At a time when the Rolling Stones were forbidden from singing about spending the night together on national television, the Velvet Underground was crafting songs about such taboo subjects as illegal drugs, sadomasochism and black angels of death. And that was just on their debut. Throughout their first three albums, VU continued to challenge societal norms through their lyrics and rock music itself through their unorthodox instrumental approach. Their sound was theirs alone, which proved to be an obstacle when it came to sales. The majority of popular music fans simply weren’t ready for the bleakly beautiful vision of VU. But for those who were, this LP trilogy was a clarion call, drawing together the outsiders who felt disenfranchised and unfulfilled by Top Forty fodder. Like time release capsules, these LPs became catalysts for change as they spread from city to city and were consumed by adventurous listeners. Bands formed, scenes coalesced and new musical paths emerged which would eventually branch off into punk, alternative, indie and more. Take a sample from any underground music genre and you’re likely to find VU DNA pulsing through its core.