2 weeks in, 2 albums down, how do I rank the songs of the Velvet Underground now? Once again, a disclaimer: this is totally subjective and my opinion. It doesn't reflect empirical best, just what I like best. Also, it could very well change. Ok? Here goes…
After White Light / White Heat, I rank the Velvet Underground's songs as follows:
*A few notes: First, I am not going to re-describe most of the songs that don't move (aside from being bumped by new songs).
Second, I am not satisfied with my categorical tiers. I am very interested in urban planning, so I'm going to try something new this week and name the tiers after cities based on how badly I'd like to visit them. Please don't be offended by my choices of cities. Only songs.
Houston [replaces "Possible Skip"]: I can think of tons of places that I would never want to go to. No Velvet Underground song is that bad. Rather, I need a place that is probably interesting to see once, but I wouldn't be too upset if I never made it.
Shanghai [replaces "Kinda Cool But Far From Essential"]: There are enough reasons this is an important place to try and get to at least once in my lifetime. It's just not the highest on my list.
Copenhagen [replaces "Damn Good"]: A city that seems very intriguing and worth going to within 5-10 years. It also has a vibe from its reputation and name itself that seems to fit well with the Velvet Underground. Also this is the hardest tier to sort.
Barcelona [replaces "Absolute Classic"]: If money and time were no object, this is my number one place to go. So many things sound great about it: the sea, the weather, the people, the culture, the nightlife, the architecture and planning, the community spirit, the food. Seems worthy of the upper tier.
17. European Son (LW: 11)
16. I Heard Her Call My Name (NEW) – This song doesn't do a lot for me, but it has enough interesting moments to edge out "European Son."
15. There She Goes Again (LW: 10)
14. Lady Godiva's Operation (NEW) – Kind of a toss-up with "Venus in Furs"; that track gets the bump for its more memorable soundscape
13. Venus In Furs (LW: 9)
12. The Gift (NEW) – The fusion of a straight-up story recitation with a loose jam isn't seamless, but Cale's reading is excellent and the details and events of the narrative leave an impression.
11. The Black Angel's Death Song (LW: 8)
10. Here She Comes Now (NEW) – The oasis of tunefulness in the middle of the desert of White Light / White Heat.
9. Sunday Morning (LW: 7) – Last time I said it was "too gorgeous to be any higher." That's a stupid reason. I don't feel like it should be this low but I just seem to like everything above a little more. That's a sign of some serious quality in the catalog.
8. I'll Be Your Mirror (LW: 6) – It's like splitting hairs between this and "Sunday Morning."
7. I'm Waiting For The Man (LW: 5)
6. Run Run Run (LW: 3) – The only actual "fall" for a VU&N song from last week, it probably was a little overrated. But, still damn good.
5. Sister Ray (NEW) – A go-for-broke chaotic behemoth that I came to love. Number 5 with a bullet.
4. Femme Fatale (LW: 4)
3. White Light / White Heat (NEW) – My favorite song on the album it's named after, it's a killer opening track and a manic rocker. Watch that side, watch that side.
2. Heroin (LW: 2)
1. All Tomorrow's Parties (LW: 1) – The top 2 remains as is for another week. But I still second guess this constantly.
What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know!