The Velvet Underground was an American rock band from New York City, active between 1964 and 1973. Formed by singer/guitarist Lou Reed, multi-instrumentalist John Cale, guitarist Sterling Morrison, and drummer Angus Maclise (who was replaced by Maureen Tucker in 1965), the group was briefly managed by the pop artist Andy Warhol, and served as the house band at the Factory and Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable events from 1966 to 1967. The provocative subject matter, musical experimentation, and often nihilistic attitudes explored in their music would prove influential in the development of punk rock and alternative music.
Despite achieving little commercial success during its existence, the Velvet Underground are now recognized as among the most influential acts of the rock era for their integration of rock music with the avant-garde. Their 1967 debut album The Velvet Underground & Nico (featuring German singer and collaborator Nico) was called the “most prophetic rock album ever made” by Rolling Stone in 2003. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked the band No. 19 on its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 by Patti Smith.