I'm not gonna waste anytime describing the Velvet Underground, but my favorite British internet denizen asked me what my favorite band was and this is the closest one to an honest answer I could muster. Assuredly I nabbed this copy of Live At Max's Kansas City from a blog but it was long ago and I've forgotten where. Into it though, this is a live, unsanctioned recording of the Velvet Underground just before the departure of Lou Reed, which signaled the end of the band notwithstanding that shunned album helmed by Doug Yule. Despite being a "bootleg" (it was taped by an associate of Andy Warhol, Brigid Polk) it was bought by the record company and released as a live album. Perhaps because of this semi-clandestine fashion of production it is rather candid, the songs are suggested by the crowd and drinks are ordered by the band and all the shit you'd expect at a small rock concert. Anyhow, what is notable that although this was bootleg it captures much of the spirit of the band, with them being able to take them time with the songs, slowly getting into them without the constraints of engineers. As well there are multiple takes of the same song, namely "Sweet Jane" and "Lonesome Cowboy Bill." Certainly this functions better than any "best of" album might have, though there is no version of "Heroin" as as the band states they no longer play that song by this time. I find myself listening to this with a six pack of beer more often than I care to admit.
To be had here:
The Velvet Underground - Live At Max's Kansas City [192 VBR kbps]