Listen to Lou Reed’s Earliest Known “Heroin” Demo

Written by on July 18, 2022


Light in the Attic and Laurie Anderson have released what is apparently the earliest known recording of “Heroin.” Lou Reed made his demo with John Cale in May 1965. The Velvet Underground’s final version of the song was released on The Velvet Underground & Nico in March 1967. Hear the demo below.

“Heroin (May 1965 Demo)” is taken from the archival collection Words & Music, May 1965—out August 26. In addition to “Heroin,” the album features the earliest known recordings of “I’m Waiting for the Man” and “Pale Blue Eyes.” The album also includes a Cale-fronted version of Nico’s Chelsea Girl song “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams,” a song called “Men of Good Fortune” (which shares a title with the Berlin track but has different lyrics and music), and a rarity oft-discussed in Velvet Underground mythology, “Buttercup Song.”

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