The Velvet Underground

Studio and home recordings

This list is unfortunately not exhaustive
many Velvet Underground recordings remain unknown.

--- unreleased --- bootleg only


1964 (?)

  1. Loop

1 : flexi-disc included in Aspen Vol. 1, No. 3, December 1966.

Despite the track is credited to The Velvet Underground, this could be actually John Cale only. The flexi credits say: "First half of a 15-minute recording made with 2 monaural tape recorders".


December 3, 1964
Walter De Maria's Bond Street loft, New York City, New York

John Cale - Tony Conrad - Walter De Maria - Lou Reed - Jimmie Sims

  1. Won't You Smile (1st take)
  2. The Ostrich (1st take)
  3. The Ostrich (2nd take)
  4. Won't You Smile (2nd take)
  5. Johnny Won't Surf Anymore
  6. Teardrops In The Sand
  7. Sad Lonely Orphan Boy
  8. Shame, Shame, Shame

A full review of this Primitives rehearsal tape is available in Beyond The Dream Syndicate - Tony Conrad and the Arts after Cage by Branden W. Joseph. Won't You Smile is an early version of Why Don't You Smile Now. Shame, Shame, Shame is a Jimmy Reed's cover.


May 11, 1965
Pickwick Studios, near Long Island City, New York

8-16 43rd Ave, Queens, NY 11101
Google Maps May 11, 1965 tape

John Cale - Lou Reed - Jerry Vance or Jimmie Sims

  1. Buzz Buzz Buzz (one complete take + a couple of attempts breaking down)
  2. Why Don't You Smile Now
  3. Heroin (take 1)
  4. Heroin (take 2)
  5. Untitled Piano Piece 1
  6. Untitled Piano Piece 1

A full review of this demo tape is available in White Light/White Heat | The Velvet Underground Day by Day by Richie Unterberger. Buzz Buzz Buzz is a Lou Reed original, not a cover of the 1957 hit by The Hollywood Flames. Untitled Piano Pieces are by John Cale alone.

Heroin (take 2) was played by Hal Willner during the memorial for Lou Reed on December 16, 2013 at the Apollo Theater In New York NY.


May 1965
Unknown location

John Cale - Lou Reed

Listed as "560539 Velvet Underground Lou Reed and John Cale [Demo] 1965" in Lou Reed papers 1958-2015 | The New York Public Library Music Division.

The five-inch reel-to-reel tape was discovered in a sealed packaged, hidden behind some CDs in Reed’s study. Lou Reed mailed the tape to himself on May 11, 1965, the reason for which is known as "the poor man's copyright."

Photos of the package were posted on Lou Reed's Facebook page on July 17, 2014.

Lou Reed archivist Don Fleming opened the tape early 2018 to discover that it contained what is believed to be the first recorded version of I’m Waiting For The Man, among other previously unheard tracks.

Don Fleming: "The most fascinating thing of all is a package that was in his office on a shelf. It was a tape he had mailed to himself in 1965 to self-copyright some songs and it had never been opened. It was unopened on the shelf when we found it, and we didn’t open it until after the library acquired the collection because we weren’t sure really if we should, but eventually after talking it over with everyone we decided to carefully open it and make a transfer. It turned out to be eleven demos, where he is doing it for the purpose of copyright because before each one he says “Lyrics and music by Lou Reed.” I think four of the songs became Velvet Underground songs and then the rest of them didn’t and were unknown."
in Lou Reed's Archive Holds Six Hundred Hours Of Mostly Unreleased Audio, And Other Revelations By His Archivist by Michael Shelley, at Please Kill Me, October 17, 2018

About one minute of I'm Waiting For The Man demo has been broadcasted on March 2, 2019 by BBC Radio 4 during Archive on 4 | Walking the Wild Mind Lou Reed special.

Additional info:
Lou Reed demo of Iím Waiting For The Man discovered, Irish Examiner, February 25, 2019
New Lou Reed doc to premiere 1965 demo of “I’m Waiting For The Man”, UNCUT, February 27, 2019

Track 1:

  1. Men Of Good Fortune
  2. Heroin
  3. Put your Money Down
  4. Buttercup or Never Get Emotionally Involved With A Man, Woman, Beast, or Child
  5. Walk Alone
  6. I'm Waiting For The Man
  7. Too Late
  8. Pale Blue Eyes
  9. Stockpile
  10. Buzz Buzz Buzz
  11. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams (sung by John Cale)

Track 2:

  1. I'm Waiting For The Man
  2. Put Your Money Down On The Table
  3. Put Your Money Down On The Table
  4. Too Late
  5. Pale Blue Eyes
  6. [Electric Guitar Noise]
  7. [Instrumental Jam]
  8. [original audio that was taped over. Someone named Roz making a mix tape for "Jack"]
  9. Stockpile
  10. Buzz Buzz Buzz
  11. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams (sung by John Cale)

July 1965
John Cale's Ludlow Street loft, New York City, New York

56 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002

  1. Heroin
  2. Venus In Furs
  3. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams
  4. Black Angel's Death Song
  5. Never Get Emotionally Involved With Man, Woman, Beast Or Child

Copies of this demo tape were supposedly sent out to several people in England, one of whom was Miles Copeland. Current status: LOST... until March 2, 2018 when a short "Happy Birthday" video published on Lou Reed's Facebook page has a dozen of seconds of Never Get Emotionally Involved With Man, Woman, Beast Or Child.


July 1965
John Cale's Ludlow Street loft, New York City, New York

56 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002

  1. Venus In Furs (15:33)
  2. Prominent Men (4:53)
  3. Heroin (13:34)
  4. I'm Waiting For The Man (9:50)
  5. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams (15:50)
  6. All Tomorrow's Parties (18:26)

1-6 : Peel Slowly And See 5-CD box set, 1995

This demo tape was discovered by John Cale in his basement. The discovery was announced in a news item in April 15, 1995 issue of Melody Maker (p. 3).

