The Velvet Underground

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The Velvet Underground were an avant-garde New York City band whose unconventional and screeching sounds paved and shaped the roads of “underground” Rock and Roll. Beginning in small clubs and bars around NYC, the band originally enjoyed a cult like following of dedicated fans, who rejoiced in a sound that, at the time, was deemed “undanceable” and ludicrous by mainstream media. Eventually, the band emerged from the cracks and shadows of Greenwich Village to form a union with the infamous Andy Warhol, whose notoriety catapulted the group of experimentalists to new and unseen heights. As they linked up to travel the Unites States, they overwhelmed audiences everywhere with a surreal concoction of images, films, lighting effects, and music, known as The Exploding Plastic Inevitable tour. Warhol also introduced the band to the young Nico, creating a partnership that went on to produce the coveted “The Velvet Underground & Nico” album, which is considered one of the most influential albums of all time. Fifty years later and The Velvet Underground’s works continue to inject their nonconformist and unique sounds into the ears of indie kids around the globe. With not only a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction under their belt but also four albums in the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of all Time, The Velvet Underground still influences a younger generation of artists, who one can only hope will uphold the underground’s tradition of challenging and piercing the conventional boundaries of not only music, but creativity as a whole.

John Cale on the #GRAMMYs red carpet with Betsey Johnson and Margaret Cho, honoring The Velvet Underground Lifetime Achievement award.

The Velvet Underground will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 59th annual GRAMMY Awards this Sunday. Revisit the band’s catalog with their Best Of playlist here:

Originally released on January 30th 1968, the album 'White Light / White Heat' celebrates its 49th anniversary this week. Revisit the Super Deluxe version of the record here:

John Cale will be following the landmark 50th anniversary performance of 'The Velvet Underground & Nico' at Liverpool Waters with a rare in-conversation at Liverpool Sound City on Saturday 27th May. Tickets go on sale this Friday at 9am GMT:

"Sunday Morning"

In honor of The Velvet Underground's upcoming Lifetime Achievement award from the Recording Academy / GRAMMYs, the song "Sunday Morning" is featured on the GRAMMYs Gold playlist. In honor of The Velvet Underground's upcoming Lifetime Achievement award from The Grammys, the song "Sunday Morning" is featured on this Grammys Gold playlist.

Velvet Underground, Sly Stone Receive Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

The Velvet Undergound to receive Recording Academy / GRAMMYs Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.

"Despite a relatively brief lifespan and limited commercial success, the Velvet Underground are now recognized as one of the most influential rock bands of all time. Comprising Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, and Maureen 'Moe' Tucker, the band was, perhaps, ahead of their time, both visually and sonically. Often dubbed the quintessential proto-punk band, they've continued to be the benchmark for countless modern-rock movements over the past 50 years." - The Recording Academy The Velvet Underground, Sly Stone and Nina Simone are among the artists receiving the Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Awards in 2017.

Videos (See all)

The Velvet Underground "The Matrix Tapes"
White Light/White Heat (Version 1/The Complete Matrix Tapes)

Band Members

Lou Reed
John Cale
Sterling Morrison
Angus MacLise
Maureen Tucker
Doug Yule
Walter Powers
Willie Alexander


Record Label

Universal Music Enterprises

General Manager

Andy Warhol
Other New York Artists
Ashburn Artists