The Velvet Underground: White Light / White Heat super deluxe


As most music collectors will attest, there is nothing more annoying than albums by the same artist being reissued in a hodge-podge of styles, formats and packaging. Witness EMI’s approach to the Duran Duran catalogue a few years back. A true “pick ‘n’ mix” of re-releases included a casebound book (Rio), lift-off lid boxes (Duran Duran, Notorious) and ‘fatbox’ jewel case (Arcadia’s So Red The Rose). Let’s face it, that’s never going to look good on your shelf.

So credit to Universal for sticking with the same book format for the Super Deluxe Edition of The Velvet Underground‘s White Light/White Heat that was used for last year’s Velvet Underground & Nico SDE. If nothing else it ticks the OCD box, because they do slot nicely together on the shelf and the fonts on the spine match (very important).

The downside is that despite the luxury, you have to be honest and ask whether the content really justifies or demands such an approach. The six-CD set from last year definitely did, but the VU’s 1968 album was only six tracks to begin with and what we have here is a three CD set and with a retail price of around £50, making it not that much cheaper than its more generous predecessor. The standard two-CD ‘deluxe’ version of White Light/White Heat only lacks the mono version of the album and a few alternates but is available for about £15. So effectively you’re paying around £35 for the book and one extra CD.

Of course, if you’re a massive fan of the group or the album, why wouldn’t you want to push the boat out and a enjoy this luxurious presentation? If you own the previous Super Deluxe it’s hard to resist having a matching pair, and you don’t want to spend the rest of your days looking up at the ‘V’ section of your music collection ruing the fact that you didn’t pick-up this when you had the chance.

You will find the full track listing to this reissue here. White Light/White Heat super deluxe edition is out now. Enjoy the photo gallery below.

Book maintains the dimensions of last year’s Velvet Underground & Nico SDE
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Three discs (click to enlarge)
Removable spec sheet on the back (click to enlarge)

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[…] If you haven’t yet collected all the 45th Anniversary Velvet Underground sets, then last year’s White Light/White Heat super deluxe is now at the lowest ever price on Amazon UK. At the time of writing, the three-disc set with luxury hardcover book is now just £31. A fine deal and a more realistic price for the ‘lightest’ of the three super duper versions. You can view our picture gallery and read a review here. […]

[…] and place an order. The box set which doubles the number of discs offered in last year’s White Light/White Heat box contains two different stereo mixes of the album (including Lou Reed’s Closet Mix), a […]

[…] ticked off 1967′s The Velvet Underground & Nico (in 2012) and White Light/White Heat (2013), the album under the microscope this year is the band’s third album, The Velvet […]

Neil Wilkes

Now just bring on the third (self titles) album – and it would be great to see both the “Closet Mixes” and the proper mixes (that’s 2 discs), then the mono version, plus a 4th disc with the alternates & out-takes etc…..and also “Loaded”, please – we need the set in SDE book form, and I will definitely be buying the rest as they come out.

Getting back to this release, it’s interesting to compare the content here with the “Peel Slowly & See” box, it is apparent that the demo versions available there are not included here (why?) as well as the original mixes of the supplemental tracks that are clearly marked here as “new remixes” – again, the originals would have been nice. It seems likely that with a little tape research this could easily have been a 4-5 disc set – lets hope that “VU” & “Loaded” get better treatment.

Great album, nice book but low on actual content, I feel


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Jason Paskowitz

I’m already saving my pennies for the inevitable SDE of “Loaded.”


“If you own the previous Super Deluxe it’s hard to resist having a matching pair, and you don’t want to spend the rest of your days looking up at the ‘V’ section of your music collection ruing the fact that you didn’t pick-up this when you had the chance.”

So recognisable and one of the main reasons I bought this. It’s a great album though. I just hope they won’t put out deluxe editions of the 3rd and 4th album too :D