Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Velvet Underground: Bootleg Series: Volume 1: The Quine Tapes [Polydor, 2001]
I was cynical too, especially once I'd ascertained that the audio on these three discs was as faint as I'd feared. Played loud, though, the sound improves--not quite crisp or bright, but there. Note that this trick doesn't work with Live at Max's Kansas City and ask yourself if you wouldn't maybe like to hear the number three band of the '60s, after the Beatles and James Brown and His Famous Flames, without wearing out its tiny catalogue. No new songs, true. But over the two hours that aren't devoted to three long, distinct versions of "Sister Ray," no title is repeated, even though every one was recorded in a one-month span in San Francisco in 1969. That's pretty impressive. As is all the new guitar. A-