The Unlikely Making of The Velvet Underground & Nico | Pitchfork

It’s the kind of find that record collectors dream about. In 2002, Warren Hill is idly flipping through the records at a Chelsea flea market when he comes across an acetate with “The Velvet Underground” and the date “4-25-66” handwritten on the label. He pays a whopping $.75 for the item and soon discovers that it contains previously unheard recordings from the Velvet Underground’s very first professional recording sessions, which took place at NYC’s Sceptre Studios. His $.75 purchase will later sell at auction for just over $25,000. The music itself is soon widely bootlegged and eventually given canon status on the “super deluxe” 35th anniversary edition of* The Velvet Underground & Nico*, released in 2012. While the differences from the album versions are sometimes negligible—minor lyrical changes, alternate mixes, and slightly altered guitar lines—the acetate is still an invaluable document, peeling back the Banana Album’s layers for a closer look. Most of all, it demonstrates just how far the Velvets had come in less than a year. Thanks to an array of difficulties and complications, The Velvet Underground & Nico wouldn’t be released until the spring of 1967, robbing the band of its momentum and (possible) commercial success. But the LP’s reverberations are still being felt today.

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