The Velvet Underground

Some Kinda Love

Song Review by

One of the more curious aspects of the Velvet Underground's career was the strange case of the two versions of their self-titled third album. The Velvet Underground was originally released in what Lou Reed described as a "closet mix," in which the album, already far more subdued than anything the band had recorded to date, was presented in a hushed, muted form that sounded as parts of it were bleeding through the locked door of -- you guessed it -a closet. However, in apparent hopes that the band's least-alienating album might win them a few more fans if it sounded brighter and cleaner, that version was soon replaced by a more straightforward mix performed by engineer Val Valentin. "Some Kinda Love" was the song most radically altered by Valentin's new version of the album, as he went so far as to use a different take of the song. In Valentin's version, the song kicks in at its full volume, with Reed and Sterling Morrison locked tight on guitars and Maureen Tucker holding the beat strong and steady with a kick drum and a cowbell. Reed's vocal also had a jivey, street-tough air to it, while Doug Yule's bass throbs beneath it all. In the take Reed favored, the song begins at a whisper, with Tucker's percussion at about half the volume of the Valentin take. The guitars start out quietly and slowly build, darting in and out of each other's path with both passion and delicacy. Finally, Reed's vocal is right up front, and his performance has a lot more nuance, gently nudging the suggestion that "No kinds of love/Are better than others," and letting him slip in a soulful falsetto and some jazzy note stretches here and there. It's obvious that the Valentin take (available on the album's CD release) rocks a bit harder and would sound better on the radio, but the "closet" version (which appears on the box set Peel Slowly and See) is certainly the more daring and compelling performance. Either way, it's a song worth hearing.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Velvet Underground 1969 Polydor 4:02
Peel Slowly and See 1995 Polydor 10:22
An Introduction to the Velvet Underground 2001 Polygram 3:40
Gold 2005 Polydor 4:03
Chronicles 2005 Polydor 4:03
The Very Best of the Velvet Underground 2006 Universal / Um3 3:40
The Velvet Underground Story 2006 Polydor / Universal Distribution 4:03
Rock Legends 2008 Polydor 4:00
Playlist Plus 2008 Polydor 4:00