Rolling Stone - 5/13/99, p.52
Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
Rolling Stone - 11/30/95, p.695 Stars
- Classic - "PEEL...offers fresh perspectives and some hidden truths, even for longtime Velvets fans...their sonic minimalistic aesthetic...their all-around grasp of rock's roots, vocabulary and resources...[makes this] some of the most inspirational and ultimately timeless music you'll ever hear..."
Spin - 11/95, p.123
9 - Near Perfect - "...The demo makes a valuable and even touching point about this great band....they started out as fakes, which puts them in good rock'n'roll company--from the Stones to Dylan himself. Modern acolytes with nothing to lose but their pretensions should take heart from knowing that, in its recklessly early days, even the Velvet Underground wasn't the Velvet Underground..."
Q - 10/95, p.1554 Stars
- Excellent - "...All of this fantastic music...very often sheer genius....mind-boggling....The Velvet Underground changed people's values about music..."
Alternative Press - 12/95, p.116
"...in splendid isolation, it not only eclipses the competition, it raises itself to heights which few (if any) rock boxes have ever attained..."
Musician - 11/95, p.92
"...corroborates the notion that the Velvets were big-hearted art fucks perceptive enough to trust the logic of blue-collar ethics....Heard with modern ears, their grizzled guitar extrapolations didn't strive for escapism, they burrowed into and boldly italicized the most interesting cultural anomalies of the day....Value? Immeasurable..."
Village Voice (2/20/96) - Ranked #1
on the Reissues list of Village Voice's 1995 Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll.
NME (Magazine) - 12/23-30/95, p.23Ranked #7
on NME's 'Compilations Of The Year' list for 1995.
NME (Magazine) - 9/23/95, p.51
"...The meat of the package is breathtaking....No other band wrote about the things they did in the '60s,...no other band wore black or took the piss so royally. They changed people's attitudes towards music forever and wrote some fantastic songs about bad things in the process..."
PEEL SLOWLY AND SEE includes complete and digitally remastered versions of all four of the band's studio albums, 25 previously unreleased tracks and an 88-page booklet.
Velvet Underground: Lou Reed (vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano); John Cale (vocals, acoustic & electric violas, sarinda, piano, organ, celeste, bass); Doug Yule (vocals, guitar, piano, organ, bass); Sterling Morrison (vocals, guitar, bass); Maureen "Moe" Tucker (vocals, percussion); Billy Yule (drums).
Additional personnel: Nico (vocals).
Producers: Andy Warhol, Tom Wilson, The Velvet Underground, Geoffrey Haslam, Shel Kagen
Compilation Producer: Bill Levenson.
Engineers include: Omi Haden, Norman Dolph, John Licata.
Recorded between July 1965 and August 23, 1970. Includes liner notes by David Fricke.
Personnel: Lou Reed (vocals, guitar, harmonica); Doug Yule (vocals, guitar, piano, organ, background vocals); John Cale (vocals, viola, electric viola, piano, celesta, organ, background vocals); Maureen Tucker (vocals, percussion); Nico (vocals); Sterling Morrison (guitar, background vocals); Billy Yule (drums).
Liner Note Author: David Fricke.
Recording information: A&R Studios, New York, NY (07/??/1965-08/23/1970); Cave [live], Cleveland, OH (07/??/1965-08/23/1970); En (07/??/1965-08/23/1970); Gymnasium, New York City, NY [live] (07/??/1965-08/23/1970); John Cale's Ludlow Street Loft (demos), Manhattan, NY (07/??/1965-08/23/1970); Mayfair Studios, New York, NY (07/??/1965-08/23/1970); Record Plant Studios, New York, NY (07/??/1965-08/23/1970); Sceptor Studios, NY (07/??/1965-08/23/1970); TTG Studios, Hollywood, CA (07/??/1965-08/23/1970); Valleydale Ballroom, Columbus, OH [live] (07/??/1965-08/23/1970).
Unknown Contributor Role: John Cale.
Released some thirty years after the band first emerged from the streets of New York City, PEEL SLOWLY AND SEE is the definitive documentary of the Velvet Underground, undeniably one of the most influential bands of the 1960s. Its five discs weave in and out of studio material, live nuggets and some unreleased songs that place the band's innovations and evolution within a career-long context, and are sure to make even the surliest VU completist smile.
Perhaps what is most surprising about PEEL SLOWLY is the earliest, pre-Maureen Tucker material. For the multiple demos of "Venus In Furs," John Cale sings over a sparse acoustic guitar, but his delicate pronunciation and Reed's coarse phrasing are less noticeable than Tucker's conspicious absence. Without her deliberate pounding VU was a thoroughly different band. Also of interest is the insight we get into Reed's studio demeanor. Through a number of excrutiating demo takes of "Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams," Reed's impatience and domineering attitude become obvious--it was his show from the beginning.
By the second disc, the band we know and love begins to take on a familiar shape. Tucker's human metronome qualities ricochet off Cale's grating electric viola sounds, and the band sounds super-charged, ready to take on the world. Whereas on the demos Reed's sing-song qualities came across as a New York-y Bob Dylan (complete with harmonica), by the time of the first album Reed is all menace, with no acoustic guitar or harmonica to serve as a buffer. The chugging rhythms spurt out like strangled blues, and on moments like "All Tomorrow's Parties" and "Venus In Furs," the remastered sound quality is unreal--it's as if one has never heard these songs before. Also of interest to Velvet Underground fanatics are the unabridged versions of the LOADED sessions. Songs like "Sweet Jane" are extended to their true length (some thirty seconds were lobbed off in the final mix), making Reed and Morrison's guitar phrasing that much more eloquent.