"There's still stuff down there that I just haven't had the heart to... rummage around in," Cale says. "I knew, kind of, which boxes had what in them. I picked one and took it to Polygram. I was wrong. What I was given back on a DAT was not what I thought was on that tape at all." Levenson says that the original 94-minute demo showed up unannounced at his office this Spring [ed: 1995], after the rest of the box had been remastered. He says, "We decided to edit it down to 79 minutes to fit it on one CD - basically, the editing was taking a lot of space out - and go with it as the first disc." [in Billboard, August 19, 1995]


December 1965
New York City, New York

  1. There Is No Reason (2:13)
  2. Sheltered Life [take 1] (2:51)
  3. Sheltered Life [take 2] (2:54)
  4. It's Allright (The Way That You Live) (2:48)
  5. I'm Not Too Sorry (Now That You're Gone) (2:18)
  6. Here She Comes Now [take 1, with false start] (2:47)
  7. Here She Comes Now [take 2] (2:27)

1, 3-6 : Peel Slowly And See 5-CD box set, 1995.
2,7: remain officially unreleased but are available on bootlegs - Ultra Rare Tacks Vol. 2 CD has both missing takes.

The actual place and date for these recordings remain unclear.

"According to Sterling Morrison, these songs were recorded in an unheated studio on Broom St. in New York City in the winter of 1966, "probably in November or December." They were recorded on a wobbly Wollensack tape machine, intented as demos to copyright the songs. Maureen Tucker had already joined the group, but did not play with them when these tapes were made." - Philip Milstein, And So On liner notes.

In Peel Slowly And See boxed set liner notes, those tracks are said to be "recorded early 1967 at John Cale's Ludlow Street loft in lower Manhattan".

Lou Reed moves into the 56 Ludlow Street apartement in Spring 1965. The band move to 450 Grand Street early Autumn 1965, and leaves the Factory for a rehearsal space on Broome Street in August 1966.


Week of April 18-23, 1966
Scepter Studios, New York City, New York

254 W 54th St, New York, NY 10019
Google Maps

John Cale - Sterling Morrison - Lou Reed - Maureen Tucker

Sound engineers: Norman Dolph & John Licata

  1. European Son
  2. Black Angel Of Death
  3. All Tomorrow's Parties
  4. I'll Be Your Mirror
  5. Heroin
  6. Femme Fatale
  7. Venus In Furs
  8. Waiting For The Man
  9. Run Run Run
  10. There She Goes Again (?)

Those tracks were originally issued on various bootlegs: Ultimate Mono And Acetates Album 3-CD Disc 1 2005 (1-9), The Velvet Underground & Nico Unripened CD & LP 2007 (1-9), Dispatches From The Dream Factory 3-CD Disc 1 2008 (1, 3, 5, 7-8).

The Scepter sessions were officially released in October 2012 as part of the "45th Anniversary Deluxe Edition" of The Velvet Underground & Nico.

The versions of Heroin, I'm Waiting For The Man, and Venus In Furs are quite different from the ones available on The Velvet Underground & Nico album. Also some of the mixes are a little different than the album final versions.

European Son is a longer version with a one-minute extra guitar solo after the 'plate break', which was probably edited out for the final release.

All Tomorrow's Parties is the alternate 'single voice' version.

I'll Be Your Mirror is possibly the same take, but with alternate Nico vocal track. Nico ends second verse with "to show that you're home" instead of "so you won't be afraid", and it has quieter "reflect what you are" backing vocals at the end.

The version of Heroin has different lyrics starting with "I know just where I'm going" instead of "I don't know just where I'm going", a shorter intro before the lyrics start as well as a significantly different guitar line.

Femme Fatale seems to be the same take but with alternate 'falsetto' "she's a femme fatale" backing vocals.

Venus In Furs is an alternate take as well.

Waiting For The Man starts with the lyrics "waiting for the man" in N. Dolph's version but starts with "waiting for my man" as well near the end of the released version Lou Reed says "walk it on home" which is absent on the released version.

According to Norman Dolph There She Goes Again was on the original session, and might not be the same recording as can be heard on the album. Moreover, the 45th Anniversary Edition credits list the song as part of the May 1966 T.T.G. Studios sessions.

This session is available on a studio acetate dated April 25, 1966 cut for the recording engineer Norman Dolph. The information on the record labels (there is no cover) reads as such:

XTV-122402
The Velvet Underground
Side I
Att
Mr-N-Dolph
4-25-66

XTV-122401
The Velvet Underground
Side II
Att
Mr-N-Dolph
4-25-66

Norman Dolph recalled the acetate as something that was pressed at Columbia, he recognized the matrix number, he was working at Columbia at the time and so sent the master tapes upstairs to get a acetate cut, he used this acetate to submit to Columbia executives to see if they were interested in releasing the thing, apparently he still has the rejection letter from them essentially saying "are you out of your fucking mind" his words. He thinks that he may have given the acetate to either Warhol or Cale when Columbia sent it back to him.

Norman Dolph: "I suspect the original tape is on Columbia Record Productions shelf at Columbia Records Archive Storage in Iron Mountain. I know there will be a blue 5 x 7 index card there which will list all the facts about the tape and the disk and to whom the tape was returned if the tape is not there. If I am listed as the returnee of the tape, then I gave it back to Warhol - but I don't recall handling anything but the acetate after the fact. It is my belief that Warhol/VU kept the multitrack master and the reference acetate. The tape from which the reference was cut (John Licata's mix) could still be sitting in the vault at Iron Mountain. Filed under that XTV number."[originally reported in The Velvet Forum]

