I’m not always a fan of live albums, depending on the talent or passion of the artists a lot can be lost from studio to stage. Even with a band as great as the Velvet Underground, a few of their best songs just don’t translate outside of the studio, like Lady Godiva’s Operation. Overall though, The Velvet Underground and later Lou Reed in his solo work have great presence and passion, and I generally prefer most of their live work to their albums. Heroin especially thrives on this album, truly besting the version that can be found on The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967).
Also worth noting is that, starting September 25th, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts will be opening their exihibition on Andy Warhol entitled “Music and dance in Andy Warhol’s work“. I’m a huge fan of his work, and will probably see this within it’s first week, in spite of the potential crowds. His famous portraits will be included, as well as album art, illustrations, etc. Some of his films will also be featured, including his screen tests of the Velvet Underground. It’s easy to forget Warhol’s play in the complete freedom that he allowed the young New York artists who became the Velvet Underground, as well as his introduction of Nico to the band. I wouldn’t rule out Chelsea Girls being an album of the week in the future.