Weekend Listening: Loaded by The Velvet Underground

6 June 2014 by 17 Comments

weekend listening Weekends are an amazing time to go record shopping or to go for a long drive with the windows down and the radio loud. Weekend Listening gives you music for all of your upcoming adventures.


Listen while you read (volume may be loud):


Loaded by The Velvet Underground, album art

Album: Loaded by The Velvet Underground

Released: November 1970 by Cotillion Records (Atlantic Records)

Recommended if you like: The film High Fidelity, single-friendly rock and roll that still has an edge to it, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop/The Stooges, Bob Dylan, harmonies that don’t sound cheezy

Notable Tracks: “Sweet Jane,” “Rock & Roll;” for High Fidelity fans: “Who Loves the Sun,” “Oh! Sweet Nuthin'”


So, Loaded has a difficult place in the history of The VU. If you don’t know much about this band, lightning-fast background: The Velvet Underground helped plant the seeds of what would later become full-blown punk music. Their music has very similar influences to what was going on around them at the time–folk and psychedelic rock happening fairly concurrently–but The VU were more experimental in their sound, and often cleaner. They were active from 1964 – 1973 (and a bit in the 90s) and were initially managed by Andy Warhol.

Loaded was the last studio album that the Velvet Underground did with Lou Reed. Lou Reed has FEELS about this album. He doesn’t like how it was mixed (which seems to be a recurring theme of that era of rock and roll music) and doesn’t like how certain tracks, like “Sweet Jane” and “Rock & Roll”, were edited. When all is said and done, though, it’s a really good rock ‘n’ roll album, receiving positive critical reviews from just about every-damn-body.

The Velvet Underground wrote Loaded to be more streamlined (ie, more commercial). While that backfires with a lot of artists, it works with The VU’s sound. Lou Reed was too good for true mindless pop, and it shines through in every track; we ended up not with a bunch of fluffy, throwaway songs, but some of the best pop rock songs in history. According to the Rolling Stone album guide, “[Loaded] was designed to translate fast, to go places, to give instant pleasure”, and it does. I can’t imagine being able to stay sad through the end of the first track or not singing along at the top of my voice when “Sweet Jane” comes on.

It’s good. It’s meant for listening to on a sunny day. What better album to welcome (finally) warm weather and sunshine?

How to listen to Loaded by The Velvet Underground:

Buy Loaded on Amazon (CD + MP3s) | Listen on Spotify | Listen on You Tube | Listen on Grooveshark


Susie is the Bitch-in-Chief at IB and is also a contributor at Book Riot. She's an ice cream connoisseur, an art fanatic, a cat-mommy of three, and a wife. She runs the @thebooksluts Twitter account and may be slightly addicted.

17 thoughts on “Weekend Listening: Loaded by The Velvet Underground

    • Right? He was pretty involved in sowing the punk movement seeds. Although… reading the book I read this year about the history of punk did not endear me to Warhol… still glad I read, though.

    • Ooh, no, I didn’t catch that one. (I was like four at the time, so…. that’s probably no excuse since it has been around for almost 30 years now.) Will have a listen a bit later, as husband has New Order happening right now.

      I do like a lot of what Andy Warhol’s work has to say about fame, and art, but god, the whole level of pretension that radiates out of his subculture makes me tired.

  1. Pingback: Weekend Listening: Mermaid Avenue by Billy Bragg and Wilco - Insatiable Booksluts

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