The Complete Matrix Tapes

The Complete Matrix Tapes is a live album by the New York City-based experimental rock band the Velvet Underground, released on November 20, 2015. It features unexpurgated recordings of the band's two-night stint on November 26 and 27, 1969, at San Francisco club The Matrix, owned and operated by Jefferson Airplane's Marty Balin.

The Complete Matrix Tapes
The Complete Matrix Tapes.jpg
Live album by
ReleasedNovember 20, 2015 (2015-11-20)
RecordedNovember 26–27, 1969
VenueThe Matrix, San Francisco
Genre
Length285:00
LanguageEnglish
LabelPolydor/Universal
The Velvet Underground chronology
Bootleg Series Volume 1: The Quine Tapes
(2001)
The Complete Matrix Tapes
(2015)

BackgroundEdit

The band's appearance represents one of the rare occasions on which the Velvet Underground was professionally recorded in a live setting, and while several of the performances in this set have been released in various fashions and configurations before (in particular, on the album 1969: The Velvet Underground Live and the 45th anniversary reissue of The Velvet Underground, as well as via much lower-quality audience recordings in Bootleg Series Volume 1: The Quine Tapes), it is the first time all of them have been collected together. Additionally, this represents the first time much of this material has been presented in a CD version sourced directly from the original tapes, which had been considered lost for decades, and nine tracks from this collection had previously been completely unreleased in any configuration.

Two of the songs from these performances, "Over You" and "Sweet Bonnie Brown/It's Too Much", have never been released as studio recordings by the band, and it is not known whether the band ever recorded them in the studio. Songs such as "Sweet Jane" and "New Age" feature significantly different or expanded lyrics from their eventual studio counterparts (which would both be released in 1970 on Loaded), while others such as "Sister Ray" and "White Light/White Heat" are substantially longer than their studio versions.

ReceptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic86/100[1]
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic     [2]
The Austin Chronicle     [3]
Classic Rock     [4]
The Guardian     [5]
Pitchfork8.5/10[6]
Q     [7]
Record Collector     [8]
Robert ChristgauA−[9]
Rolling Stone     [10]
Uncut          [11]

The album – which received a Metacritic score of 86 based on 13 reviews (indicating "universal acclaim") – was widely praised both for its sound quality and for the power of its performances.[6][10][2]

Track listingEdit

All songs written by Lou Reed, except where noted.

Disc 1 (Set One)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."I'm Waiting for the Man" 13:07
2."What Goes On" 8:53
3."Some Kinda Love" 4:58
4."Heroin" 8:07
5."The Black Angel's Death Song"John Cale, Reed6:19
6."Venus in Furs" 4:37
7."There She Goes Again" 3:13
8."We're Gonna Have a Real Good Time Together" 3:20
9."Over You" 2:23
10."Sweet Jane" 5:11
11."Pale Blue Eyes" 6:05
12."After Hours" 2:56
Disc 2 (Set Two)
No.TitleLength
1."I'm Waiting for the Man"6:33
2."Venus in Furs"5:11
3."Some Kinda Love"4:04
4."Over You"3:02
5."I Can't Stand It"7:54
6."There She Goes Again"2:50
7."After Hours"2:30
8."We're Gonna Have a Real Good Time Together"3:40
9."Sweet Bonnie Brown / Too Much"7:50
10."Heroin"10:05
11."White Light/White Heat"9:27
12."I'm Set Free"4:46
Disc 3 (Set Three)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."We're Gonna Have a Real Good Time Together" 3:15
2."Some Kinda Love" 4:38
3."There She Goes Again" 2:59
4."Heroin" 8:27
5."Ocean" 10:59
6."Sister Ray"Cale, Sterling Morrison, Reed, Maureen Tucker36:54
Disc 4 (Set Four)
No.TitleLength
1."I'm Waiting for the Man"5:30
2."What Goes On"4:31
3."Some Kinda Love"4:03
4."We're Gonna Have a Real Good Time Together"3:24
5."Beginning to See the Light"5:30
6."Lisa Says"5:59
7."New Age"6:28
8."Rock & Roll"6:54
9."I Can't Stand It"6:52
10."Heroin"8:17
11."White Light/White Heat"8:42
12."Sweet Jane"4:19

Total length: 4:34:42

PersonnelEdit

The Velvet Underground

Additional creditsEdit

  • Bill Levenson – compilation producer
  • Meire Murakami – design
  • David Fricke – liner notes
  • Kevin Reeves – mastering
  • Tardon – mixing
  • Dan Rose – production manager
  • Monique McGuffin Newman – production manager
  • Peter Abram – recording
  • Sal Mercuri – research, production manager
  • Alfredo Garcia, Lau Buur Nielsen, Oliver Landemaine – photo research assistance

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The Complete Matrix Tapes [Box Set] by The Velvet Underground" – via www.metacritic.com.
  2. ^ a b "The Complete Matrix Tapes - The Velvet Underground | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic" – via www.allmusic.com.
  3. ^ "The Velvet Underground: The Complete Matrix Tapes Album Review". www.austinchronicle.com.
  4. ^ Stubbs, David (27 November 2015). "The Velvet Underground: The Complete Matrix Tapes". Classic Rock Magazine.
  5. ^ "The Velvet Underground: The Complete Matrix Tapes box set review – fascinating sound of a band stretching out". The Guardian. December 10, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "The Velvet Underground: The Complete Matrix Tapes". Pitchfork.
  7. ^ Q magazine, January 2016 issue, page 120
  8. ^ "The Complete Matrix Tapes - Record Collector Magazine". recordcollectormag.com.
  9. ^ "Robert Christgau: CG: The Velvet Underground". www.robertchristgau.com.
  10. ^ a b Hermes, Will (December 8, 2015). "The Velvet Underground 'Complete Matrix Tapes' Album Review".
  11. ^ Uncut, January 2016 issue, page 89