Lou Reed’s earliest Velvet Underground demos unearthed for reissue | Lou Reed

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Lou Reed’s earliest variations of a number of the Velvet Underground’s best songs, together with I’m Ready for the Man and Heroin, have been unearthed and might be launched in August.The US file label Gentle within the Attic, in partnership with Reed’s widow Laurie Anderson, will launch Phrases & Music, Might 1965 as the primary album in a brand new archival sequence.It options demos of songs that Reed recorded with future Velvet Underground bandmate John Cale, and mailed to himself in a notarised bundle as a method of securing copyright on the recordings with out submitting the official paperwork. The five-inch reel-to-reel recordings remained sealed for practically 50 years and have been heard by virtually nobody earlier than.Reed performs the songs on acoustic guitar and harmonica, with Cale including vocal harmonies, making the performances extra akin to the people music of the time than the avant garde rock that the Velvet Underground would quickly pioneer. Two months later, in July 1965, guitarist Sterling Morrison had joined the group for one more spherical of demos, by November they have been known as the Velvet Underground, and by December their lineup was finalised with Maureen Tucker on drums.Of the songs demoed in Might 1965, I’m Ready for the Man and Heroin would find yourself on their 1967 debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico, whereas Pale Blue Eyes could be launched in a considerably completely different model on the band’s self-titled 1969 album.Among the lyrics on the Might 1965 demos additionally deviate from the later variations: the demo of Heroin opens with the road: “I do know simply the place I’m going,” and has some distinctive Reed traces that didn’t make the completed recording: “Individuals promoting individuals pound by pound / And the politicians and the clowns / And the do-gooders with their frowns.”Writing the liner notes for the discharge, US rock critic Greil Marcus mentioned: “The poverty in these songs – the bathtub-in-the-kitchen you hear of their clumsiness, the fifth-floor-walkup you possibly can hear of their defiance – helps you to hear them, now, as chalk on a wall, not the markings that wash away within the subsequent rain however inscriptions that in some way change into a part of the brick, even when in a 12 months or two nobody will be capable to learn them.”The reissue additionally options Reed-penned songs which have by no means been recorded since, such because the doo-wop-tinged Too Late, and the R&B observe Buzz Buzz Buzz. One other folk-tinged track, Males of Good Fortune, shares a title with a observe from Reed’s solo album Berlin however is totally completely different. Included with some variations of the reissue are unheard Reed songs from house recording periods in 1963 or 1964, plus doo-wop quantity Gee Whiz, recorded by Reed in 1958 when he was 16 years outdated.Phrases & Music, Might 1965 may also be obtainable on single LP, CD, cassette and 8-track codecs, in addition to on streaming and obtain companies. Clips of the songs will be heard now on Gentle within the Attic’s web site.

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