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06 June 2022

Lou Reed Archive Series With Unreleased Songs Announced

Lou Reed
Lou Reed (left) with The Velvet Underground, Alamy
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Lou Reed is to be the subject of a new series of archive releases. Light in the Attic Records, in cooperation with Laurie Anderson, have announced the inaugural title in their Lou Reed Archive Series: Words & Music, May 1965.

Released in tandem with the late artist’s 80th birthday celebrations, the album offers an extraordinary, unvarnished, and plainly poignant insight into one of America’s true poet-songwriters. Capturing Reed in his formative years, this previously unreleased collection of songs—penned by a young Lou Reed, recorded to tape with the help of future bandmate John Cale, and mailed to himself as a “poor man’s copyright”—remained sealed in its original envelope and unopened for nearly 50 years. Its contents embody some of the most vital, groundbreaking contributions to American popular music committed to tape in the 20th century. Through examination of these songs rooted firmly in the folk tradition, we see clearly Lou’s lasting influence on the development of modern American music – from punk to art-rock and everything in between. A true time capsule, these recordings not only memorialize the nascent sparks of what would become the seeds of the incredibly influential Velvet Underground; they also cement Reed as a true observer with an innate talent for synthesizing and distilling the world around him into pure sonic poetry.

Featuring contributions from Reed’s future bandmate, John Cale, Words & Music, May 1965 presents in their entirety the earliest-known recordings of such historic songs as Heroin, I’m Waiting For The Man, and Pale Blue Eyes — all of which Reed would eventually record and make indelibly influential with The Velvet Underground. Also included are several more previously-unreleased compositions that offer additional insight into Reed’s creative process and early influences. Produced by Laurie Anderson, Don Fleming, Jason Stern, Hal Willner, and Matt Sullivan, the album features newly-remastered audio from the original tapes by GRAMMY®-nominated engineer, John Baldwin. Rounding out the package are new liner notes from acclaimed journalist and author, Greil Marcus, plus in-depth archival notes from Don Fleming and Jason Stern, who oversee the Lou Reed Archive.

Words & Music, May 1965:

01 I’m Waiting for the Man (May 1965 Demo)
02 Men of Good Fortune (May 1965 Demo)
03 Heroin (May 1965 Demo)
04 Too Late (May 1965 Demo)
05 Buttercup Song (May 1965 Demo)
06 Walk Alone (May 1965 Demo)
07 Buzz Buzz Buzz (May 1965 Demo)
08 Pale Blue Eyes (May 1965 Demo)
09 Stockpile (May 1965 Demo)
10 Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams (May 1965 Demo)
11 I’m Waiting for the Man (May 1965 Alternate Version)
12 Gee Whiz (1958 Rehearsal)
13 Baby, Let Me Follow You Down (1963/64 Home Recording)
14 Michael, Row The Boat Ashore (1963/64 Home Recording)
15 Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right (Partial) (1963/64 Home Recording)
16 W & X, Y, Z Blues (1963/64 Home Recording)
17 Lou’s 12-Bar Instrumental (1963/64 Home Recording)

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