The Velvet Underground – ‘What Goes On’

The Velvet Underground may have made more ground-breaking and challenging music and they may have made some prettier pop songs too, but they never sounded like they were having a better time than on What Goes On.

I spend a lot of time over on Twitter shouting about great songs, so I’m delighted to get involved with Record of the Day for 50thirdandthird. This way I can get ignored by a whole load more people. For my first RotD choice I thought I’d bring out a big gun – The Velvet Underground.

Lou Reed’s mob are one of those rare bands that operate on a higher plain, regularly transcending music and making magic instead. It’s tough to pick out just one of their songs but What Goes On, the only single off their self-titled 1969 third album, gets the nod. It’s one of those times they get magical.

Musically, there’s nothing to it, really – just a couple of loose riffs on jangly guitar and organ and Lou singing with an audible smile on his face – but it’s joyous, celebratory and uplifting every time you put it on. A guaranteed mood-booster. Doing something so simple to such astonishing effect is a mark of what a fantastic band The Velvet Underground were.

Like the man says, when you listen to What Goes On, “you know it will be alright”.


About author View all posts Author website

Nick Perry

Nick writes fact, fiction and opinion in various places including
his music blog His musical tastes cover indie, grunge, golden-era hip hop, punk, funk, psychedelia and a big portion of distortion. You can and should follow him on Twitter @NoiseCrumbs.

Post a Comment