Listen to Lou Reed’s Previously Unreleased Demo, “Men of Good Fortune” | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, July 24th, 2024  

Listen to Lou Reed’s Previously Unreleased Demo, “Men of Good Fortune”

Words & Music, May 1965 Due Out August 26 via Light in the Attic

Aug 15, 2022 Photography by Julian Schnabel Bookmark and Share


Light in the Attic, in collaboration with Laurie Anderson, will be releasing a new Lou Reed compilation album, Words & Music, May 1965, which features original demos of songs later recorded by The Velvet Underground as well as never-before-heard compositions. Today, they have shared a previously unreleased demo entitled “Men of Good Fortune.” It was recorded alongside bandmate John Cale. Listen below.

Reed’s archivists, Jason Stern and Don Fleming, state in a press release: “‘Men of Good Fortune’ has every trademark of one of the traditional Child Ballads from England and Scotland dating back for centuries and passed on from person to person. They had rarely been documented in print but were finally compiled in Francis James Child’s landmark book, The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, published between 1882 and 1898. The Child Ballads were a great source of inspiration for folk artists in the early 1960s, with Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and Fairport Convention borrowing heavily from the book. Child Ballad #2, ‘The Elfin Knight,’ through a series of other singers, informed Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Scarborough Fair’ and Bob Dylan’s ‘Girl from the North Country.’ Child Ballad #2 and many others include a ‘maiden’ or ‘maid,’ as Reed portrays himself in the song. It’s notable how the words to this version of ‘Men of Good Fortune’ could seemingly fit right in as a variant of a Child Ballad, but it doesn’t appear to borrow lines from the book or other songs, traditional or popular. Reed sings and plays the song alone.”

Words & Music, May 1965 was produced by Laurie Anderson, Don Fleming, Jason Stern, Hal Willner, and Matt Sullivan, with liner notes by Greil Marcus. An accompanying six-song digital EP, Gee Whiz, 1958-1964, will be released on October 7.

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