The Velvet Underground get mammoth 8LP live box-set

'The Complete Matrix Tapes' documents seminal 1969 concerts

The Velvet Underground are to have a mammoth 8LP live box-set released to mark the 50th anniversary of two landmark concerts.

‘The Complete Matrix Tapes’ was recorded at two shows on November 25-26 at San Francisco club Matrix in 1969.

It was part of an 18-night run of shows by Lou Reed’s band in San Francisco. The first two shows were at the club The Family Dog. The other were at Matrix, a former pizza restaurant turned into a club venue by Marty Balin, the singer with Jefferson Airplane.


The shows were recorded after the release of the band’s self-titled third album in March that year. They featured new bassist Doug Yule, who had replaced founding bassist John Cale, who had quit in autumn the previous year.

Some of the 43 songs on ‘The Complete Matrix Tapes’ had first been released as double album ‘1969: The Velvet Underground Live’ in 1974. The majority were released on CD in 2015, but nine tracks have never been available before this new vinyl release.

The box-set is released on July 12, featuring sleevenotes by Rolling Stone editor David Fricke.

The concerts were recorded by Matrix owner Peter Abram, who recorded all The Velvet Underground’s concerts at his venue on a four-track recorder.


As well as Reed and Yule, The Velvet Underground’s line-up included drummer Moe Tucker and guitarist Sterling Morrison. They went on to record two further albums, ‘Loaded’ in 1970 and ‘Squeeze’ in 1973, though ‘Squeeze’ didn’t feature any members of the original line-up.

Among the songs featured on ‘The Complete Matrix Tapes’ are classics such as ‘Waiting For The Man’, ‘Heroin’, ‘Sweet Jane’ and ‘Pale Blue Eyes’.