Tuesday, April 22, 2008

JUST LIKE SWEET SISTER RAY SAID

When I first started collecting VELVET UNDERGROUND bootlegs - and this is arguable, but I think the variety & quality of their "unpublished" work easily rivals that of any other band, ever - I was told that one that I must hear was "Sweet Sister Ray". Apparently there had been this long, sweet, hypnotic drone the band used to play before launching into "Sister Ray" itself, and this lead-in was itself longer than the gargantuan "Sister Ray". So you put the two together and you'll got a hell of an evening. I don't know, I could just lock in and zone out with these all night, as many a "head" and a non-head has done for very near forty years now....you'll hear if you pay close attention that "Sweet Sister Ray" truly is a lead-in or a build up for the chaos to follow, though it must be said that the recordings are from different times and years.

"Sweet Sister Ray", nearly 40 minutes in total, was recorded on April 3rd, 1968 at La Cave in Cleveland, OH. You'll see that, coming from a vinyl bootleg as it did, it has been broken up into two tracks. "Sister Ray" #1 is from January 1970 at the 4rth Fret in Philadelphia; "Sister Ray" #2 was laid down in "1969" (that's all it says) at the Boston Tea Party in Boston.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Er.... not that I'm complaining but are you sure this isn't actually the (expanded) CD version?!

Chris Oliver said...

God, Lou's just relentless on the first half of the Philly version. I'd never heard "Sweet Sister Ray" before. Lester Bangs wrote about hearing it in a long piece on the VU from around 1970 (it's not in either of the Bangs books), although he called it "Sister Ray Part 2." I never thought I'd be able to actually hear it.

Anonymous said...

Every time i play this record for someone, i blows their mind. It still blows mine too!

Martin said...

Good Job! :)