A previously unreleased recording of The Velvet Underground’s Heroin has recently been issued by Light in the Attic and Laurie Anderson. This is apparently the earliest known recording of the song, laid-down when Lou Reed made his demo with John Cale in 1965. The Velvet Underground’s final version of the song was released on The Velvet Underground & Nico in March 1967.
This version of Heroin appears on an upcoming album entitled, Words & Music, May 1965, which is due out in early September via Light in the Attic Records. 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, (big rarity) Buttercup Song and Men of Good Fortune (which shares a title with the Berlin track but has different lyrics and music).
It’s all in the rawness and folky tinges, that’s where this song cultivates its charm! I do like this version….probably far more than the final one, too! Check it out above.