Photo: .dannynorton

50-Year Old Lou Reed Demo Revealed: Look + Listen

Declaring that he wrote the words and music, Lou Reed announces “I’m Waiting for the Man,” the title of a previously unreleased song demo from 1965.

The earliest known recording of the New York classic pre-dates the Velvet Underground, with whom Reed released it two years later on The Velvet Underground & Nico LP. Due out August. 26, the demo is off Words & Music, May 1965, the first installment from the Lou Reed Archive Series.

Sealing them in an envelope he addressed to himself – and where they remained unheard for nearly 50 years – Reed recorded the demos with future bandmate John Cale, And in celebration of what would have been Reed’s 80th birthday on March 2, Light in the Attic teamed up with Laurie Anderson for the series,.

Other tracks include Velvet classics like “Pale Blue Eyes” and “Heroin,” as well as Reed’s version of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” and “Baby, Let Me Follow You Down.” Several songs are previously unreleased, from “Men of Good Fortune” to “Stockpile” to “Gee Whiz.” The collection will be released in various formats, with a deluxe edition that contains a 7-inch of these unheard rarities pressed at Jack White’s Third Man Records.

Newly remastered by John Baldwin with liner notes by Greil Marcus, Anderson produced Words & Music with Don Fleming, Jason Stern, Matt Sullivan, and the late Hal Willner.

“The poverty in these songs — the bathtub-in-the-kitchen you hear in their clumsiness, the fifth-floor-walkup you can hear in their defiance — lets you hear them, now, as chalk on a wall, not the markings that wash away in the next rain but inscriptions that somehow become part of the brick, even if in a year or two no one will be able to read them,” Marcus writes.

Opening June 9 at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Fleming and Stern also curated the upcoming exhibit Lou Reed: Caught Between the Twisted Stars and Light in the Attic will celebrate the Archives release with the podcast hosted by TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, out Aug. 26.

Words & Music, May 1965 Deluxe Edition Tracklist
1. I’m Waiting for the Man (May 1965 Demo)
2. Men of Good Fortune (May 1965 Demo) *
3. Heroin (May 1965 Demo)
4. Too Late (May 1965 Demo) *
5. Buttercup Song (May 1965 Demo)
6. Walk Alone (May 1965 Demo)
7. Buzz Buzz Buzz (May 1965 Demo)
8. Pale Blue Eyes (May 1965 Demo)
9. Stockpile (May 1965 Demo) *
10. Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams (May 1965 Demo)
11. I’m Waiting for the Man (May 1965 Alternate Version)

1. Gee Whiz – (1958 Rehearsal) *
2. Baby, Let Me Follow You Down (1963/64 Home Recording)
3. Michael, Row The Boat Ashore (1963/64 Home Recording)
4. Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right (Partial) (1963/64 Home Recording)
5. W & X, Y, Z Blues (1963/64 Home Recording) *
6. Lou’s 12-Bar Instrumental (1963/64 Home Recording) *

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Author: Saul Goode

Photo: .dannynorton