That was the most recently concluded poll in a indie rock music nerd discussion group I kinda belong to. That got me to playing some of my neglected Velvets recordings, like the bootleg Quine Tapes that I hadn't played more than once. Listening to those songs again, it reminded me of just how fucking amazing this band -- my favorite rock band ever -- really were. They're rightly celebrated as the progenitors of white noise art rock, but their spare ballads are as beatifully melodic as anything McCartney ever wrote, without ever being saccharine. They had an edge that the Beatles, White Album aside, never had.
The rocker "What Goes On" from Velvet Underground won the poll. Instead of reposting a haphazardly assembled ballot, I'll post my 20 favorite Velvets songs, as divided by categories.
"Who Loves the Sun" from Loaded. As heard on The Royal Tenenbaums.
"I'm Sticking With You" from VU. Maureen Tucker doing a wonderful child-like ditty.
"After Hours" from Velvet Underground. Again Maureen, child-like.
"Sunday Morning" from Velvet Underground and Nico. The most beautiful opening number ever.
"Pale Blue Eyes" from Velvet Underground.
"Sweet Jane" from 1969: Live.
"I'll Be Your Mirror" from Velvet Underground and Nico.
"Femme Fatale" from Velvet Underground and Nico. The definitive version.
"All Tomorrow's Parties" from Velvet Underground and Nico. I dig Nico, what can I say.
Lou Reed in the consciousness of an emotionally unhinged woman.
"Lisa Says" from VU
"Candy Says" from Velvet Underground
"Stephanie Says" from VU
"Ocean" from 1969: Live. Majestic. Probably my favorite Velvets track.
"Heroin" from Velvet Underground and Nico
"New Age" from 1969: Live
Rock & Roll
"There She Goes Again" from Velvet Underground and Nico
"I'm Waiting for the Man" from Velvet Underground and Nico
"White Light/White Heat" from White Light/White Heat
"Beginning to See the Light" from 1969: Live
"What Goes On" from Velvet Underground
Yeah, I like "Sister Ray", too, but not *that* much.
[More commentary later.]