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YMMV: Velvet Underground
  • Awesome Music: Pretty much all of their albums. There's a reason why they're one of the most influential bands of all time.
  • Broken Base:
    • Some fans just can't stand Nico's voice, but opinion on Nico is polarized even outside VU fandom.
    • There's also the more elitist fans who refuse to listen to anything the band did after Cale's departure.
  • Covered Up: "Sweet Jane" by the Cowboy Junkies, "Rock and Roll" by The Runaways. Thankfully, the songs from before they went Lighter and Softer have made it through countless covers more or less unscathed.
  • Crowning Album of Awesome: The Velvet Underground and Nico. Full stop. (Although others might nominate any of the four albums they made between 1965-1970.)
  • Crowning Moment Of Funny: "The Gift" as a whole, notably the in-song "audience"'s reaction.
  • Ear Worm: Listen to "The Murder Mystery" and see if you don't have that beat going through your head the rest of the day.
  • Epic Riff: Most of their songs.
  • Face of the Band: Lou Reed.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Lou Reed died on a Sunday morning.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: See the note under Vindicated by History about their Eastern European popularity. The band was also a major influence on the British Punk Rock scene.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The lyrics to "Sunday Morning", given that Lou Reed died on a Sunday morning in 2013. Lines like "watch out, the world's behind you" change meaning completely.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: A guy once actually did mail himself to his girlfriend. Fortunately, he didn't get killed but did get in trouble with the Post Office.
  • I Liked It Better When It Sucked: The '60s and '70s live recordings were almost all recorded by amateurs, because the band had no idea that people would want to hear live performances of theirs decades down the road, and as one Allmusic review states, "Whether the original Velvets rehearsed regularly or not, in concert their every movement appeared to be a step into the absolute unknown."* Meanwhile, the live material from their 1990s reunion is professionally recorded and meticulously rehearsed, and thus there is a sort of familiarity to the material that many people find displeasing.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Although Lou Reed may have written and sung songs about heroin, he was actually rather shocked when he heard from fans saying that they started doing the stuff after hearing the song "Heroin." (For the record, he had only done the drug twice when he wrote the song and preferred amphetamines).
  • Misblamed: It's not Yule's fault Squeeze exists. It's Steve Sesnick's.
  • Narm: Reed yelling "SHE'S TOO BUSY SUCKING ON MY DING DONG" on "Sister Ray". He does it so much it becomes a sort of Running Gag.
    • Narm Charm: This said, it's still one of the most beloved songs in the band's back catalogue.
  • Paranoia Fuel: "Lady Godiva's Operation", big time. It starts off with John Cale doing a rare lead vocal, and sounding rather mellow as well. The mood darkens when Lou Reed starts sing-speaking. Then the entire musical background goes haywire, and someone's whispering in one channel. Make sure your wide awake for this one.
  • The Scrappy: Doug Yule gets treated like this despite his contributions to the last two albums - he wasn't invited to the 1993 reunion, and was even excluded from the Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame induction.
    Interviewer: Where's Doug Yule?
    Lou Reed: Dead, I hope.
    • Despite this, Yule's contributions to the group should not be overlooked, as he was a multi-instrumentalist almost as versatile as Cale, and he brought some strong melodic sensibilities to the group with him. He also often gets Mis-blamed for Squeeze, as mentioned above. See here.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: While they are a rather influential band that pioneered the use of feedback, noise, and unorthodox tunings, modern listeners sometimes fail to realize why they were so groundbreaking due to how commonplace those things have become among more modern acts like Sonic Youth. They were also one of the first bands to actually blatantly mention controversial topics drugs, sex, violence, and so on, which are now common themes for songs, but in their time, many record stores actually refused to carry their albums due to the objectionable nature of their lyrics.
    Lou Reed: (Introducing "Heroin") Yes, it still exists. Now in the original days, not only was it banned, but they wouldn't take advertisments for our album because of it. Now here we are doin' it over the radio. Very funny.
  • Sophomore Slump: White Light/White Heat is a notable aversion. It's often cited by critics as one of the best albums of all time and was as crucial to the development of Punk Rock as the first album was.
  • Vindicated by History: Brian Eno is credited with saying it best: only about a thousand people bought The Velvet Underground & Nico, and all of them started a band.
    • We can NOT leave out how the VU, along with Frank Zappa, were HUGELY INFLUENTIAL on the Velvet Revolution led by playwright Vaclav Havel, which led to the overthrow of the Stalinist dictatorship in Czechoslovakia. Havel later became the country's President and continued in office after the Velvet Divorce peacefully split the country into The Czech Republic and Slovakia. Reed AND Zappa would both go on to separately interview Havel. (Reed's can be found in his book Between Thought And Expression: Selected Lyrics of Lou Reed.)
    • When Lou Reed died in 2013, the whole Internet exploded with grief.

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