Yes, I’ve got the album with the Andy Warhol designed cover (and tracks like “Femme Fatale”, “Venus in Furs” and “All Tomorrow’s Parties”, to name a few future classics.)
but it was Loaded that really captured my imagination.
Maybe it was the setting. I first heard the album at my cousin’s place. He was still living with his first wife. She had actually seen the group at Max’s Kansas City and other venues in NYC and through her the music came alive. Suddenly they were not just another band I heard on college radio. I felt a personal connection with the group.
I was already a big Bowie fan. I loved those LPs Dave and Iggy made in Berlin. Listening to iconic tracks like “Sweet Jane”, “I Found a Reason”, “Rock’n’Roll”, “New Age” and “Who Loves The Sun” (the Velvets’ wry reply to the Sixties optimism of the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun”) was like discovering the Rosetta Stone of rock’n’roll.
Suddenly I understood the true meaning of the old saying about how the Velvets didn’t sell a whole lot of albums during their brief existence but everyone who bought a copy went out and formed a band.
Lead singer Lou Reed‘s vocals were sly and insinuating, with a subtle edge that seemed to say, “Sure, you can enter our world but you’d better be streetsmart and worldlywise … or at least carry a weapon.”