New Lou Reed Archival Release Series Announced

Fans of musical icon and New York’s own, the great, late Lou Reed, will soon be able to hear some new and previously unreleased material as part of a new archival release series. In partnership with Reed’s widow, Laurie Anderson, acclaimed label Light in the Attic will release the first album of the series, Words & Music, May 1965, later this summer on Aug. 26. It features some of the some earlier takes on Velvet Underground classics like “Heroin,” “I’m Waiting for the Man,” and “Pale Blue Eyes” that Reed helped craft along with fellow VU co-founder John Cale.

Lou Reed

This newly unearthed material is the result of a five-inch reel of recordings that Reed mailed to himself in the form of a “poor man’s copyright” back in 1965. It went untouched for nearly 50 years, only discovered after the artist’s death in 2013. The raw, grainy material gives an early inside look at the genius of Reed and, per music journalist Greil Marcus in the liner notes, “They make a darkness, and Reed and Cale try to feel their way through it. In ‘Heroin,’ there’s just a hint of the hurricane it will become and the enormous authority it will carry two years later. … ‘Pale Blue Eyes’ says go farther, there’s no end to this, and you know that they will go farther — they’re almost there.”

Words & Music, May 1965 will be available in several formats, including LP, cassette, 8-track, digital and CD, and can be preordered here. The deluxe two-LP edition, is being limited to 7,500 copies and also includes an additional 7″ record that features six other early songs and a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright.” The full track listings for both albums can be seen below.

In addition to this, the five-inch reel itself will be physically on display this week, along with other Reed-related artifacts, at Lou Reed: Caught Between the Twisted Stars. The exhibition opens on June 9 at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

“This collection is to inspire people,” Anderson said in a recent NY Times interview. “It’s not necessarily to say, ‘Here’s the real Lou Reed.’ That’s never what it was meant to be. Here’s a lot of his music and how he did it. Be inspired by it. But it’s not and can’t be a real picture of the man.”

Lou Reed, ‘Words & Music, May 1965’ Track Listing
1. “I’m Waiting for the Man” (May 1965 Demo)
2. “Men of Good Fortune” (May 1965 Demo) *
3. “Heroin” (May 1965 Demo)
4. “Too Late” (May 1965 Demo) *
5. “Buttercup Song” (May 1965 Demo)
6. “Walk Alone” (May 1965 Demo)
7. “Buzz Buzz Buzz (May 1965 Demo)
8. “Pale Blue Eyes” (May 1965 Demo)
9. “Stockpile” (May 1965 Demo) *
10. “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams” (May 1965 Demo)
11. “I’m Waiting for the Man” (May 1965 Alternate Version)
1. “Gee Whiz” – (1958 Rehearsal) *
2. “Baby, Let Me Follow You Down” (1963/64 Home Recording)
3. “Michael, Row The Boat Ashore” (1963/64 Home Recording)
4. “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” (Partial) (1963/64 Home Recording)
5. “W & X, Y, Z Blues” (1963/64 Home Recording) *
6. “Lou’s 12-Bar Instrumental” (1963/64 Home Recording) *

* Previously unheard composition

Comments are closed.