Norman Dolph: "I was the tape's original producer (see John Cale's remarks in Rolling Stone) and arrange for the studio. Warhol paid the bills directly and was in the control room with his cassette recorder most of the time, taping the proceedings. He paid me for my services as producer with a large silver, disaster-series painting. I got the job because I knew Warhol from the art world, and he needeed somebody in the record business.
As a 'producer', there was not much to do but slate the takes and keep the tape rolling. Lou Reed was very clear about what he wanted and the playback either satisfied him or it didn't. There was very little (if any) intercutting. The takes were either bought whole, or done over. The project was completed in about four days, over a period of about a week.
It was cut in Scepter Records Studios on 54th Street in New York, the same room that was used for The Shirelles and Dionne Warwick at the time, and the half-inch, four-track master tape was engineered by John Licata, who mixed it down originally as well. A patient, talented and worthy contributor to the whole project, Licata had a deal with Scepter in which they allowed him to freelance sessions in the studio when it was not booked.
I had been working at Columbia Records for the previous seven years. We cut reference acetates and submitted them to Columbia, with one rejection note, as well as the lead sheets for 'Femme Fatale' and 'All Tomorrow's Parties' in Lou Reed's handwriting. At this point, the group got in touch with Tom Wilson, who remixed the tape, and it was released as the "Banana" album on MGM-Verve.
I think it's fair to say that no-one in the room at the time, on either side of the glass, knew they were cutting one of the top ten rock albums of all time. Lou and John wanted to get out of the speakers pretty much the same raw energy that they put out to a live audience. In retrospect, I was very lucky to have been one of an audienceof three on the other side of the glass to whom that energy was put out!
It wouldn't surprise me if there isn't a reel or two of aot-takes still sitting in Columbia's vault, which was located at the time at 49 East 52nd Street." [in a letter originally published in Vox 36, September 1993]

Scepter acetate - Moe Tucker's copy coverThe acetate was discovered (and bought for $0.75!) around 2004 at a yard sale in Chelsea, New York. An incomplete 'edited' version was released as bonus CDR with the 100 first copies of At The Factory - Warhol Tapes bootleg CD. Another copy belongs to Moe Tucker, and features a handwritten cover by Sterling Morrison. A (more scratchy) copy - from unknown source - was used for the Ultimate Mono And Acetates Album bootleg which offers the complete recording.

The 'acetate' is officially released in 2012 as part of the 45th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of The Velvet Underground & Nico. Just one of the two original Scepter tapes seems to have survived including versions of European Son, The Black Angel's Death Song, All Tomorrow's Parties & Heroin.

Recording session at Scepter Studios photos by Nat Finkelstein are available in Up-tight | The Velvet Underground Story (p. 45), in Peel Slowly And See booklet (p. 20 & 47), in Warhol Live catalogue (p. 162, cat. 418 & #62-66), in UNCUT magazine, Take 151, December 2009 (p. 58), in The Velvet Underground & Nico | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition 6CD (p. 24, 26-27). Despite those photos are usually credited as shot at T.T.G. Studios in Hollywood CA, they really are from Scepter sessions - as confirmed by Norman Dolph himself.

Some other photos by Steve Schapiro are available in Warhol Underground catalogue (p. 48-49), and some more at gettyimages.com.

Norman Dolph Interview by Richie Unterberger.


May 1966
T.T.G. Studios, Los Angeles, California

1441 N McCadden Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Google Maps

John Cale - Sterling Morrison - Lou Reed - Maureen Tucker

Sound engineer: Omi Haden

  1. I'm Waiting For The Man
  2. Femme Fatale (alternate backing harmonies)
  3. Venus In Furs
  4. Heroin
  5. There She Goes Again
  6. All Tomorrow's Parties (overdubs)
  7. I'll Be Your Mirror (overdubs)

1-7 : The Velvet Underground & Nico, 1967

According to the Peel Slowly And See CD box booklet, I'm Waiting For The Man, Venus In Furs & Heroin were the 3 tracks re-recorded at T.T.G. for The Velvet Underground And Nico album. The 45th Anniversary edition credits add There She Goes Again, and All Tomorrow's Parties & I'll Be Your Mirror overdubs to this session. The different backup harmonies in Femme Fatale could also have been done at T.T.G.


April 1966
Scepter Studios, New York City, New York
May 1966
T.T.G. Studios, Hollywood, California

Title Version Time Studios First release 45th Anniversary
Super Deluxe Edition
Notes
Sunday Morning stereo version 2:55.61 Mayfair Sound 1967 Verve V6-5008 Disc 1 - Track 1 sped up
mono version 2:55.12 Mayfair Sound 1967 Verve V-5008 Disc 2 - Track 1 sped up
mono single version 2:59.43 Mayfair Sound 1966 Verve VK-10466
2002 Deluxe Edition
- sped up, with intro chatter
mono single alternate mix 3:13.22 Mayfair Sound 2012 Super Deluxe Edition Disc 2 - Track 14 longer intro chatter, slower proper speed, fades later
I'm Waiting For The Man stereo version 4:39:39 T.T.G. 1967 Verve V6-5008 Disc 1 - Track 2  
mono version 4:46.09 T.T.G. 1967 Verve V-5008 Disc 2 - Track 2 fades later than stereo
alternate version mono 4:10.07 Scepter 2012 Deluxe Edition Disc 4 - Track 8 from acetate
Femme Fatale stereo version 2:39.00 Scepter + T.T.G. (backup harmonies) 1967 Verve V6-5008 Disc 1 - Track 3  
mono version 2:38.29 Scepter + T.T.G. (backup harmonies) 1967 Verve V-5008 Disc 2 - Track 3  
alternate mix mono 2:35.68 Scepter 2012 Deluxe Edition Disc 4 - Track 6 from acetate
mono single version 2:37.17 Scepter + T.T.G. (backup harmonies) 1966 Verve VK-10466 Disc 2 - Track 15  
Venus In Furs stereo version 5:12.19 T.T.G. 1967 Verve V6-5008 Disc 1 - Tack 4  
mono version 5:13.29 T.T.G. 1967 Verve V-5008 Disc 2 - Track 4  
alternate version mono 4:29.35 Scepter   Disc 4 - Track 7 from acetate
Run Run Run stereo version 4:22.27 Scepter 1967 Verve V6-5008 Disc 1 - Track 5  
mono version 4:24:18 Scepter 1967 Verve V-5008 Disc 2 - Track 5  
alternate mix mono 4:23.53 Scepter   Disc 4 - Track 9 from acetate
All Tomorrow's Parties stereo version 5:59.51 Scepter + T.T.G. (overdubs) 1967 Verve V6-5008 Disc 1 - Track 6  
mono version 6:00.17 Scepter + T.T.G. (overdubs) 1967 Verve V-5008 Disc 2 - Track 6  
alternate single voice version 5:57.48 Scepter mid-80s reissues Disc 1 - Track 12  
alternate instrumental mix 5:51.72 Scepter 2012 Disc 1 - Track 15  
alternate version mono 5:53.62 Scepter   Disc 4 - Track 3 from tape
mono single version 2:51.44 Scepter 1966 Verve VK-10427 Disc 2 - Track 12  
Heroin stereo version 7:13.43 T.T.G. 1967 Verve V6-5008

