In 1970, The Velvet Underground capped a string of four masterful albums in as many years with the release of “Loaded.” It was the most commercial effort the band ever recorded and, sadly, proved to be their swan song as Lou Reed parted ways with The Underground shortly before its release. To celebrate the 45th anniversary of the influential platter, Rhino is serving up the six-disc “Loaded: Re-Loaded” collection.
Disc 1 is a remastered version of the original 10-track release, plus a four-pack of session outtakes. Songs like “Who Loves the Sun,” “Sweet Jane” and “Rock & Roll” still sound great and the band also soars on “I Found a Reason” and “Oh! Sweet Nuthin’.” Disc 2 covers the same ground with the remastered promotional mono version of “Loaded,” augmented by some single and B-side versions of the tunes. Disc 3 is a winner with early versions and demos of the “Loaded” tunes.
Disc 4 is an expanded version of the 1972 release “Live at Max’s Kansas City,” a concert recorded at the legendary Big Apple venue on Aug. 23, 1970 — the very day Reed left the band. The real gem here is Disc 5, which features a previously unreleased club performance recorded May 9, 1970 at the Second Fret in Philadelphia. Disc 6 is an audio-only DVD featuring three different mixes of the “Loaded” album. Good stuff. (Jeffrey Sisk)