Listen To Lou Reed’s May 1965 ‘Heroin’ Demo

The track appears on the forthcoming first installment of the Lou Reed Archive Series.

By Andy Kahn Jul 18, 2022 8:08 am PDT

Lou Reed’s May 1965 demo of The Velvet Underground song “Heroin” is the latest preview of the initial Lou Reed Archive Series release. Issued by Light In The Attic Records and Reed’s partner Laurie Anderson, the first installment, Words & Music, May 1965, will be available on August 26.

Words & Music, May 1965 contains Reed’s early recordings of what became The Velvet Underground classics, “I’m Waiting for the Man,” “Pale Blue Eyes” and “Heroin,” alongside others. The songs were recorded to tape with the aid of Reed’s VU bandmate John Cale. The tape was mailed by Reed to himself to create a “poor man’s copyright” and it remained in a sealed envelope for nearly 50 years.

The original recording was remastered by Grammy-winning engineer John Baldwin. Words & Music, May 1965 was co-produced by Anderson, Don Fleming, Jason Stern, Hal Willner and Matt Sullivan.

“Heroin” appeared on The Velvet Underground’s 1967 debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico. A different “Heroin” demo recorded by Reed, Cale and Sterling Morrison in July 1965 appeared on the compilation album, Peel Slowly And See.

Listen to Lou Reed’s May 1965 demo of “Heroin” below:

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