Lou Reed’s Long Lost Track Reverses Classic Velvet Underground Song

One of Lou Reedonce the most famous songs sounded very different.

A long-lost demo of “Heroin,” the song he would eventually release with the Velvet Underground, shows the track in its earliest stages.

Light In The Attic Records stated that it was one of several songs Reid recorded in May 1965 with the help of fellow Velvet Underground co-founder John Cale. Reed mailed the notes to himself—”poor man’s copyright”—and the envelope lay unopened for nearly half a century.

These recordings will be included in “Words & Music, May 1965”, which will be released next month. But “Heroin” is available on YouTube right now, and it sounds more like something out of the Greenwich Village folk scene than what Reid would release two years later with the Velvets:

Here is the official version for comparison:

Last month, Light In The Attic Records released a demo of “I’m Waiting For The Man” from the same sessions:

“Words and Music, May 1965,” writes August. 26.