The Velvet Underground ‎– White Light/White Heat

Verve Records ‎– V6-5046
Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo, East Coast pressing

Tracklist Hide Credits

A1 White Light/White Heat
Words By, Music By – Lou Reed
A2 The Gift
Music By – John Cale, Lou Reed, Maureen Tucker*, Sterling MorrisonWords By – Lou Reed
A3 Lady Godiva's Operation
Words By, Music By – Lou Reed
A4 There She Comes Now
Music By – John Cale, Lou Reed, Maureen Tucker*, Sterling MorrisonWords By – Lou Reed
B1 I Heard Her Call My Name
Words By, Music By – Lou Reed
B2 Sister Ray
Music By – John Cale, Lou Reed, Maureen Tucker*, Sterling MorrisonWords By – Lou Reed

Companies, etc.



Original US stereo pressing (East Coast):
- Visible skull tattoo on front cover.
- Tracklisting on back mis-titles "Here She Comes Now" as "There She Comes Now"
- Back cover credits Lou Reed for "Lead Guitar" rather than just "Guitar"
- Andy Warhol is credited on back cover
- "Three Prong Music" publishing credit on all tracks.

®© Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc./Printed in U.S.A.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Rights Society: BMI
  • Matrix / Runout (A-SIde Label): MGS-1258
  • Matrix / Runout (B-Side Label): MGS-1259
  • Matrix / Runout (A-Side Runout Etching): V6-5046 SIDE 1 MGS-1258 11 [block-shaped 'S']
  • Matrix / Runout (B-Side Runout Etching): V6-5046 SIDE 2 MGS-1259 11 [block-shaped 'S']

Other Versions (5 of 145) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
V-5046, V/V6-5046 The Velvet Underground White Light/White Heat(LP, Album, Mono, Promo, Wes) Verve Records, Verve Records V-5046, V/V6-5046 US 1968 Sell This Version
825 119-2 The Velvet Underground White Light/White Heat(CD, Album, RE, RM, PDO) Verve Records 825 119-2 US 1986 Sell This Version
V6-5046 The Velvet Underground White Light/White Heat(LP, Album, Mono, RE, Oak) Verve Records V6-5046 US Unknown Sell This Version
23 91 328 The Velvet Underground White Light/White Heat(LP, Album, RE) Polydor 23 91 328 Spain 1985 Sell This Version
V6-5046 The Velvet Underground White Light/White Heat(LP, Album, RE) Verve Records V6-5046 US 2000 Sell This Version


Reviews Show All 21 Reviews

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March 16, 2018
What is the original inner sleeve for this LP ? Plan white or the Verve "jazz" inner sleeve ? Help me.


August 29, 2017
Help me out! My copy's spine says: V6-5046 WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT VERVE. No Velvet Underground mentioned! Everything else points it to be US 1. press. And no visual "skull tattoo" on the cover either.


August 6, 2017

Once upon a time in America, back when there were actual records, music was new, and exploration was more then half the fun, there was a chain of music stores called Tower Records, who catered to those of us who walked around with big pieces of plastic, like they were badges of honor. I had my first experience with Tower in Los Angeles ... where you could actually go into the store and ask to hear an album before you purchased it. Along one side of the store were these rooms, not much bigger then a telephone booth, each room had a turntable, and that’s where we'd spin record after record, finding what was hip, and what was a waste of time. Now don’t go thinking this was all fun and games, it wasn’t. Listening like this required stamina, fortitude, and commitment ... because while you could stay and listen for as long as you wanted, in each booth burned a one hundred and fifty watt light bulb, and if you tried to leave the door open to get some cool fresh air, the turntable would stop spinning. So while the concept was outstanding, they wanted to get you in and out as fast as possible. But not me ... some slick baby cakes showed me how to put a piece of masking tape over the button on the door, holding it down, the turntable on, and the door cracked just enough to make it all bearable. And here is where I heard “White Light White Heat” for the first time ... so you can dig the connection between the album and the listening experience.

