Light in the Attic Records, in cooperation with Laurie Anderson, proudly announces the inaugural title in their ongoing 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 tape 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, while the release has been designed by multi-GRAMMY®-winning artist Masaki Koike.
LP and CD include booklets featuring lyrics, archival photos, and liner notes by Greil Marcus, Don Fleming and Jason Stern (LP: 20-pgs, CD: 60-pgs); CD and Cassette include six unheard tracks recorded between 1958 and 1964, including early demos, a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,” and a doo-wop serenade recorded in ‘58 when the legendary singer-songwriter was just sixteen-years-old.
Tracklisting: I'm Waiting for the Man - May 1965 Demo, Men of Good Fortune - May 1965 Demo, Heroin - May 1965 Demo, Too Late - May 1965 Demo, Buttercup Song - May 1965 Demo, Walk Alone - May 1965 Demo, Buzz Buzz Buzz - May 1965 Demo, Pale Blue Eyes - May 1965 Demo, Stockpile - May 1965 Demo, Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams - May 1965 Demo, I'm Waiting for the Man - May 1965 Alternate Version (CD/Cassette Only), Gee Whiz - 1958 Rehearsal (CD/Cassette Only), Baby, Let Me Follow You Down - 1963/64 Home Recording (CD/Cassette Only), Michael, Row The Boat Ashore - 1963/64 Home Recording (CD/Cassette Only), Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (Partial) - 1963/64 Home Recording (CD/Cassette Only), W & X, Y, Z Blues - 1963/64 Home Recording (CD/Cassette Only), Lou's 12-Bar Instrumental - 1963/64 Home Recording (CD/Cassette Only)