Heroin (Velvet Underground)

29 APRIL 1966

Another one from the Velvet Underground’s April 1966 recordings for their first album ‘Velvet Underground and Nico’. This is ‘Heroin’, and although the VU were very much an 'alternative' act, this recording remains cutting edge in theme and content - with its detailed depiction of heroin use and abuse - even 50 years later. As songwriter Lou Reed later recalled:
I was working for a record company as a songwriter, where they'd lock me in a room and they'd say write ten surfing songs, ya know, and I wrote "Heroin" and I said "Hey I got something for ya." They said, "Never gonna happen, never gonna happen."
Reed always insisted that the sing provided an objective and neutral look at the experience of taking the drug, and was not glorifying it. Always ahead of their time, the band had recorded a version of this in a loft in July 1965.

'Heroin' was ranked #455 by Rolling Stone in their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It is also included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's '500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll'.

Released (album track): 12 March 1967
Recorded: May 1966, T.T.G. Studios, Hollywood, California
Length: 7:12
Label: Verve
Writer: Lou Reed
Producer: Andy Warhol

Heroin (Velvet Underground)