They are not an easy act to place in the history of popular music. Nor it is easy to identify the band as a unit, since members came and went.‘The Velvet Underground’, Witt says outright, ‘has always been a bit of a mess’. These liabilities are all somehow turned to strengths in Witt’s little marvel of a book. I began with suspicion, but it won me over completely: it is careful, funny, refreshing, usefully revisionist about the Velvets, and a corrective to all sorts of illnesses in the genre… he manages to defamiliarise the band and its career, while communicating all the necessary information. This is the true double task of the pop critic-historian, and Witts goes to creative, sometimes even comic lengths to accomplish it.
Mark Greif, London Review of Books
Academic books on popular subjects can be impenetrable balderdash but this one isn’t. The general reader… should be pretty satisfied. Above all it sends you back to the music.
Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian