Home Read Albums Of The Week: The Velvet Underground | Loaded Fully Re-Loaded Edition

Albums Of The Week: The Velvet Underground | Loaded Fully Re-Loaded Edition

Lou Reed's last stand with the Velvets returns in a mammoth vinyl box set.


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Lou Reed sang about the lifesaving powers of Rock & Roll on Loaded, his fourth and final studio album with The Velvet Underground. Since it arrived in November 1970, generations have been shaking to the album’s “fine, fine music,” experiencing their own kinds of musical salvation thanks to songs like Sweet Jane, Head Held High and Oh! Sweet Nuthin’.

Now, Rhino Records puts Loaded back in the spotlight with a new vinyl boxed set that includes nearly all the music from its expansive 2015 CD reissue, Loaded: Re-Loaded 45th Anniversary Edition. The new collection, Loaded (Fully Re-Loaded Edition), features nine LPs with stereo, mono, and full-length mixes of the original albumm along with a generous selection of demos, studio outtakes and live recordings. Several tracks from the set are available on vinyl for the first time.

Loaded (Fully Re-Loaded Edition) opens with three different versions of the original studio album: Remastered stereo and mono mixes, plus a full-Length version that boasts extended takes of Sweet Jane, Rock & Roll and New Age. More than two dozen recordings from the making of Loaded appear on vinyl for the first time in the new collection. The music explores the creative process behind the album with early versions of Oh! Sweet Nuthin’ and Lonesome Cowboy Bill and alternate mixes for Rock & Roll and Train ’round The Bend. Songs that would eventually appear on Reed’s 1972 solo debut make appearances as well, with early versions of Ocean, I Love You and Ride Into The Sun.

Those studio recordings are bolstered by a selection of live performances recorded before Loaded debuted in November 1970. A few weeks into making the album, on May 9, 1970, the band played at the Second Fret in Philadelphia. Bob Kachnycz, a fan, hitchhiked to the show and recorded the show on reel-to-reel. The band were down to a trio that night: Reed, Sterling Morrison and Doug Yule, who alternated between bass and drums to fill in for Moe Tucker, who was pregnant. This show, available for the first time on vinyl, uncovers early performances of several songs destined for the album: Cool It Down, Rock & Roll and New Age.

The second performance was recorded in New York City at Max’s Kansas City nightclub on Aug. 23, 1970, the day Reed left The Velvet Underground. Several songs from the show were released in 1972 as Live At Max’s Kansas City. In 2004, Rhino released a remastered version of the live album that was expanded to include both sets the band played that night. Featured on two LPs in the new collection, the recordings touch on all the band’s past albums with live versions of I’m Waiting For The Man, White Light/White Heat, Pale Blue Eyes and Sweet Jane.

Loaded (Fully Re-Loaded Edition) is limited to 1,970 numbered copies —available exclusively online — and comes in a deluxe, foil-wrapped slipcase containing the vinyl, a poster of the album’s cover art, and an illustrated booklet with the liner notes by Lenny Kaye that appeared in Loaded: Re-Loaded 45th Anniversary Edition.

In addition to the nine LPs, the set also comes with four 7″ singles that reproduce the official singles and B-sides released from Loaded. Rock & Roll and Who Loves The Sun both come in the generic record sleeves used at the time by Cotillion, the band’s label. The former is being reissued for the first time ever, as the original release was cancelled in 1970, while the latter is being reissued for the first time since 1970. The other two singles come in picture sleeves originally released in Europe: Head Held High in France and Sweet Jane in Germany.”


Previous articleAlbums Of The Week: Dick Stusso | S​.​P.
Next articleAlbums Of The Week: Endless, Nameless | Living Without