You won’t see original copies of the Velvet Underground’s Squeeze album in the used bin. Not necessarily a bad thing. Copies are fetching ridiculous prices all over the internet. Mostly because of the albums odd-ball status. But the music is pedestrian. Squeeze is a V.U. album in-name-only with only late-period member Doug Yule with any claim to the thrown. Although Maureen “Moe” Tucker was involved for the live dates with the band and did intend on recording with this final version of the Velvet Underground. However, Squeeze was recorded in London, 1972, sans Tucker, with the help of Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice.
There is no Exploding Plastic Inevitable with Yule and Company. No Lou Reed writing songs about herion and love. None of John Cale‘s avant-noise experiments. Not a hint of Nico’s ability to communicate pain, heartbreak and beauty. No Warhol lurking in the shadows. And adsolutely no spark or life to be found. Listen to the sample of Dopey Joe. This would have made a fairly adequate Doug Yule solo album.
Somewhat more interesting is a 2001 bootleg live box set, Final V.U. 1971-1973 (And damn hard to find).When Lou Reed quit the band in August 1970, the Velvet Underground continued the European tour supporting Loaded minus Lou. This version of the band still featured Sterling Morrison and Moe Tucker. A year later Morrison would leave the V.U., reducing the band to the Doug Yule-Willie Alexander-Walter Powers-Moe Tucker assembly. This V.U. is a surprisingly competent bar band/tribute in a live setting. But NOT the Velvet Underground. Final note; a C.D. version of Squeeze was made available in 2012 on the Kismet label. If you must own a copy (like me), this will do the trick. Unless…an original happens to come my way.