Velvet Underground, The - SINGLES 1966-69 7 x 7"
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The Velvet Underground Singles 1966–69, a 7 x 7" single box set honoring the legendary New York combo's 7" vinyl output in their rare mono versions. The set features exact reproductions of Velvet Underground singles, two of them with their original picture sleeves. The singles are packaged in a distinctively designed box, along with rare vintage photos and new liner notes by Rolling Stone's David Fricke (who also penned the acclaimed notes for the historic 1995 Velvets CD box set Peel Slowly and See). The Velvet Underground—whose membership included Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, Maureen Tucker, Doug Yule and Nico—introduced numerous sonic and thematic innovations that laid much of the groundwork for punk and alternative rock. Although they're now acknowledged as one of the most influential bands in rock history, during their existence the Velvets barely registered on mainstream radar, and were often reviled by mainstream observers as well as hippie-era arbiters of cool. But, as Fricke writes in the new set's liner notes, "Somewhere, in another rock & roll universe, the Velvet Underground are more than a legendary band. They are stars, with hit singles—the original seven-inch masterpieces inside this box." Although they never came close to scoring a hit, the Velvet Underground was ideally suited to the 7" single format. "The Velvet Underground were a great singles band," David Fricke notes, adding that the Velvets "invented modern rock with searing guitar distortion, throbbing improvisation and brutally realistic tales of life on the wild side. But they did it all in these classic pop songs—compact miracles of raw drive, intimate beauty and Top 40 ecstasy, heard again in the original, thrilling mono single mixes."