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The Rough Guide to the Velvet Underground

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  40 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Sporting shades and a feedback-heavy sounds, the Velvets straddled art and rock, changing popular music forever, and sowing the seeds for punk, grunge and thousands of countercultural four-chord wonders. The Rough Guide to The Velvet Underground explores: The Velvet Story: How Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison, John Cale and the others emerged from the New York scene, their succ ...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published August 20th 2007 by Rough Guides (first published 2007)
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Paul Bryant

This is a really solid guide to all VU music, but I got to say that as I plodded through the endless section on solo albums (didn’t these buggers crank it out?) I got the DISTINCT IMPRESSION that Peter Hogan wasn’t much of a fan of John Cale OR Nico OR Lou Reed. In fact it became quite funny :

On John Cale solo albums

Church of Anthrax : the results resemble the more annoying kind of jazz-rock fusion that was then fashionable

The Acadamy in Peril : In all, the album is disappointing

Slow Dazzle : so
Jul 12, 2013 Laura rated it liked it
"The Rough Guide to the Velvet Underground" is just what the title says, a rough guide. Much like a textbook it goes over key events in the band's history as well as individuals that contributed to their legacy. I'm a fan of the book's general style and layout. The purple-on-white color scheme works for me. I also like the large quote layouts on the pages that come before each individual chapter. It's easy to navigate with specific key names bolded and detailed notes blocked off in purple around ...more
Hailey Wait
Mar 27, 2014 Hailey Wait rated it really liked it
Very informative, but lots of editorial voice. Somewhat biased.
David Allen
Jun 19, 2011 David Allen rated it really liked it
A solid, useful guide to the VU, combining a basic history of the band and its members' solo careers with a full discography and analysis. Very readable, with sidebars on Factory denizens and other peripheral characters, and doesn't get mired in trivia -- although reading capsules about each of John Cale's seemingly dozens of albums can be wearing.
Jon Yates
Mar 21, 2009 Jon Yates rated it really liked it
Probably the best book I've come across regarding the Velvets- a decent overview of their history, albums, and solo careers that refreshingly steers clear of many of the myths and embellishments that plague books of this kind.
Matt Micucci
Jun 19, 2009 Matt Micucci rated it liked it
It skimmed through the most important bits too much, but I suppose that's what rough guides are there for. Real fans probably want to get a biography.
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