Billboard Music Awards

'Bootleg Series' Reveals Velvet Underground

Universal Music Group is commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Underground's demise with releasing the first installment in a series of previously unreleased live recordings by the Lou Reed

Universal Music Group is commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Underground's demise with releasing the first installment in a series of previously unreleased live recordings by the Lou Reed-led rock group. Universal has yet to reveal details on possible future volumes of the series.

Due Aug. 28, "The Velvet Underground Bootleg Series, Volume 1: The Quine Tapes" is a three-disc collection of live material recorded by Robert Quine, a Velvet Underground fan and eventually a renowned guitarist in his own right with Richard Hell & the Voidoids, Matthew Sweet, and Reed. Quine recorded the shows on a Sony cassette recorder with a hand-held microphone in 1969 -- one in May while he was a law student at Washington University in St. Louis, and the other two later in that year in San Francisco.

Quine's recording of the VU anthem "Rock and Roll" at San Francisco's Matrix club on Nov. 25, 1969, was previously released in a different mix on the 1974 Mercury release "1969: Velvet Underground Live," but nothing else on "The Quine Tapes" has previously seen official release.

The set includes liner notes penned by Quine, in which he describes the unique situations of recording the shows by the then-underappreciated group. "There were a few nights [at the Matrix] when they started the first set with only four or five people in the club! Under those circumstances, the group couldn't help but notice me and they were very friendly," he says.

The Velvet Underground would only stay together for one more year after the concerts documented here, releasing a fourth and final album, "Loaded," in late 1970. While the group had scant commercial success during its lifetime, it was to become one of the most lauded bands of the era, influencing such latter-day notables as Sonic Youth and R.E.M.