Alright, people, it's list time. After each week of Velvet Underground month, I'm going to present my ranking of the band's songs. Since this sort of thing can get contentious, here's my 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 The Velvet Underground & Nico, I rank the Velvet Underground's songs as follows:
"Possible Skip" Tier
11. European Son: Something had to be at the bottom of the list. This was it for me.
"Kinda Cool But Far From Essential" Tier
10. There She Goes Again: Perhaps it's because it follows "Heroin," but this song always comes off as slight.
9. Venus in Furs: A great creepy atmosphere. A little too creepy to truly love, though.
8. The Black Angel's Death Song: I dig the mood / tone, but its elusiveness makes it less memorable.
"Damn Good" Tier
7. Sunday Morning: A gorgeous song. So gorgeous it had to fall here, as it feels a little too dissimilar from everything else.
6. I'll Be Your Mirror: For the incredible lyrics alone.
5. I'm Waiting For The Man: That pounding piano and the vivid portrayal of buying – and using – drugs make this a great introduction to the band.
4. Femme Fatale: My favorite example of the Velvet Underground putting their own unique stamp on the pop song.
3. Run Run Run: This cautionary urban tale beautifully balances blues and noise.
"Absolute Classic" Tier
2. Heroin: An unbelievably great song that only the Velvet Underground could have made. It was a near impossible choice separating the top two.
1. All Tomorrow's Parties: This has the edge because of shared personal experiences associated with it. Like "Heroin," it's a great distillation of what makes The Velvet Underground & Nico the revered opus that it is.
Agree with my list? Disagree? Let me know what you think!