Quick Hit with Joslyn Weber

“Rock & Roll” by The Velvet Underground

Album cover for “Rock & Roll” by The Velvet Underground. Highlighting the impact of rock and roll music on people and musicians in the ‘60s, “Rock & Roll”’s fuzzy vocals and blurry guitar contribute to The Velvet Underground’s classic sound as well as the summer vibe of the song.

Photo via Flickr (Daniel Hartwig) under Creative Commons license

Album cover for “Rock & Roll” by The Velvet Underground. Highlighting the impact of rock and roll music on people and musicians in the ‘60s, “Rock & Roll”’s fuzzy vocals and blurry guitar contribute to The Velvet Underground’s classic sound as well as the summer vibe of the song.

Joslyn Weber, Staff Writer

Pause your spring break planning and listen to “Rock & Roll” by The Velvet Underground. 

The Velvet Underground is an American rock band, originating from New York City in 1964. After many different band names, they finally settled on The Velvet Underground and later gained pop artist Andy Warhol as their manager. Their debut album “The Velvet Underground & Nico” gained lots of criticism and poor reviews at its first release but has recently become revered throughout the rock and roll genre.

“Rock & Roll,” tells the story of a young girl named Jennie who, at the young age of five, discovers rock and roll music. It eventually ends up greatly impacting her and saving her life. Jennie is based on the lead guitarist and singer Lou Reed himself. The song is specifically about how “Heartbreak Hotel” and many other songs by Elvis Presley had influenced and changed the lives of many musicians and rock icons in the ‘60s.

The song starts out slow with a kind of fuzzy-sounding guitar melody and a rhythmic percussion beat. Then, Lou Reed’s creative storytelling vocals join in, explaining young Jennie’s story, as well as contributing to The Velvet Underground’s classic sound that influenced their later albums. 

It’s also a song with a big summer vibe. Something about its background beat and Reed’s quiet and semi-blurry vocals creates a song that’s perfect for listening to at the beach or in car rides with the windows down.

As a current favorite and soon-to-be summer song, I suggest you open your favorite music streaming app and listen to “Rock & Roll” by The Velvet Underground.

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