The Velvet Underground are one of the 20th century’s most influential bands, even though nobody paid attention to them back when they were making records in the ‘60s. The original lineup led by Lou Reed (which saw a couple of changes before the band broke up in the early ‘70s) made only four albums, but they helped shape the course that punk, art and indie rock took in the years to come. Their debut album, 1967’s ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico,’ includes songs about drug addicts, transvestites and hookers; its 1968 follow-up, ‘White Light / White Heat,’ is even darker. For their last two albums, a 1969 self-titled LP and 1970’s ‘Loaded,’ the band headed in a more pastoral and folksy direction, even managing a pair of classic songs in ‘Sweet Jane’ and ‘Rock & Roll.’ All these years later, their influence is still being felt.
Hear Alice Cooper Cover Velvet Underground's 'Rock & Roll'
Lou Reed-penned song finds the shock-rocker revisiting Detroit roots.
Velvet Underground Announce 'Complete Matrix Tapes' Vinyl Box Set
Eight-record set includes unreleased tracks and performances previously unavailable on LP.
Why the Legend of 'Velvet Underground and Nico' Only Grew
They sounded like nothing else that came out in 1967, one of rock's all-time greatest and most influential years.
Revisiting Velvet Underground's First Live Appearance
An unknown four-piece rock 'n' roll band took to the stage for the first time on Dec. 11, 1965.
When the Velvet Underground Made a Commercial Move on 'Loaded'
Lou Reed wanted to be a star in 1970. It wasn't always this way.
How 'Peel Slowly and See' Collected the Velvet Underground's Past
By the time this five-disc box set arrived, their reputation and influence was pretty much secure.
Velvet Underground's 'Loaded' to Receive 'Re-Loaded' 45th Anniversary Reissue
The Velvet Underground's Loaded is turning 45 in style.
How Velvet Underground Made a Glorious Racket on 'White Light'
It's heavy without being metal, and it's metal without being heavy.
Velvet Underground's Third Album to Get Super-Deluxe Reissue Next Month
Just as the Velvet Underground's second album, 'White Light / White Heat,' received a massive expansion last year, the band's third album is getting a six-disc super-deluxe reissue overhaul just in time for the gift-giving season.