What Goes On

The Velvet Underground

About What Goes On

"What Goes On" is a song by the Velvet Underground. It was the only single released from their 1969 eponymous third album. The song was recorded in 1968 at T. T. G. Studios in Hollywood. A concert performance of the song, with Doug Yule on keyboards, was included on their double live album 1969: The Velvet Underground Live.


Year:
1969
4:55
118 

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What goes on in your mind?
I think that I am falling down
What goes on in your mind?
I think that I am upside down
Baby, be good, do what you should
You know it will work alright
Baby, be good, do what you should
You know it will be alright

I'm going up, and I'm going down
I'm going to fly from side to side
See the bells up in the sky
Somebody's cut their string in two
Baby, be good, do what you should
You know it will work alright
Baby, be good, do what you should
You know it will be alright

One minute born, one minute doomed
One minute up and one minute down
What goes on in your mind?
I think that I am falling down
Baby, be good, do what you should
You know it will work alright
Baby, be good, do what you should
You know it will be alright

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The Velvet Underground

The Velvet Underground was an American rock band formed in New York City. First active from 1964 to 1973, their best-known members were Lou Reed and John Cale, who both went on to find success as solo artists. Although experiencing little commercial success while together, the band is often cited by many critics as one of the most important and influential groups of the 1960s. An often-repeated statement, made by Brian Eno in a 1982 interview, is that while the first Velvet Underground album may have sold only 30,000 copies in its early years, "everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band." more »

5 fans

Written by: Lou Reed

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind


12 facts about this song

Song Background
"What Goes On" is a track from the Velvet Underground's self-titled third album, released in 1969.
Songwriter Contribution
The song is primarily written by Lou Reed, lead singer of the band, a prominent figure in rock music who was known for his distinctive lyrics and voice.
Multiple Versions
Original versions of "What Goes On" were recorded in 1967 and 1968, before the final 1969 version that was officially released.
Raveonettes Cover
The song was covered by Danish rock band, the Raveonettes, in 2008. Their version was released as a bonus track on their album "Lust, Lust, Lust".
Track Length
The track has a playing time of 4 minutes and 54 seconds.
Song's Influence
"What Goes On" influenced many songs and bands in the punk and rock music genres.
Three Chord Song
The song is notable for only using three chords throughout the entire track.
Commercial Performance
While "What Goes On" wasn't released as a single, it helped the "The Velvet Underground" album to reach number 171 on the Billboard 200 — their highest placement at the time of release.
Popular in Live Performances
"What Goes On" became a signature song during Velvet Underground's live performances.
An Experimental Solo
The song features an extended, experimental guitar solo by Reed that maintains a central position in the track.
The Only Co-written song
This is the only co-written song in their third eponymous album. Reed shared the songwriting credits with Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker.
Song's Structure
"What Goes On" is a rock and roll tune built around a three-chord guitar pattern with a hard-driving rhythm.

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