"The Velvet Underground" (sometimes abbreviated as "The Velvets" or "The V.U.") was an American rock band first active from 1965 to 1973. Its best-known alumni are Lou Reed and John Cale.
Although never commercially successful, The Velvet Underground remains one of the most influential bands of their time: a famous remark, often attributed to Brian Eno, is that while only a few thousand people bought a Velvet Underground record upon their initial release, almost every single one of them was inspired to start a band. This is obviously an exaggeration, but the statement does demonstrate The Velvet Underground's massive influence and the cult following that has outlasted the group's original existence.
The Velvet Underground was one of the first rock music groups to experiment heavily with the form by incorporating avant-garde influences. The group's often raw, sometimes difficult sound would influence many later punk, noise rock, and alternative music performers, and singer Lou Reed's lyrics brought new levels of social realism and sleaze to rock. Critics Scott Isler and Ira Robbins argue that "The Velvet Underground marked a turning point in rock history. After the release...
|origin||New York City|
|years active||1965–1973; 1992–1994 (reunion)|
|music genre||Experimental rock, art rock, protopunk|
|current members|| Willie Alexander|