mixed into one stereo speaker and a lou reed short story laconically narrated by john cale in the other the story tells a tale of love and the perils of human mail and was written by lou reed for a project in his college days the centrepiece however is the lengthy improvised murder tale 'sister ray' based on some of reed's nearperennial concerns drug abuse violence homosexuality and transvestism 'sister ray' is legendary for having been recorded in one take the band agreed to accept whatever faults occurred in the single take the song careens off in every direction for over 17 minutes as john cale's deafening organ which was routed through a distorted guitar amplifier and lou reed's piercing guitar take turns drowning out the rest of the band secondary guitarist sterling morrison remarked that he was amazed at the volume of cale's organ during the recording and had switched the guitar pickup on his fender stratocaster from the bridge position to the neck position to get 'more oomph' there is a rumor that the producer tom wilson walked out halfway through the song and just said 'let me know when you're done' also notable about the song is that it features no bass guitar john cale who usually plays bass was playing his organ on the take the band had a sponsorship from vox amplifiers resulting in use of top of the line amps and distortion pedals to create a very distorted and noisy sound with the possible exception of jimi hendrix such levels of distortion and feedback as found on the album were quite rare the album was somewhat of an experiment in noise a awesome record you must have

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