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White Light / White Heat by The Velvet Underground gets deluxe edition release

Deluxe edition release: White Light/White Heat by The Velvet Underground
Release date: 2 December 2013
Features: Rare outtakes, unreleased studio tracks and live material
Label: UMC

"No one listened to it. But there it is, forever – the quintessence of articulated punk. And no one goes near it." - Lou Reed, August 2013

The Velvet Underground’s White Light/White Heat is one of the most confrontational and inspirational second albums ever made by a rock band. Recorded in a matter of days at the end of the summer of 1967, a season in which everything seemed possible in rock and much of it happened at now-mythic speed, White Light/White Heat is an album that reeks of gritty NY street life and which could only have been made in New York, by one band. And that group is the classic-quartet lineup of The Velvet Underground – singer-guitarist Lou Reed; bassist-organist and viola player John Cale; guitarist-bassist Sterling Morrison; and drummer Maureen Tucker.

“Cited by nearly every group in punk's long lineage and by more than a few arty types, the Velvets defined New York rock, poised between street-level grit and literary irony, rock simplicity and minimalistic drones, clarity and noise.”– The New York Times

On December 2nd, 2013, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) will release The Velvet Underground - White Light/White Heat 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition, a three-disc, 30-track set featuring both the original stereo and mono releases, completely remastered, with bonus tracks including alternate versions, unreleased outtakes, John Cale's last studio sessions with the band, and the official release of their show at The Gymnasium in New York recorded on April 30, 1967, which includes five previously unreleased performances culled from John Cale’s personal copy. The 45th anniversary set was developed in conjunction with Lou Reed and John Cale, the exclusive material is as follows:

*New 2013 mixes of “Guess I’m Falling In Love,” “Hey Mr. Rain (version one), “Hey Mr. Rain (version two), “Beginning To See The Light” (also a previously unreleased early version) *Unreleased versions of “The Gift” (vocal version) and “The Gift” (instrumental version) *Never-before-heard tracks from Live At The Gymnasium, New York City, April 30, 1967– “I’m Not A Young Man Anymore,” “I’m Waiting For The Man,” “Run Run Run,” “Sister Ray,” and “The Gift” *New liner notes from David Fricke

Originally released by Verve Records on January 30, 1968, the LP cracked Billboard's Top 200 albums chart on March 16, entering at No. 199. Forty-five years later, The Velvet Underground’s White Light/White Heat is considered one of the most influential albums of all time, laying down the blue print for punk and experimental rock, critically acclaimed and included on many “Top Lists” including Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time and on Rolling Stone’s Greatest Artists List.

Disc one of The Velvet Underground - White Light/White Heat 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition starts with the original six-song stereo version of White Light/White Heat, with the album’s title track plunging head first into 40 minutes of unprecedented, transgressive rock storytelling, propelled by epic distortion, lacerating guitar drone and severe, rhythmic purism – "the Statue of Liberty of punk," Lou Reed contends, "with the light on top. It's beyond unique and wonderful. No other group can touch what that is. You can't try to be that."

Other tracks include the airy yearning of "Here She Comes Now," one of the Velvets' finest ballads which gives the listener a two-minute breather with its “almost” serene beauty before being launched back in; the upbeat, hard-hitting proto-punk track "I Heard Her Call My Name,” punctuated with Reed’s biting guitar soloing, intertwined with a wall of distortion and feedback; the experimental sung and spoken noir of "Lady Godiva's Operation" and "The Gift”; climaxing with the propulsive, distorted eternity of sexual candour and twilight drug life, rendered dry and real in Reed's lethal monotone, in the 17-minute-plus "Sister Ray." Bonus tracks include an alternate take of “I Heard Her Call My Name”; the instrumental version of “Guess I’m Falling In Love,” recorded during the White Light/White Heat sessions but left unfinished; plus the original mixes of tracks “Temptation Inside Your Head” and “Stephanie Says”; two different recordings of “Hey Mr. Rain”; and a previously unreleased early version of “Beginning To See The Light” recorded during John Cale’s last studio session with the Velvet Underground in May of 1968.

Disc two contains the original mono version of White Light/White Heat plus mono single mixes of “Here She Comes Now” and “White Light/White Heat,” as well as an instrumental and a vocal version of “The Gift,” both of which had been unreleased.

The White Light/White Heat 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition also includes a third disc featuring the official release of the revelatory Gymnasium tape, recorded live during the Velvets' residency at a short-lived New York club in April 1967, five months before the White Light/White Heat sessions. This show was previously only available on bootlegs and includes the complete version of the instrumental “Booker T.,” plus the tracks “I’m Not A Young Man Anymore,” “I’m Waiting For The Man,” “Run Run Run” and a version of “Sister Ray” that clocks in just under 19 minutes.

Many have tried. Some have come close. More will try again, in the wake of this definitive reissue, The Velvet Underground - White Light/White Heat 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition.

Initial pre-orders of the Super Deluxe Box Set on the Boxset Store will received a limited edition white flexi disc featuring “Booker T – Live at the Gymnasium NYC. Limited to availability whilst stocks last.