Disc 1 - Track 7

 
mono version 7:14.17 T.T.G. 1967 Verve V-5008 Disc 2 - Track 7  
alternate version stereo 6:17.64 Scepter 2012 Disc 1 - Track 14 from tape
alternate version mono 6:16.45 Scepter 2012 Disc 4 - Track 5 from tape
There She Goes Again stereo version 2:41.02 T.T.G. 1967 Verve V6-5008 Disc 1 - Track 8  
mono version 2:41.19 T.T.G. 1967 Verve V-5008 Disc 2 - Track 8  
I'll Be Your Mirror stereo version 2:14.03 Scepter + T.T.G. (overdubs) 1967 Verve V6-5008 Disc 1 - Track 9  
mono version 2:14.43 Scepter + T.T.G. (overdubs) 1967 Verve V-5008 Disc 2 - Track 9  
alternate mix 2:20.26 Scepter 2012 Deluxe Edition Disc 1 - Track 16  
alternate version mono 2:11.10 Scepter 2012 Deluxe Edition Disc 4 - Track 4 from acetate
mono single version 2:18.05 Scepter 1966 Verve VK-10427 Disc 2 - Track 13  
The Black Angel's Death Song stereo version 3:12.04 Scepter 1967 Verve V6-5008 Disc 1 - Track 10  
mono version 3:13.48 Scepter 1967 Verve V-5008 Disc 2 - Track 10  
alternate mix mono 3:15.73 Scepter 2012 Deluxe Edition Disc 4 - Track 2 from tape
European Son stereo version 7:52.00 Scepter 1967 Verve V6-5008 Disc 1 - Track 11  
mono version 7:57.56 Scepter 1967 Verve V-5008 Disc 2 - Track 11  
alternate version stereo 9:06.52 Scepter 2012 Deluxe Edition Disc 1 - Track 13 from tape
alternate version mono 9:02.41 Scepter 2012 Deluxe Edition Disc 4 - Track 1 from tape

All the songs with the exception of Sunday Morning were supposedly originally recorded at Scepter studios with Andy Warhol and Norman Dolph behind the board. Then some songs (Waiting For The Man, Venus In Furs, Heroin according to the Peel Slowly And See booklet) were re-recorded during a two-day session at TTG Studios with Tom Wilson. Missing on the Scepter acetate, There She Goes Again could also have been recorded at T.T.G. Some overdubs could have been done during this session for All Tomorrow's Parties, Femme Fatale, and I'll Be Your Mirror. Sunday Morning written after the TTG sessions was recorded back in New York at Mayfair Sound with Tom Wilson - read below.

Try to pick up a vinyl mono copy - according to Sterling Morrison, mono was the only mix that they attempted to do. The stereo was probably done by Tom Wilson. The current remastered CD releases offer an excellent stereo remaster, far superior to the original 1986 CD editions.

The "Verve VK-10427" 45 offers an "alternate" 2:45 edited version of All Tomorrow's Parties with a hotter sonically-boosted mix.

The first 1986 CD release has All Tomorrow's Parties credited as "previously unreleased". When the master tapes of the album were dug out for CD remastering, they included an alternate version of the song (actually an alternate mix, also known as the "single voice" version, with one vocal track when she double-tracked her vocal on the original LP mix), which had only been given the thumbs in 1966 at the very last minute. Bill Levenson, the executive producer at Polygram responsible for all their Velvet Underground CD releases, decided to include this alternate version on the CD as a surprise bonus for fans. It became less of a surprise, though, when - contrary to his instructions - the CD actually labelled this version as "previously unreleased".

The Best of The Velvet Underground (Verve 841 164-2, 1989) has an extented version of I'm Waiting For The Man which fades about 8-10 seconds later as compared with the other CD versions.

The Australian What Goes On 3-CD set (Raven Records RVCD-28, 1993) offers 8 tracks in mono. The source for those mono versions has often been discussed and in 2002, Ian McFarlane at Raven Records got Raven director Kevin to pull out the VU file and according to paperwork on file and notes at the time, they were supplied by PolyGram with a DAT transfer from the mono master in their tape archives.

Mobile Fidely Sound Lab has released in 1997 a 24-karat gold audiophile CD which offer an excellent (the best?) stereo rendition.

Nico's compilation CD The Classic Years - released in 1998 - has a version of I'll Be Your Mirror which doesn't fade out as do all other available versions until the 2002 Deluxe Edition.

The 2002 2-CD Deluxe Edition offers same stereo mix as the 1996 remastered edition, the original mono mix, and the single versions of All Tomorrow's Parties, I'll Be Your Mirror (which doesn't fade), Sunday Morning (with brief additional intro studio chatter), and Femme Fatale. The source used for the mono version was a production copy of the mono master. This was originally intended, and indeed used for overseas pressings. Although the tape was in good shape, there was a bit of restoration needed - Sunday Morning was a considerable challenge (lots of noise and restoration of the first note which is missing in every other edition but this one). There are also edits in the master which unfortunately are there for good.

The 2012 45th Anniversary Edition has both remastered stereo and mono versions but also the original Scepter recordings which were originally cut on the famous 'Norman Dolph' acetate. The Super Deluxe edition offers also the single versions, with a noticeable 'single' version of Sunday Morning running here for the first time at the proper slower speed with a longer studio chatter intro.


