A Season of Songs is a type of Fun-A-Day project that I plan to do throughout this spring. I’ll hit shuffle on the ol’ iPod and see what comes up. I’ll then write a bit about that song, the band, the record, whatever. Enjoy!
Today’s song is “Sunday Morning” by The Velvet Underground from the 1967 “The Velvet Underground & Nico” LP.
Sunday morning, praise the dawning
It’s just a restless feeling by my side
Early dawning, Sunday morning
It’s just the wasted years so close behind
A fun thing about this project is that it has forced me to think about when and how I got into so many of these bands. Prior to this project I might not have had reason to talk too frequently about my ex-girlfriend Lisa on this blog, except to point out that she is the reason that I ended up in Pittsburgh. But here we are and I’m pretty sure this is at least the 3rd time that I’m talking about a band that I got into because of a record of hers. At some point after we started dating, I remember borrowing several LP’s from her. The only ones that I can remember vividly are her VU records including the “1969: The Velvet Underground Live” 2xLP (also borrowed VU’s “Loaded” as well). I remember really digging the third side of the album which featured the songs “Ocean”, “Pale Blue Eyes” and “Heroin”. It seems a bit weird to say but I think one of the things I liked about that side was it was these long building songs that reminded me a lot of what many of the bands were doing in the mid-90’s with the slowly building, soft/loud/soft, emo-core things. There were some obvious differences but I feel there were some real parallels as well. Unfortunately at some point Lisa reclaimed the VU records.
Over the years I would pick up a couple other VU records in various forms. Not sure where I picked up my copy of “The Velvet Underground & Nico”, but have that on vinyl (but without the peel-able banana cover). Picked up a copy of “White Light/White Heat” on cassette which I remember listening to fairly heavily for a long time but haven’t listened to in forever. All I can remember from that album is “The Gift” which is just a weird track. Some year’s down the line while dating Deanna she bought me the VU “Peel Slowly and See” 5-CD boxset for a birthday, I believe (might have been Christmas…who can remember?) I uploaded most of this boxset to my ipod but looks like I never bothered with the “White Light/White Heat” tracks…guess I had had my fill of those songs. Maybe it’s time to check them out again.
As for today’s song, I really love “Sunday Morning”. On the face it’s this light bubbly pop song about Sunday morning, right? Turns out the song is about paranoia and when you read the lyrics with that in mind, they become a bit dark. Also, always just thought that was a xylophone in the song, but it apparently is a celesta, an instrument that apparently has a keyboard like a piano but strikes metal plates much like a xylophone. Interesting. Not my favorite song off the album, but an enjoyable one and one that I think it starts off the record really well. Just a nice floating little number before punching in with “I’m Waiting For My Man” and the rest of the album.
“Velvet Underground & Nico” = definite necessity for your collection. From there you can decide if you need any other VU records, but, for real, put this one in rotation.