108 – White Light/White Heat

108 – White Light/White Heat

Velvet Underground


After a chaotic year, Andy Warhol, creative producer of VU has left after losing interest and his parting shot is this iconic album cover, in Black, for White Light/White Heat. The album itself is similarly chaotic, with thrashing guitars and suggestive content and ill disciplined indulgent song lengths.  Guitarist Sterling Morrison confirms in an interview their lives were in the midst of chaos and drugs and Rock ‘n Roll and basically running from the police due to their excesses.

The album was recorded over five days in September 1967.  The music itself is rhythmic in parts whilst ‘The Gift’ is a narrated song about Waldo Jeffers’ obsession with his girlfriend.  It’s quite an interesting story of insanity (or love) if we are honest.  Sister Ray is like an improvised jazz jamming session and is so crazily long you’re in danger of getting a headache before you get to the end.  In the end though, you can see this was the beginning of punk and that so many people have taken it as a starting point says a great deal about the music, the lyrics and the art.  I wont be rushing back to VU but at least I’ve been there.

Released – 1967

Favourite Track – The Gift, Sister Ray (purely for the Joy Division connection)

Rating – 7.0

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