August 6, 1966
RLA Sound Studios, New York City, New York

  1. Noise

1 : The East Village Other - Electric News Paper - Hiroshima Day, 1966

One-and-a-half minute of instrumental improvisationover a radio report of the wedding of Luci Johnson. According to Richard Alderson, the owner/engineer at RLA, the radio was there in the studio with the band, and the track was recorded direct to 2-track with just a couple of ambient mics.


October or November 1966
Mayfair Sound Studios, New York City, New York

701 7th Ave, New York, NY 10036
Google Maps

John Cale - Sterling Morrison - Lou Reed - Maureen Tucker

Producer: Tom Wilson
Sound engineer: Gary Kellgren

  1. Sunday Morning (2:53)

1: Sunday Morning/Femme Fatale single, 1966; The Velvet Underground And Nico, 1967.

The orginal recording has a little static noise at intro. The 2002 2-CD Deluxe Edition has an attempt to correct that defect. It also offers among bonus tracks the single version of Sunday Morning with brief additional intro studio chatter.

Sunday Morning was sped up slightly for its release on both the single and the banana album. An alternate mix of the track running at its proper slower speed (also with longer studio chatter intro) is included on the 2012 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition of The Velvet Underground & Nico.


April/May 1967
Mayfair Sound Studios, New York City, New York

701 7th Ave, New York, NY 10036
Google Maps

Producer: Tom Wilson
Sound engineer: Gary Kellgren

  1. Little Sister (4:22)
  2. Winter Song (3:17)
  3. It Was A Pleasure Then (8:02)
  4. Chelsea Girls (7:22)
  5. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams (5:07)

1-5 : Nico, Chelsea Girl, 1967


Mayfair Studio acetate

September 1967
Mayfair Sound Studios, New York City, New York

701 7th Ave, New York, NY 10036
Google Maps

John Cale - Sterling Morrison - Lou Reed - Maureen Tucker

Producer: Tom Wilson
Sound engineer: Gary Kellgren

  1. White Light/White Heat (2:45)
  2. The Gift (8:17)
  3. Lady Godiva's Operation (4:54)
  4. Here She Comes Now (2:02)
  5. I Heard Her Call My Name [new version] (4:36)
  6. I Heard Her Call My Name [old version] (4:05)
  7. Sister Ray (17:27)

1-5, 7 : White Light/White Heat, 1968
6: unreleased

Original title for Sister Ray was Searchin' - it's moreover credited as such on the original 8-track and Ampex cassette releases.


December 5, 1967

  1. Guess I'm Falling In Love (instrumental version) (3:35)

1 : Another View, 1986


December 17 & 18, 1967?
unknown location

Listed as "560541 Work on New Song Called "Ondine" - Piano Ballad - Dec 17+8 0-20 [Velvet Underground] circa 1967-1968" in Lou Reed papers 1958-2015 | The New York Public Library Music Division.

  1. [Piano Ballad]
  2. [Delay effect sounds with piano]
  3. [Piano Ballad]
  4. [Piano Ballad]
  5. [Jam]

February 13, 1968
A&R Studios, New York City, New York

112 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036
Google Maps

John Cale - Sterling Morrison - Lou Reed - Maureen Tucker

  1. Stephanie Says (2:48)
  2. Stephanie Says [original mix] (2:48)

1 : VU, 1985
2: Gold, 2005

This song originally surfaced in a rough mix version from acetate in 1982 on And So On bootleg LP. This mono mix is also available on Collector's Dream CD and A Walk With The Velvet Underground 5-CD (both run too fast however).

The VU version was mixed and engineered in June 1984 by Michael Barbiero at MediaSound Studios in NYC.

The original mix was previously unreleased until it surfaced on the 2005 Gold 2CD collection. The main difference is that left and right channels are inverted.


February 14, 1968
A&R Studios, New York City, New York

112 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036
Google Maps

John Cale - Sterling Morrison - Lou Reed - Maureen Tucker

  1. Temptation Inside Your Heart (2:30)
  2. Temptation Inside Your Heart [original mix] (2:30)

1 : VU, 1985
2: Gold, 2005

The original "rough mix" demo of Inside Your Heart originally surfaced in 1976 on the White Heat EP. It's also available on Etc LP, Everything You've Ever Heard About 3-LP, A Young Person's Guide CD, Collector's Dream CD, Ultra Rare Tracks Vol. 2 CD, A Walk With The Velvet Underground 5-CD.

The VU version was mixed and engineered in June 1984 by Michael Barbiero at MediaSound Studios in NYC - it has 4 additional seconds of studio chatter at the end.

The original mix was previously unreleased until it surfaced on the 2005 Gold 2CD collection.


May 29, 1968
T.T.G., Inc. Sunset-Highland Recording Studios, Hollywood, California

1441 N McCadden Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Google Maps

John Cale - Sterling Morrison - Lou Reed - Maureen Tucker

  1. Hey Mr. Rain [Version I] (4:40)
  2. Hey Mr. Rain [Version II] (5:25)
  3. I'm Beginning To See The Light (4:39)

1, 2 : Another View, 1986
3 : White Light/White Heat 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition, 2013


November/December 1968
Sunset and Highland Sound, Hollywood, California

If You Close The Door acetate

Sterling Morrison - Lou Reed - Maureen Tucker - Doug Yule

  1. Candy Says (4:02)
  2. What Goes On (4:52)
  3. Some Kinda Love (3:39)
  4. Some Kinda Love [alternate take] (4:00)
  5. Pale Blue Eyes (5:38)
  6. Jesus (3:22)
  7. Beginning To See The Light (4:38)
  8. I'm Set Free (4:01)
  9. That's The Story Of My Life (1:56)
  10. The Murder Mystery (8:53)
  11. Afterhours (2:07)

1-11 : The Velvet Underground, 1969. Track 3 is available on Lou Reed's "closet" mix; track 4 appears on Val Valentin's mix.

