The Velvet Underground ‎– The Complete Matrix Tapes

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appazappa

appazappa

November 26, 2017
referencing The Complete Matrix Tapes, 4xCD, 00602547549013

anyone listening to rock music should hear this.
this is really stunning music. they seem to have so much fun in playing live and together.
you really hear them enjoy this themselves.
Recommended !!
dellamag

dellamag

July 26, 2017
referencing The Complete Matrix Tapes, 4xCD, 00602547549013
Really one of the best Live release ever. A very young band at the peaks of its creativity and at its afterglow as well.
leonidas.savvides

leonidas.savvides

February 16, 2016
referencing The Complete Matrix Tapes, 4xCD, 00602547549013
This screams to be released on vinyl, we need this!
streetmouse

streetmouse

December 13, 2015
referencing The Complete Matrix Tapes, 4xCD, 00602547549013

Having seen The Velvet Underground many times, mostly at The Second Fret in Philadelphia. And with that in mind, I’d like to propose that they were one of those bands who’s work always seemed to be not so much in flux, more that it was constantly being reworked, reshaped, and revitalized. And that’s proven true here on The Matrix Tapes, a staggering four disc collection that primarily focuses on two nights at The Matrix [a club opened by The Jefferson Airplane’s Marty Balin] on November 26th and 27th of 1969 ... captured at both The Matrix and The Family Dog venues on a four track recorder.

This was not the first time The Velvet Underground found themselves in California, a land they disdained, preferring the gritty streets of the east coast. Nevertheless, their first venture into the land of sun and surf was with Andy Warhol’s sojourn back in May of 1966, where it’s been documented that they were received rather poorly, and nearly demolished the home that had been provided for them.

One could spend a lifetime listening to all of these tracks before deciding on which versions are best, and perhaps compiling a personal favorites collection from this presentation. Remember, this was lo-fi at it’s inception, this was when shows were what we called ‘Happenings’, this was where the audience was as involved as the artists, and I’m sure that anyone who was there for even one of the eighteen residency dates still remembers it as if it happened yesterday. Several of the songs extend into thirty plus minute jams of music, distortion, and graphic lustful fascination, where the band finds a groove, locks into it, and doesn’t let go.

Yes, nearly all of this material has been released in one fashion or another over the years, with some being much better than others ... though I doubt that there’s much room for improvement here, where the entire package has been digitally remastered and presented as a single unit of astonishment.

Review by Jenell Kesler
Bradx

Bradx

November 25, 2015
edited over 3 years ago
referencing The Complete Matrix Tapes, 4xCD, 00602547549013

The entire four hours of tapes from the Matrix Club, Nov 1969 with all the material included in last year's 'Super Deluxe' reissue of the third album.... plus a ton of extra tracks - nine tracks never previously released or heard before.... not even as bootlegs.
There's a big crossover between this and 1969 Live - the difference being that the sound quality here is unbelievably good.
The Matrix had its own built-in studio recording desk and this set far supercedes versions heard on 1969 (and on The Quine Tapes).

Lou is on fine form throughout - obviously enjoying himself. He takes well-known VU classics and improvises lyrics, taking the songs in new directions (especially on the first Waiting For the Man). His introductions are dry and droll.... especially the 'serious music' intro. You get some rare performances too - like The Black Angel's Death Song, rarely played during this era and with Doug Yule summoning a modal scale from his organ.... emulating Cale's viola as best he could.
The band stretch out on some epic versions.... the two White Light/White Heats go well beyond 8 minutes, I'm Waiting For the Man clocks in at 13 minutes and an immense Sister Ray nearly breaks the 40 minute barrier.

Drawbacks - well (to be picky).... I'm not sure the CDs comprise the setlists for the two nights as played... even though the CDs are billed as Set One, Set Two etc.
Some of the spoken intros seem to be missing (even from the Super Deluxe versions for some strange reason.... kept on there but missed off here.... what's going on?)
The whole crossover with the Super Deluxe is a bit of a mystery (or just a record company capitalising on VU completists ... that's never happend before lol).
The booklet is a bit sparse. 24 pages comprising an essay by David Fricke and a couple of black and white photos. The essay is ok but only took me about 5 minutes to read (big print). There's (at least) two glaring mistakes in the booklet. Getting the year of Lou's death wrong is unforgivable.

If you get this box and the second night of End of Cole Avenue bootleg then you will have the whole of 1969 Live in superior quality, with a whole bunch of extra essential tracks. (Don't get the first night of End of Cole Ave - it's rotten quality).

Release of 2015? For me - yes!