Loaded is a perfect rock’n’roll record: 40 minutes long, five songs to a side, and not a single wasted note. Originally released in 1970, the Velvet Underground’s fourth album marked the moment where Lou Reed’s early gig as a Pickwick Records song doctor ceased to be an amusing footnote to the band’s story and became their governing principle. Loaded is the sort of proper album that feels like a greatest hits collection, with each track thoroughly inhabiting and mastering a dominant rock archetype: the hippy-dippy, harmony-rich singalong; the sneering, street walkin’ prowler; the cheeky honky-tonk throwback; the wedding slow-dance standard; the dirty blues grind; the lighter-waving, anthemic grand finale. Loaded remains the one Velvets album you can put on at a house party among mixed company without killing the vibe or sending people running for the door, and it contains the only song in their repertoire—”Sweet Jane”—that you have any hope of hearing on an oldies station today. This 6 disc set is essential to an Velvet’s hardcore fan.