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The Teardrop Explodes: 'Wilder' reissued as expanded two-disc edition

Albm re-issue: Wilder by The Teardrop Explodes
Release date: June 24th 2013
Label: Mercury / Universal Music Catalogue 

Wilder was the second and final album by The Teardrop Explodes, originally released in November 1981 and a radical, post-punk classic that’s ripe for reappraisal. Ambitious, colourful and catchy and with more ideas at play than most groups could conjure up in a lifetime, like so many great albums, it simply confused people in its audacity.

At the start of the year, Reward had given the Teardrops their only Top Ten hit but amidst all the publicity that always surrounded the group, Wilder reached only a disappointing 29 in the charts. The first extracted single Passionate Friend, despite two appearances on Top of the Pops, barely scraped into the Top 30. Within a year of Wilder’s release, the group had split up.

This new edition features the original album in all its glory, plus a second disc compiled and sequenced by Julian Cope containing all the related singles, B-sides and BBC radio sessions. Cope also provides a track by track guide while Dave Balfe, the Teardrops’ original keyboard player, foil and sometime nemesis to Cope, along with guitarist Troy Tate provide further notes; Balfe’s essay is a particularly honest and revealing account of the recording process.

Disc two is effectively an alternative version of the album, the BBC sessions presenting many key songs in a noticeably different form, closer to how the group used to play them live. One the eve of recording Wilder, bassist Alfie Agius and keyboard player Jeff Hammer (both of whom play on the radio sessions) were jettisoned, leaving only Cope, ever-faithful drummer Gary Dwyer and guitarist Tate. Dave Balfe then returned, whereupon he and Cope proceeded to rearrange virtually every song with a much greater emphasis on synths and experimentation, and with a far more downbeat complexion than the well-crafted psychedelic pop that was their trademark.

The radio sessions also include songs which didn’t make it on to the album; Cope’s take on John Cale’s I’m Not The Loving Kind and the powerful Screaming Secrets, a live tour de force which the group never nailed in the studio. Cope would eventually record it for St Julian.

Disc two also rounds up the B-sides to the three singles taken from Wilder: the infectious Passionate Friend, the punchy, brass-led Colours Fly Away, and the exquisitely plaintive Tiny Children, plus the non-album single You Disappear From View, a last-ditch reversion to the Reward formula, released in 1983 after the group had split up. It’s a rich and varied selection including the more challenging Christ Vs Warhol and Window Shopping For A New Crown Of Thorns, the charming, atypical Rachel Built A Steamboat, Suffocate (a re-recorded version of the song which only appeared on the US version of Kilimanjaro) and a full-on, live Sleeping Gas, recorded at Club Zoo.

Amidst the disbelief and surprise at Wilder’s poor showing, Club Zoo was an outrageously excess all areas six week stint at the tiny Pyramid Club in Liverpool featuring the Wilder line up of Cope, Balfe, Dwyer and Tate plus new bassist Ronnie Francois. Designed to break in the new band, it was more a dress rehearsal for the American tour that followed - a fraught, drug-fuelled disaster which saw the group unravel to a point from which they never really recovered.

Few groups promised as much as The Teardrop Explodes in those heady post-punk days; even fewer groups scaled the same dizzy creative heights. Wilder was their mountain top.

Track Listing

CD1 – Original Album

  • Bent Out Of Shape
  • Colours Fly Away
  • Seven Views Of Jerusalem
  • Pure Joy
  • Falling Down Around Me
  • The Culture Bunker
  • Passionate Friend
  • Tiny Children
  • Like Leila Khaled Said
  • …And The Fighting Takes Over
  • The Great Dominions

CD2 – B-Sides and BBC Sessions

  • Christ Versus Warhol (B-side ‘Passionate Friend’)
  • Rachael Built A Steamboat (B-side ‘Tiny Children’)
  • Suffocate (B-side ‘You Disappear From View’)
  • Window Shopping For A New Crown Of Thorns (B-side ‘Colours Fly Away’)
  • Ouch Monkeys (B-side ‘You Disappear From View’)
  • East Of The Equator (B-side ‘Colours Fly Away’)
  • Sleeping Gas (Live from Club ZOO, December 1981) (B-side ‘Tiny Children’)
  • The In-Psychlopedia (B-side ‘You Disappear From View’)
  • You Disappear From View
  • Soft Enough For You (B-side ‘You Disappear From View’)
  • Pure Joy Wins Out Again (BBC Session, Peel Plus, 1981)
  • Like Leila Khaled Said (BBC Session, Peel Plus, 1981)
  • I’m Not The Loving Kind (BBC Session, Richard Skinner, August 1981)
  • The Culture Bunker (BBC Session, Peel Plus, 1981)
  • …And The Fighting Takes Over (BBC Session, Richard Skinner, August 1981)
  • Better Scream / Make That Move (BBC Session, Richard Skinner, August 1981
  • Bent Out Of Shape (BBC Session, Richard Skinner, August 1981)
  • Screaming Secrets (BBC Session, Richard Skinner, August 1981)

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More information

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