Bullz-Eye Home
Movie DVDs
Music DVDs
Celebrity Babes
The Opposite Sex
Stuff to Buy
Premium Members

Join  Enter

Cool Links

All Pro Models
Premium Hollywood
EatSleepDrink Music
Sports Blog
Cleveland Sports
Political Humor

Music DVD Reviews: Review of The Velvet Underground: Velvet Redux
Music DVDs Home / Entertainment Channel / Bullz-Eye Home

The Velvet Underground: Velvet Redux (2006)

Buy your copy now from
No one would have thought it possible, but through some kind of weird stroke of fate, the Velvet Underground reformed briefly back in 1993 and played a handful of live shows. These shows were documented as “Velvet Redux: Live MCMXCIII” and released as a two-disc set, a truncated one-disc set, and as a VHS entity. And now here it is, making its debut on DVD, in the shortened form. However, the idea that the VU reformed 13 years ago comes off as more important than the shows they played themselves. Anyone expecting the old dynamic was going to be disappointed. You can’t go back.

When John Cale was ousted from the Velvet Underground in 1968, and Doug Yule came in to play on the band’s last two albums, some fans scoffed and claimed that the group was now nothing but Lou Reed’s backing band. But this is hardly the case. The songs Yule sang on the group’s third album and Loaded might have been penned by Reed, but you can’t hear “Candy Says,” “Who Loves the Sun?” or “Oh! Sweet Nuthin’” and not tie them to Yule just as well. It was just a different band, but one no less influential or revolutionary (one listen to “What Goes On” or “Rock and Roll” will certainly back this up). But when the Velvets reformed in the early ‘90s, Yule was not asked to come along. It’s a shame, because he was as much part of the band as Cale was, but this outing was one for the purists.

However, if the VU ever indeed became “just Lou Reed’s backing band,” it’s on “Velvet Redux”. And by most accounts, Reed was a complete prick to his old bandmates once the tour started going. Think not of these tunes as the once-fantastic VU versions, but as the versions Lou remade when he went solo. Who would have ever thought that “Sweet Jane” could suck, or what “White Light/White Heat” would lose all of its former glory with Cale and Sterling Morrison attacking it? But that’s how it is here. Clean versions led by a clean Reed, with the band in tow, bowing to his whims.

But then, I suppose you couldn’t expect “Venus in Furs” to ever sound as bracing as it does on The Velvet Underground and Nico. And you couldn’t expect “Some Kinda Love” to ever be as kinky and sexy as it was on The Velvet Underground. And no one should ever be expected to enjoy “Hey Mr. Rain” in any version, as it was just a lousy song to begin with, and rightly tossed in the closet until it was featured on Another View in two lousy versions in 1985. And why the band couldn’t come up with anything better than the flimsy “Coyote” as a new track is beyond me. But again, this was only the Velvet Underground on the surface.

Still, the fact that it happened at all must be worth something. And even though it’s basically Lou’s show all the way, there’s something still electric about seeing Maureen Tucker pound the drums in a tribal manner and Sterling Morrison working his guitar in all the ways that Lou Reed couldn’t. And watching the group blast out “Heroin” one more time is still cool in a way (but there’s no justification in letting Cale handle the lead vocals on “I’m Waiting for the Man” which he manages to mangle). Yet one can’t help but feel that the VU treasure that has been unearthed since this all came to pass, such as the previously unreleased tracks on the box set, and the first volume of The Bootleg Series, are far more exciting in both historical value and performance than “Velvet Redux” could have ever been.

Fans looking for any bonuses on the DVD are going to be disappointed. This is basically the old VHS version of the show, reissued on DVD. So you get the concert in its entirety, a song selection list, and that’s it. It would have been nicer to have had a little something extra to go with this show, such as a look back at the band or anything like that, but this is about as bare bones as it gets. Fans are much better off seeking out the various books, other official live documents already released, or a search on ebay for other archival materials related to the VU. “Velvet Redux” is a flimsy epitaph for a band that deserves much more.

~Jason Thompson 



Bullz-Eye.com : Feedback - Link to Us  - About B-E - FAQ - Advertise with Us

© 2000-2005 Bullz-Eye.com®, All Rights Reserved. Contact the webmaster with questions or comments. Privacy Policy and Site Map