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Song of the Week: The Velvet Underground’s Early Version of “Sweet Jane”

Photo by Doug Yule / courtesy of Sal Mercuri Collection.

The Velvet Underground is one of those bands that sadly may not have been appreciated during their time but throughout the years they’ve had a cult following, so to commemorate its 45th anniversary the Velvet Underground’s self-titled third album is being reissued as a six-disc box set on November 24th via Polydor/UME. The 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition includes stereo and mono versions of the original LP, live recordings from a November 1969 show at The Matrix in San Francisco, and a previously unreleased album dubbed The 1969 Sessions.

Now an early version of Sweet Jane, recorded live at The Matrix one full year before it was officially released on The Velvet Underground’s 1970 album, Loaded, is out for the world to hear.
This version has a slower tempo and Lou Reed can be heard singing a different set of lyrics, including the bridge of “heavenly wine and roses” that was left off the final version. It’s also crucial to note that this live version is taken from an entirely different source mix than the one that appeared on the double album, 1969: The Velvet Underground Live. Listen in below.

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<p>Most important thing to know about me is that I’m a melomaniac and shameless fangirl. I am addicted to concerts, they are my sanctuary and safe haven. When I’m on the front row on the barricade of a concert… I feel that I am truly home.<br /> I’m also a proud and happy vinyl crate-digger. Whether it’s searching for vinyl at flea markets, garage sales, vintage shops… I am a sucker for the crackling of a good record when the needle drops on a turntable.<br /> I am a true Cancer with Moon in Cancer and ascending in Pisces.<br /> Also, loves dogs (especially my son Elvis) and quality food porn pictures.<br /> Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook: @youthquakermimi</p>