In the ‘60s, The Velvet Underground mostly ran with Andy Warhol’s factory crowd and quickly became one of the seminal bands of the decade, commenting on taboo topics like illegal drugs and black angels of death. Challenging social norms was kind of their thing, and Lou Reed's lyrics reached rebellious youths and the mainstream public alike.
The group’s self-titled third album saw a departure from both Warhol’s factory and the “noise” instrumentals they became known for on their previous releases. To celebrate the anniversary of the album that brought us so many of our favorite tracks (like “Candy Says” and “Beginning To See The Light”), a special edition of the album, The Velvet Underground – 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition, dropped last month. The 64-track six-CD package is a must-have for die-hard fans and includes several different mixes of the album and unreleased material.
Aside from an evolution in sound, Reed’s lyrics on The Velvet Underground also took a turn from detailing gritty city life, adding in hopeful lines and cheery vocals. This newfound optimism is seen on the album’s closing track, “After Hours” where drummer Maureen Tucker steps up to sing lead—her pure voice is the perfect balance to the song's lyrics that describe a recluse's desire to step into the light.
To celebrate The Velvet Underground’s re-release, Orange County-based band The Colourist crammed their gear into Jam In The Van’s mobile production studio to bring their own vivacious, synth-pop timbre to the bare-bones folk track. With Adam Castilla and Maya Tuttle’s intertwining vocals, the band takes a cue from the Velvet Underground, as Tuttle steps out from behind her kit to sing lead vocals. Their cover also keeps instrumentals to a minimum, transforming the song into a sunny pop tune that would brighten Lou Reed’s day.
Watch the premiere of The Colourist’s “After Hours” cover below and download The Velvet Underground – 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition on iTunes.