And Finally Artist News Releases

Lou Reed’s earliest known demo of Heroin released

By | Published on Tuesday 19 July 2022

Lou Reed

Lou Reed’s 1965 demo of Velvet Underground song ‘Heroin’ has been released, ahead of a new compilation of archival material to mark what would have been his 80th birthday.

The track was recorded with John Cale two years before the release of the band’s debut album, ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’, and is around half the length of the final version.

In an effort to gain copyright protection for the recording, Reed posted the tape to himself in an envelope that then remained sealed for over 50 years. It’s a myth that mailing work to yourself somehow instigates copyright protection, by the way, but that fact doesn’t seem to have harmed Reed at all.

The release follows the demo version of ‘I’m Waiting For The Man’, which came out last month. Both tracks will feature on new compilation ‘Words & Music, May 1965’, which is set for release on 26 Aug through Light In The Attic Records through a partnership with Reed’s widow, Laurie Anderson.

Reed died in 2013, following several bouts of ill health relating to liver failure, and five months after a liver transplant. He was 71.

Listen to the 1965 demo of ‘Heroin’ here: