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Velvet Underground
Velvet Redux: Live MCMXCIII

Review By Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
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Velvet Underground Velvet Redux: Live MCMXCIII

DVD Label: Rhino

 

  I am sitting here scratching my head and wondering how 13 years could have flown by so fast. I first heard this recording back in 1993. It does not seem that long ago. The legendary Velvet Underground got back together for a short-lived European tour, which abruptly ended in disappointment before it ever reached this side of the pond unfortunately. It took long enough to get this DVD now didn't it? Well as I say, it was worth the wait, especially when it only feels like a few years to me anyway, I am sure die-hard fans have been impatiently waiting for this day to arrive.

Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison, John Cale, and Moe Tucker reformed for this classic performance at the Paris Olympia on June 15, 16, and 17, 1993. Now the audio is digitally remastered for more clarity and depth. 

I was very excited about getting this DVD. I always wondered what it was like back in the days when VU was Andy Warhol's house band and what it was like to be present at the gigs they played in NYC. At that time, punk rock was not the label put on this style of music but it was the beginning of something new and different. They were the progenitors of that genre. I guess nobody could figure out what to call it but in the end, it was just great rock 'n' roll music that had an edge to it.

I remember I had one of those rare mono copies of their Live At Max's Kansas City on vinyl that I found in used record bin. It sounded quite primitive to me at the time, but then again I was not a big fan of the band as I am now. Now I have it on CD remastered with a bonus disc of previously unreleased tracks, its great stuff. What I would not give to turn back time and see one of those concerts. To see them in a live setting 1993 was a dream come true for this music fan, even if I was not there, this was nearly as good. They are not anything to watch really, visuals are not their forte. It is their music and the lyrics that carry you away, and that is always the main objective, so enough said. During the performances rarely do you see them smiling, they were all very serious on stage. Lou Reed could manage an occasional smirk and smile, and you knew he meant it. That is just kind of band they were. VU was very serious about their music and how it sounded on stage and nothing else mattered. The typical on stage antics, costumes, or special effects were not part of the package; it all took a backseat to original music that did not need anything else to enhance it.

This DVD is an excellent memento to their legacy. I really enjoyed watching this and it is something that I will always treasure and be proud to have in my collection. VU is all about history, culture, and life here in the U.S., and to me that means everything.

 

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