The mono acetate "extended" version of Beginning is available on several bootlegs (Ride Into The Sun EP, Ultra Rare Trax Vol. 1 CD).

Mono acetate versions of Jesus, Set Free, Beginning and After Hours are available on Ultimate Mono And Acetates Album 3-CD bootleg. The acetate version of After Hours is also officialy available on The Velvet Underground - New York Art - Deluxe Edition 7inch & CD (titled as If You Close The Door).

Recording session photos are available in What Goes On Issue 4 (p. 11, 28, 42-43, 44 & 46), and The Velvet Underground Handbook (p. 28-29).

3RD ALBUM SESSIONS TIMELINE (incomplete)
November 5, 1968
L 918 Jesus  
November 6, 1968
L 919 I´m Beginning To See The Light  
November 7, 1968
L 920 Afterhours (If You Close The Door)  
November 12, 1968
L 921 I'm Set Free  
November 13, 1968
L 922 That's The Story Of My Life  
November 19, 1968
L 923 The Murder Mystery  
November 20, 1968
L 924 Pale Blue Eyes  
L 958 Candy Says  
L 959 Some Kinda Love  
November 19, 1968
- Mr. Moonlite (The Murder Mystery)  
- Candy Says 4:07
November 20, 1968
L 962 What Goes On  

Doug Yule: "It's my favourite album out of all the recordings we did, because we recorded the tracks with all four people, then overdubbed vocals and harmonies. It's really the closest to the band sounding like playing live."
in The Velvet Underground - 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition by Michael Bonner, UNCUT, Take 212, January 2015 (p. 83).

Moe Tucker: "I remember recording "After Hours". Oh, yeah! I was a nervous wreck. Took about eight takes, 'cause I kept forgetting the words or laughing! Finally I had the sense to make everybody leave the studio. I'd never sung anything. I wanted to do a good job!"
in The Velvet Underground - 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition by Michael Bonner, UNCUT, Take 212, January 2015 (p. 83).


May 6, 1969
Record Plant Studios, New York City, New York

321 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036
Google Maps - Wikipedia

Sound engineer: Gary Kellgren

  1. Foggy Notion (6:58)
  2. Coney Island Steeplechase (2:26)

1 : VU, 1985
2 : Another View, 1986

The original "rough mix" version of Foggy Notion originally surfaced in 1976 on the White Heat EP. This rough mix is also available on many other bootlegs: Etc. LP, The Black Side Of The Street LP, Collector's Dream CD, A Walk With The Velvet Underground 5-CD. The rough mix version fades out a few seconds before the VU version.

Foggy Notion is officially released in 1985 on the VU collection, remixed in June 1984 by Michael Barbiero at MediaSound Studios in NYC. The vinyl version album (and its promo cassette version) has an introductory coda which is missing on all other known versions (until the 2014 The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition) - hence it's listed as 6:58 on the label. The 1995Peel Slowly And See version (6:46) is the longest available - it fades out 5 seconds later as compare with the VU CD version (6:41) - but it also misses the introductory coda. The 2014 The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition [6:59] has an additional studio intro and longer introductory coda.

Coney Island Steeplechase is released on the 1986 Another View collection, remixed in March 1986 at Sigma Sound Studios. The 2014 The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition version (2:33) is a new mix.

Photos by William 'Popsie' Randolph. 18 available in in The Velvet Underground - An Illustrated History Of A Walk On The Wild Side (p. 132-133).


May 13, 1969
Record Plant Studios, New York City, New York

321 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036
Google Maps - Wikipedia

Sound engineer: Gary Kellgren

  1. Andy's Chest (2:50)
  2. I'm Sticking With You (2:26)

1-2 : VU, 1985

The rough mix version of Andy's Chest is available on Orange Disaster LP, NYC LP, Ultra Rare Tracks Vol. 2 CD, and A Walk With The Velvet Underground 5-CD. This rough mix fades out just a few seconds later as compared with the VU version. The 2014 The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition version (2:56) is the original 1969 mix.

The rough mix version of I'm Sticking With You originally surfaced in 1976 on the White Heat EP. It's also available on Etc LP, Everything You've Ever Heard About 3-LP, A Walk With The Velvet Underground 5-CD. The 1985 VU version fades out 17 seconds later than the rough mix version and the Peel Slowly version has 2 extra final seconds... The 2014 The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition version (2:25) is the original 1969 mix.


May 14, 1969
Record Plant Studios, New York City, New York

321 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036
Google Maps - Wikipedia

Sound engineer: Gary Kellgren

  1. She's My Best Friend (2:46)

1 : VU, 1985

The VU promo cassette offers same mix as the final release but fades out almost 20 seconds later with 21 "falling down", instead of 11.

The rough mix version is available on Orange Disaster LP, NYC LP, A Walk With The Velvet Underground 5-CD. It fades out later than the VU version with 18 "fallin' down". These different rough mix versions available have a defect after 1:15, which seems to have been restored on the A Walk version.

The 2014 The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition version (3:27) is the original 1969 mix.


May 20, 1969
Record Plant Studios, New York City, New York

321 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036
Google Maps - Wikipedia

Sound engineer: Gary Kellgren

  1. I Can't Stand It (3:21)

1 : VU, 1985

The 2014 The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition version (3:27) is a new mix (with Lou's additional countdown in the middle of the song).


June 19, 1969
Record Plant Studios, New York City, New York

321 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036
Google Maps - Wikipedia

Sound engineer: Gary Kellgren

  1. Ocean (5:10)
  2. Ferryboat Bill (2:11)
  3. Rock And Roll [original version] (5:15)

1 : VU, 1985
2, 3 : Another View, 1986.

The "rough mix" version of Ocean is available on Everything You've Ever Heard About 3-LP, A Young Person's Guide CD. The 2014 The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition version (5:14) is the original 1969 mix.

