John Cale
Fear Is A Man's Best Friend - John Cale


There are tons of books about The Velvet Undergound. Most of them are a waste of paper. The ones listed on this page are good to excellent.

The Velvet Undergound

UP-TIGHT: The Velvet Underground Story

UP-TIGHT: The Velvet Underground Story

Victor Bockris & Gerard Malanga
Omnibus Press, 1983
ISBN: 0 7119 0168 6

Lavishly illustrated. Essential reading for anyone who is into the Velvet Underground. Updated in 1995, including a new section about the 1993 Velvets reunion.

The Complete Guide to Music of The Velvet Underground

The Complete Guide to Music of The Velvet Underground

Peter Hogan
Omnibus Press, 1997
ISBN: 0-7119-5596-4

Song-by-song album review. Includes photos of the 1993 reunion tour.

Beyond The Velvet Underground

Beyond The Velvet Underground

Dave Thompson
Omnibus Press, 1989
ISBN: 0711916918

Consists of quotes and interview excerpts. Includes VU/solo discographies, including session appearances.

The Velvet Underground Companion

The Velvet Underground Companion

Albin Zak III
Schirmer Books, 1997
ISBN: 0825672422

Four decades of commentary. Essays, interviews and more. Contains an extensive discography and filmography.

The Velvet Underground and Nico

33 1/3 - The Velvet Underground and Nico

Joe Harvard
Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004
ISBN-10: 0826415504
ISBN-13: 978-0826415509
152 p. paperback, USA/UK

Each track of the album is discussed extensively. Interesting information from engineer Norman Dolph.

The Velvet Underground

The Velvet Underground

Richard Witts
Equinox Publishing, 2006
ISBN-10: 190476827X
ISBN-13: 9781904768272

In/depth musical study by a teacher at Goldsmiths College. Transcriptions of major songs galore. Includes suprisingly good information about Cale's stint with The Dream Syndicate. Nicholas Lezard in a review for The Guardian:

A note before the title page says it is "designed for undergraduates and the general reader". Never mind the general reader, it was the fact that the Velvet Underground are now being studied by undergraduates that had me pacing around the room, pinching the bridge of my nose and saying the title of the fifth track on their third album ("Jesus") out loud a few times. Am I getting that old? When I was an undergraduate, they had hardly been split up for a decade. Students shouldn't be studying the Velvet Underground, they should sit around taking narcotics and listening to them. You'll be telling me next that students aren't allowed to take narcotics any more.
The Rough Guide The Velvet Underground

The Rough Guide The Velvet Underground

Peter Hogan
Rough Guides, 2007
ISBN: 1843535882

Sporting shades and a feedback-heavy sounds, the Velvets straddled art and rock, changing popular music forever, and sowing the seeds for punk, grunge and thousands of countercultural four-chord wonders. The Rough Guide to The Velvet Underground explores: The Velvet Story: How Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison, John Cale and the others emerged from the New York scene, their successes and excesses and what happened to each in their solo years. Velvet Music: From their 1967 debut with Nico to their 1993 reunion with all the tales behind the tunes. Velvet Universe: Everybody who was anybody in the Velvet’s world, taking in Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick, David Bowie, Delmore, Schwaretsz and Brian Eno. Velvet Goldmine: The “Underground” on screen, the Velvets’ New York, clubs, influences, covers, websites and more.
White Light/White Heat: The Velvet Underground Day-By-Day

White Light/White Heat: The Velvet Underground Day-By-Day

Richie Unterberger
Jawbone Press (London), 2009
367 pages
ISBN: 978-1-906002-22-0

The 368-page, 8 1/2" X 11"-sized book covers the group's recording sessions, record releases, concerts, press reviews, and other major events shaping their career with both thorough detail and critical insight. Drawing on about 100 interviews and exhaustive research through documents and recordings rarely or never accessed, it unearths stories that have seldom been told, and eyewitness accounts that have seldom seen print, from figures ranging from band members to managers, producers, record executives, journalists, concert promoters, and fans.
FEED-BACK - The Velvet Underground: legend, truth

The Velvet Underground: legend, truth

Ignacio Juliá
Munster, 270 p. hardback, Spain, November 2008
ISBN: 978-84-612-6825-2

Contains classic interviews with all The Velvers. Lavishly illustrated.

The Velvet Underground - New York Extravaganza

The Velvet Underground - New York Extravaganza

Catalog for the exposition at the Philharmonie de Paris in 2016.

Sous la direction de Christian Fevret et Carole Mirabello
Prix : 39 €
ISBN : 978-2373680157
Coédition La Découverte / Cité de la musique - Philharmonie de Paris
Rodolphe Burger © D.R.

Contains an interview originally published in Les Inrock in 1990. Ma découverte de l'underground:

"'Heroin' était déjà écrite, mais ce n'est que lorsque Sterling s'est mis à jouer cette partie de basse, et moi du violon sur 'Venus', que j'ai senti que nous avions découvert un style. Quand nous avons trouvé cet arrangement pour 'Venus', je savais qu'il y avait là un style vraiment original, sale et malsain, indécent."

('Heroin' was already written, but it is only when Sterling began to play the bass part, and I joined in on viola on Venus', that I felt we had discovered a style. When we found this arrangement for 'Venus', I knew that this was a truly original style, dirty and unhealthy, indecent.)

© 1999- Hans Werksman