The first thing that hit me was how completely different this release was, as compared to their first outing. And even today, the albums of the Velvet Underground remain as distant, and all but forgotten landmarks of the bohemian underground that existed in New York City during the last half of the 1960’s. Non of my friends got what I was hearing ... remember, this was the hippie generation, flower power, love, and extended rolling jams designed to facilitate your trip. But “White Light, White Heat” was a nightmare set to music, with themes of death, incest, sex, and violence, all fueled by speed and heroin. Unlike “The Velvet Underground with Nico,” there were no hits to be found here for radio air play, the songs seemed incomplete, and open ended, reminding me of movie “cliff hangers,” where words like “Stay Tuned” would be plastered across the screen at the end of the show.

I guess what I’m saying is that The Velvet Underground should be seen [or heard] as expansive. Certainly they drew from the times, and “Sister Ray,” a seventeen minute orgasm is the prime example. Here they take jamming to the next level, Maureen Tucker’s drumming is so crude it’s almost delicious, while the guitar distortion of Morrison and Reed finds a groove that metal artist would use for the next forty years. Surprisingly many of the songs possess a tender side, with graceful harmonies, upstaged only by the interlacing of guitar patterns, which at times have the feel of tape loops ... something John Cale would explore in much greater detail on his solo works.

While as brilliant an album as “White Light, White Heat” was, I place it right beside The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper,” with its strength being the influence it had, rather then the lasting listenability of the record. I know that it sounds as if I’m sidestepping the importance and magic of this album ... I’m not. This is a body of work that is passionately held by all of those who discover it. But I tell you true, with the passing of time, the memory of the music, and the memory of the lyrics ... all that they inspired in my young head, were far better then actually listening to the record.

Don’t go searching for meaning, “White Light, White Heat” is not the Holy Grail, it just is what it is, and the fact that it has stood the test of time, is all the testament that is needed. Never the less ... this is a once in a life time release, where each member of the band was on the same page at the same time, and an album that needs to be part of everyone’s collection, as it's a footprint from the rock and roll evolution. I’m just happy to say that I was there when it all broke free, and if that sounds like I’m bragging, well then maybe I am.

*** The fun facts: In 1968, The Velvet Underground released White Light/White Heat with a seemingly all-black album cover. If you take a closer look, though, you can see a faint image of a skull tattoo on Andy Warhol collaborator Joe Spencer's arm. "After the first album came out, Lou [Reed] said the he would like me to be responsible for the album art for the second album,” explained Billy Name, photographer and former manager of Andy Warhol's Factory, who said, Why don’t you look through my negatives, see if you find something you like, and he found this one and pointed to it. It turned out to be a tattoo that was on Joe Spencer’s arm, his bicep. So I had to blow it up from a 35 millimeter negative, meaning that it came out pretty grainy. So we decided to do a black on black.” The darkened image is really hard to spot unless you know what you're looking for or you place the album cover under a black light. The reissue features a more pronounced tattoo image.

Review by Jenell Kesler


February 19, 2017
Can someone recommend a version of this album that sounds good on vinyl? I know it's not the best recording but I've tried two versions of this album, stereo versions, one from '85 and one from '90 and neither sound that good. The polygram reissue from '85 is ok. Wondering if the mono versions are better?


February 3, 2015

Kind of noisy album, anyway it would feel engaging if not for lazy and very out of tune voices, making it difficult to even hear sometimes.
Sister Ray is the most interesting theme in this release.

3 of 10


September 25, 2014
Why the Blu-Ray Audio edition is not listed yet?


June 2, 2014
The reflection of the photographer in the cover image here looks like something else entirely.


February 16, 2010
Hi, I seem to have an unusual copy of this album which someone may have some knowledge of. The front cover is black without the skull and it has cat number V6-5046 top left and STEREO top right. It is made from very thick cardboard and the back cover is almost sepia rather than black and white with the mis-spelling of Here she comes now, Lou credited for lead guitar but no crediting of Andy Warhol for cover concept. (I read on another site that the first pressings didn't have Andy Warhol credited, but his name was added to subsequent editions). Also the spine says "V6-5046 White light/White Heat The Velvet Underground Verve" as indicated is on the original edition.

However, it is on the record itself where there seems to be the real unusual attributes. It is the black rather than blue verve label and the matrix codes are unusual as Each side has both the mono and the stereo matrix codes. Etched into the run off groove on side A is the matrix code V6 5046 MGS 1258, and it is indeed a stereo recording on Side 1. Etched onto the run off groove on side B, however, is the matrix code V 5046 Side 2 MG 1258, and is indeed the mono recording of side 2! Has anyone come across a similar version of this album?