The last few years have seen the Velvet Underground’s career comprehensively overhauled, with a series of album rereleases featuring scores of bonus discs containing unreleased live recordings and demos. Now the process has reached the group’s final album with Lou Reed, Loaded, which is to emerge in a six-disc edition on 30 October.
Loaded was already given an overhaul in 2004 with the 2CD set Fully Loaded, which featured alternate, unreleased versions of every song on the album, but the new one goes much, much further. As well as studio outtakes, single versions, demos and alternate mixes, the new edition contains two live albums, the first a version of Live at Max’s Kansas City, the album compiled from tapes the Andy Warhol associate Brigid Polk had made of Lou Reed’s last shows with the band. Curiously, this version is contracted from the 2CD edition of the album released in 2004.
The second album captures the group live at Second Fret in Philadelphia in May 1970, a show that has been much bootlegged. The group played at Second Fret three times that year, and many bootlegs pick from the three shows. This release captures the whole 11-song set.