The Velvet Underground – Under Review DVD
Music Video Distributors
The Velvet Underground, who were around from about 1966 – 1970, were way ahead of their time and to this day are one of the most unique and original rock and roll bands ever. They no doubt had an influence on the punk rock that would be born nearly a decade after they released their first album. This DVD looks at the entire career of the band from their incarnation and dissects every album and gives many details on how they were recorded, how they got signed, the members that came and went in the band, their live shows, management, relationship with Andy Warhol, and so much more. I’m a pretty good fan of the band, but I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t know much of the history of the band or many details of their time together. After watching this DVD, I can safely say I had every question I could have ever had about the band answered, and I was provided even more details than that.
The disc tells the story of the band year by year and there is interviews with their engineer, music writers, Mo Tucker, Doug Yule, and others who either studied, wrote about the band, or were somehow involved with them in some capacity. Particularly interesting was the story on how they recorded their album before they ever had a record deal, and how they ended up on MGM/Verve after being declined by every label they had approached. They also go into detail on Andy Warhol’s true involvement, or lack of real involvement, with the band.
The feature is just shy of 90 minutes long and I can honestly tell you the time flew by. I was riveted to the TV because I found the whole thing so interesting. The picture is widescreen with regular stereo sound. There was some really early live footage of the band in parts of this documentary that looked really good, especially considering their age, that was really neat to see, along with interview clips, photos, etc. The bonus features are some outtakes from the documentary that gives you even more information, biographies of everyone involved in the feature, and a Velvet Underground trivia quiz.
If you are any kind of fan of The Velvet Underground, I’d say this is pretty mandatory viewing. You really will learn a lot about the band as well as get to see some great footage and even hear some alternate versions (at least partially) of some of your favorite songs. The people responsible should be commended on a job well done.