The original "rough mix" demo of Ferryboat Bill originally surfaced in 1976 on the White Heat EP. It's also available on Etc LP, Everything You've Ever Heard About 3-LP, Collector's Dream CD, A Walk With The Velvet Underground 5-CD. The 1986 Another View version (5:10) is the original June 1969 mix. The 2014 The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition version (2:13) is also the original 1969 mix.

The "rough mix" version of Rock And Roll is available on Everything You've Ever Heard About 3-LP. Also on NYC LP, A Young Person's Guide CD, Ultra Rare Tracks Vol. 2 CD, A Walk With The Velvet Underground 5-CD. The 1986 Another View version (5:15) is the original June 1969 mix. The 2014 The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition version (5:15) is also the original 1969 mix.


September 5, 1969
Record Plant Studios, New York City, New York

321 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036
Google Maps - Wikipedia

  1. Ride Into The Sun [instrumental] (3:24)
  2. Ride Into The Sun [take 1] (2:59)
  3. Ride Into The Sun [take 2] (3:08)

1 : instrumental version, Another View, 1986
2 : alternate mix with vocals, What Goes On 3-CD, 1993
3 : alternate mix with studio chatter intro, Ride Into The Sun bootleg EP, 1987.

The 3 versions of Ride Into The Sun seem to be actually different edit/mixes of the same take.

The 'vocal' versions originally appeared in 1987 on Ride Into The Sun/Beginning To See The Light bootleg 7inch. The 1989 7inch (also available as 3inch CD) given away with Italian lyrics book (Stampa Alternativa) has a 2:36 shortened version. The track is also available on Off The Record bootleg LP and will finally get an official release in 1993 as part of the Australian What Goes On box set (despite the tracklist which credits Ride Into The Sun as being the version from the 1990 French promo CDEP).

The instrumental version on the 1986 Another View collection is remixed in March 1986 at Sigma Sound Studios. The 2014 The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition version (3:34) is a new mix.


September 23, 1969
Record Plant Studios, New York City, New York

Sound engineer: Gary Kellgren

  1. One Of These Days (3:51)

1 : VU, 1985

The 1995 Peel Slowly And See version (3:59) fades out 8 seconds later than the VU version. The "rough mix" demo version originally appeared on And So On LP and is also available on Collector's Dream CD, A Walk With The Velvet Underground 5-CD.

The 2014 The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition is a new mix (4:10) with extra outro.

The And So On liner notes say "The track was recorded (...) in a studio that MGM had set up in an office on 57th St. in New York City. Morrison tells us that although MGM "never intented this studio for use as a full-fledged professional recording studio, ... we wanted to see whether or not it could be used for music." (It had already been used to do the spoken voices, although not the singing, for "The Murder Mystery").


September 27, 1969
Record Plant Studios, New York City, New York

  1. I'm Gonna Move Right In (6:29)

1 : Another View, 1986

The "rough mix" is available on Orange Disaster LP and Ultra Rare Tracks Vol. 2 CD. This rough mix has extra "1, 2, 3, 4" at the beginning and doesn't fade out as the Another View version. The 1986 Another View version (6:29) is the original September 1969 mix. The 2014 The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition version (6:33) is also the original 1969 mix.


Septembre 30, 1969
Record Plant Studios, New York City, New York

  1. We're Gonna Have A Real Good Time Together (2:56)

1 : Another View, 1986

The 1986 Another View version (5:10) is remixed in March 1986 at Sigma Sound Studios. The 2014 The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition version (2:56) is a new mix.


October 1, 1969
Record Plant Studios, New York City, New York

  1. Lisa Says (2:57)

1 : VU, 1985

The 2014 The Velvet Underground | 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition is a new mix (3:00).


Late 1969 or early 1970
"acetate demos"

  1. Countess From Hong Kong (3:17)
  2. Ride Into The Sun (3:42)
  3. We're Gonna Have A Real Good Time Together (2:33)
  4. I Found A Reason (3:15)

1 : Peel Slowly And See 5-CD box set, 1995
2 : The Velvet Underground CDEP, 1990; Ride Into The Sun CDEP, 1993
3 : The Velvet Underground | New York Art | Deluxe edition 7inch & CD, 2009 (previously available on The First Night 2CD, 1993 & The March Of The Wooden Soldiers LP, 1994)
4 : Loaded | Fully Loaded Edition 2CD, 1997

According to The First Night liner notes, this four songs are taken from a rare acetate dated 1969. The story says a bloody guy was honeymooning in New York and was going round through record shops when he was offered a tape copy of this acetate. The original is said to belong to Maureen Tucker's archives.

In Ignacio Julia's Velvet Warriors, Sterling says that "the stuff available on VU and Another View is not the material from the lost album sessions. They had recorded some songs on the West Coast and mailed the tapes to New York, but they never arrived and so the ghost album remains lost, probably forever". This 4 songs acetate could be the only thing surviving from those sessions?

Countess From Hong Kong originally appeared on The First Night bootleg, credited as The Countess Of Hong Kong. The version officially released on Peel Slowly And See is a cleaned up version.

Ride Into The Sun was initially included on the rare French promo CDEP which was offered with the first copies of the 1990 Polydor box set. It was credited as "unreleased version sung by Lou Reed". It also appears on The First Night bootleg but you'll get one second extra time at the beginning on the French CDEP... A heavily cleaned version is also included in the bootleg box sets Searchin' For My Mainline 3CD and A Walk With The Velvet Underground 5CD.

Dispatches From The Dream Factory 3-CD Disc 3 released in 2008 has Ride Into The Sun and We're Gonna Have A Real Good Time Together.


