The Velvet Underground

Founded: 1964

Location: United States

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The Velvet Underground was an American rock band formed in New York City in 1964. It originally comprised singer and guitarist Lou Reed, Welsh multi-instrumentalist John Cale, guitarist Sterling Morrison, and drummer Angus MacLise. In 1965 MacLise was replaced by Moe Tucker, who played on most of the band's recordings. Though their integration of rock and the avant-garde resulted in little commercial success, they became one of the most influential bands in rock, underground, experimental, and alternative music. Their provocative subject matter, musical experiments, and nihilistic attitude was also instrumental in the development of punk rock, new wave and several other genres.The group performed under several names before settling on the Velvet Underground in 1965, taken from the title of a book on atypical sexual behavior. In 1966, the pop artist Andy Warhol became their manager. They served as the house band at Warhol's studio, the Factory, and his traveling multimedia show, the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, from 1966 to 1967. Their debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico, featuring the German singer and model Nico, was released in 1967 to critical indifference and poor sales but later drew widespread acclaim. They released three more albums, White Light/White Heat (1968), The Velvet Underground (1969), and Loaded (1970), with Doug Yule replacing Cale for the final two. None performed to the expectations of record labels or Reed, the band's leader. However, like the band's debut, all albums later achieved critical acclaim.


1968 White Light/White Heat
1969 The Velvet Underground
1970 Loaded
1973 Squeeze
1974 Evil Mothers (Rare Velvets)

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