Songs about dating your best friend

Attempting to rank songs by the Velvet Underground — the ’27 Yankees of rock-music catalogs — is almost inevitably going to end in tears.Upon hearing of this assignment, our dear friend and fellow Stereogum contributor James Jackson Toth chuckled over our fate and dared us to submit a list that was “everything but ‘The Murder Mystery.'” We thought about that, but actually “The Murder Mystery” is pretty great.Nico was largely there to look at — her monotone, broken English lead vocals on a few of the band’s early classics like “Femme Fatale” and “I’ll Be Your Mirror” are wonderful time-capsule oddities in retrospect, but not objectively good performances.It is not difficult to imagine even sympathetic audiences regarding her presence (and separate billing) on the debut with a what-the-fuck-is-this sort of puzzlement.The Velvets were short lived, but also brilliant to the point of short-circuiting everything previously thought to be known about the limits of the rock and roll genre.

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Indeed, he sounds so utterly giddy about the sonic and lyrical madness surrounding him, it is difficult not to laugh along, all the while sensing that this is probably the wrong trip to be on.Of course the entire first album was baffling: vacillating between the romantic and degenerate, the avant and populist, the poetic and the plainspoken.It is an ingenious, anarchic hodge-podge that could really only happen by accident — it is simply impossible to imagine that anyone could actually contrive to make an album so utterly insane.One of the great debuts in all of rock and roll — and one of the greatest albums ever made — seems mainly like the result of a few towering geniuses going very crazy, very quickly, all at once.Ironically, the far more abrasive follow up seems almost entirely deliberate — a muscular demonstration of the band’s willingness to take catchy songs and crush them to dust beneath an overwhelming storm of distorted guitar, pounding drums and droning organs.