charliepanayi wrote:It's hard to verbalise about music, and what makes a band or musician so good I find.
I can take a stab at it, sort of. I haven't heard much VU, just one listen through their first album I think, but what struck me most was the emotional content. They played their instruments with an edge that matched the lyrics. The album seemed to alternate between pop-style songs and harsher, exploratory pieces that were hard for me to listen to (I often get overwhelmed by strong emotional content in music).
Interesting stuff, and groundbreaking for its time. Unfortunately I have to be in the right frame of mind to listen to it.
Yeah, I would have to agree with you. The songs have a wide range of emotive music. And it is also so energetic. Heroin. It alternates between slow and fast, but each fast section becomes more intense until the end is pure chaos, but sounds so good. And the lyrics
really put you in the position of a junky, and you sympathize with him. It's that raw emotion, rejecting society and it's harshness for chemically induced happiness. the Black Angel's Death Song. People don't really talk about that one so much, even though it's the most experimental and harsh sounding. When I first heard that song I was impacted heavily with emotion, even though the lyrics are mostly nonsense.
Pale Blue Eyes. "I thought of you as my mountaintop, I thought of you as my peak. I thought of you as everythjing I had but couldn't keep". The emotion in that part gets me.
Oh Sweet Nuthin. Listen to that climax. Stephanie Says. The desperation in "It's so cold in Alaska". I'm Sticking With You is probably their sweetest song.
And then you just have pure awesome rock with songs like "Can't Stand It" "Run Run RUn" WL-WH, "I'm Beginning to See the Light".
It's not all just chaotic noise. Some songs are experimental in other ways. Some are very slow, sweet. Some are poppy. There has to be at least one VU song someone loves.
I'd say they were a tie for first - The Beatles around the same time (certainly from Rubber Soul onwards) belonged in that category too.
This is true. But of course there were other bands, like Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. One notable thing about VU is that they were probably the first important band (that I know of, could be wrong) to associate sex and drugs and violence with rock and roll. The Beatles had some drug-inspired tunes, of course, but very few are explicitly about drugs, and there is almost no sex (with the exception of Happiness is a Warm Gun--and still, this is not obvious) and violence either.