What Goes OnToday’s Cool Single of the Week is very cool indeed; What Goes On by The Velvet Underground.  This particular single is especially cool because it is a DJ promo.  It’s a unique Mono mix, and shorter than the stereo version on the eponymously titled 3rd Velvet Underground LP.

If you are unfamiliar with the Velvet Underground (aka the Velvets aka VU), here’s a short summary from Wikipedia:

The Velvet Underground was an American rock band formed in New York City. First active from 1964 to 1973, their best-known members were Lou Reed and John Cale, who both went on to find success as solo artists. Although experiencing little commercial success while together, the band is often cited by many critics as one of the most important and influential groups of the 1960s. In a 1982 interview Brian Eno made the often repeated statement that while the first Velvet Underground album may have sold only 30,000 copies in its early years, “everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band.”

I’ve been a fan of the Velvets since about 1970 (when I was a freshman in high school), by which time Lou Reed had already left the band and was working for a short while in his father’s tax accounting firm as a typist, according to Wikipedia, until he got a contract with RCA and recorded his first (great, IMHO) solo LP. I remember writing to my brother at college, telling him about this great band I discovered. He asked his friends at college about the Velvet Underground and they said, “Man, your little brother sure listens to some decadent music!” I think my family *may* have had reason to be a little nervous as I played my guitar on the front porch singing Heroin, but if they were, to their credit, they never showed it.

The great record company Sundazed currently has a bunch of great VU on vinyl.  They’ve got a 5 LP box set for $100, and a singles box which contains a reproduction of the What Goes On single, which as you might imagine, sounds a lot cleaner than my original. It seems to me, though, that there is a richness to the original that makes it worth putting up with the noise and wear. Here’s a sample of their version:

I’m not affiliated with Sundazed in any way, by the way, I’m just a fan of what they do.

And yes, the sleeve *is* marked 15 cents, which I believe is what I paid for it… 😉

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