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Bootleg Series Vol. 1 - The Quine Tapes

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Album Review

Bootleg Series, Vol. 1: The Quine Tapes is a three-CD compilation of live performances from the Velvet Underground. This is likewise the first in presumably a series of recordings documenting the band's concert visage throughout their brief history. This volume is derived from the semi-legit and non-professional recordings of Robert Quine (guitar), who at the time was a fan as well as a friend of the band. During the intervening years, Quine became a founding member of Richard Hell & the Voidoids and later went on to work with guitarist Lou Reed on his 1982 solo album, Blue Mask. A majority of these recordings are from the VU's swing through the San Francisco Bay Area circa late November/early December 1969. Additionally, they reflect the period just prior to embarking upon the Loaded album. This latter-era band includes: Lou Reed (guitar/vocals), Sterling Morrison (guitar/vocals), Doug Yule (bass/organ/vocals), and Maureen "Mo" Tucker (percussion/vocals). Tucker's contributions are of particular note, as this collection features both "After Hours" as well as "I'm Sticking With You," her only VU-related lead vocals. The track list likewise offers a decent sampling from the group's back catalog, including a few tunes that had yet to be issued at the time these recordings were made. Among them are "Ride into the Sun" and "I Can't Stand It" — which would initially surface on Lou Reed's self-titled debut — as well as a few tunes that were never issued on a studio album by the band, such as "Over You," and "It's Just Too Much." These titles are likewise available on 1969: Velvet Underground Live. Potential consumers should note that the no-fi sound quality of this release is at the very worst only a minor distraction. For the most part these recordings are clean. Although they are in mono, they are as enjoyable — if not more so — than similarly issued releases, such as the previously mentioned 1969: Velvet Underground Live or Live at Max's Kansas City, both of which were unprofessionally documented.


Formed: 1964 in New York, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '90s

Few rock groups can claim to have broken so much new territory, and maintain such consistent brilliance on record, as the Velvet Underground during their brief lifespan. It was the group's lot to be ahead of, or at least out of step with, their time. The mid- to late '60s was an era of explosive growth and experimentation in rock, but the Velvets' innovations -- which blended the energy of rock with the sonic adventurism of the avant-garde, and introduced a new degree of social realism and sexual...
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