April 15, 1970
Atlantic Recording Studios, New York City, New York

1290 Ave of the Americas, New York, NY 10104
Google Maps

Sound engineer: Adrian Barber

  1. Rock And Roll (demo) (4:42)
  2. Satellite Of Love (2:58)
  3. Satellite Of Love (alternate demo) (2:52)

1, 3 : Loaded - Fully Loaded Edition, 1997
2 : Peel Slowly And See, 1995


April 16, 1970
Atlantic Recording Studios, New York City, New York

1290 Ave of the Americas, New York, NY 10104
Google Maps

Sound engineer: Adrian Barber

  1. Oh Gin (2:43)
  2. Walk And Talk (Take 1 - false start) (0:05)
  3. Walk And Talk (Take 2) (2:20)
  4. Sad Song (3:30)
  5. Ride Into The Sun (3:21)
  6. Here Come The Waves (Take 1 - false start) (0:21)
  7. Here Come The Waves (Take 2) (6:07)
  8. I Love You (2:03)

1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 : Peel Slowly And See, 1995
2 : Loaded - Fully Loaded Edition, 1997
6 : unreleased

Here Comes The Waves is original title for Ocean. Take 1 - actually a false start - was edited out of the 1997 Fully Loaded Edition of Loaded and remains unreleased.

I Love You was "also logged, in a moment of confusion, as Isle Of View".


April-July 1970
Atlantic Recording Studios, New York City, New York

1290 Ave of the Americas, New York, NY 10104
Google Maps

Sound engineers: Adrian Barber & Geoffrey Haslam

  1. Sweet Jane (early version) (5:27)
  2. Cool It Down (early version) (4:15)
  3. Head Held High (early version) (2:50)
  4. Lonesome Cowboy Bill (early version) (3:15)
  5. Oh Sweet Nuthin' (early version) (4:07)

1-5 : Loaded - Fully Loaded Edition, 1997


April-July 1970
Atlantic Recording Studios, New York City, New York

1290 Ave of the Americas, New York, NY 10104
Google Maps

Sound engineers: Adrian Barber & Geoffrey Haslam

  1. Who Loves The Sun (2:45)
  2. Who Loves The Sun (alternate mix) (2:55)
  3. Sweet Jane (3:15)
  4. Sweet Jane (full length version) (4:05)
  5. Rock & Roll (4:41)
  6. Rock & Roll (alternate mix) (4:41)
  7. Cool It Down (3:03)
  8. New Age (4:39)
  9. New Age (long version) (5:07)
  10. New Age (full length version) (5:41)
  11. Head Held High (2:57)
  12. Head Held High (alternate mix) (2:15)
  13. Lonesome Cowboy Bill (2:43)
  14. I Found A Reason (4:14)
  15. Train Round The Bend (3:20)
  16. Train Round The Bend (alternate mix) (4:39)
  17. Oh! Sweet Nuthin' (7:25)
  18. I Love You (outtake) (2:52)
  19. I'm Stickin' With You (outtake) (3:07)
  20. Love Makes You Feel Ten Feet Tall (demo) (4:12)
  21. Ocean (outtake) (5:44)

1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 11, 13-15, 17 : Loaded, 1970
4, 9, 21 : Peel Slowly And See, 1995
2, 6, 10, 12, 16, 18-20 : Loaded - Fully Loaded Edition, 1997

Recording session photos by Jim Cummins are available in Loaded | Fully Loaded Edition CD's booklet, in Les Inrockuptibles Hors Série | The Velvet Underground (p. 78), in MOJO magazine 265, December 2015 (p. 52). Some others by Henri Ter Hall have been published in Les Inrockuptibles Hors Série | The Velvet Underground (p. 34).

The recording sessions are mentioned in Selling Sounds section in Billboard, July 25, 1970 (p. 30): "Hit factory dates this week include (...) the Velvet Underground for Atlantic".
Google Books

    Loaded Peel Slowly And See Loaded Fully Loaded Edition Loaded Re-Loaded
April 15, 1970
Rock & Roll Demo - - 4:45 4:42
Satellite Of Love Demo - 3:02 - 3:00
Satellite Of Love Alternate Demo - - 3:20 -
April 16, 1970
Oh Gin Demo - 2:46 2:57 2:45
Walk And Talk Demo - 2:23 3:00 2:25
Sad Song Demo - 3:34 3:41 3:31
Ride Into the Sun Demo (FL) Outtake (RL) - 3:25 3:24 3:24
Here Comes The Waves (Ocean) Demo - - 6:10 6:05
I Love You Demo - 2:03 2:05 2:05
Undated Demo
Love Make You Feel Ten Feet Tall Demo - - 4:12 4:14
Early Versions
Sweet Jane Early Version - - 5:29 5:31
Cool It Down Early Version - - 4:18 4:18
Head Held High Early Version - - 2:53 2:55
Lonesome Cowboy Bill Early Version - - 3:18 3:19
Oh! Sweet Nuthin' Early Version - - 4:13 4:04
Loaded
Who Loves The Sun Original 2:47 2:45 2:46 2:46
  Alternate Mix - - 3:08 3:05
Sweet Jane Original 3:18 - - -
  Full-Length Version - 4:08 4:09 4:06
  Alternate Mix - - - 4:23
Rock & Roll Original 4:40 4:46 - -
  Full-Length Version - - 4:46 4:43
  Alternate Mix - - 4:45 4:40
Cool It Down Original 3:05 3:06 3:06 3:05
  Alternate Mix - - - 3:28
New Age Original 4:40 - - -
  Full-Length Version - 5:11 - 5:11
  Long Version - - 5:10 -
  Full-Length Version - - 5:42 -
Head Held High Original 2:58 2:58 2:58 2:57
  Alternate Mix - - 2:16 2:17
Lonesome Cowboy Bill Original 2:45 2:45 2:45 2:44
  Alternate Mix - - - 2:42
I Found A Reason Original 4:16 4:18 4:18 4:16
Train Round The Bend Original 3:22 3:23 3:23 3:21
  Alternate Mix - - 4:40 4:39
Oh! Sweet Nuthin' Original 7:24 7:30 7:30 7:25
Session Outtakes
I'm Sticking With You Outtake - - 3:09 2:53
Ocean Outtake - 5:47 5:45 5:45
I Love You Outtake - - 2:55 2:54
Ride Into The Sun Demo (FL) Outtake (RL) - 3:25 3:24 3:24

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Thanks: Ignacio Julia, Lau Buur Nielsen, Warren Hill.

by Olivier Landemaine
last modified: May 12, 2019

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