When the Velvet Underground were recording their fourth album, Loaded, their lineup was not fully intact. Moe Tucker was pregnant at the time, so a number of other drummers sat in. She nevertheless came into the studio to record vocals on a song that would ultimately become an album outtake, Lou Reed’s cutesy, childlike “I’m Sticking With You.” Although most fans are familiar with a version in which Tucker duetted with Reed to sparse, mostly piano-led instrumentation, the upcoming box-set edition of the album contains a showtune-esque alternate take on the song. Instead of piano, Tucker sings along initially to acoustic guitar and orchestral strings, and after the piano comes in, Reed and his bandmates pipe in with stagy call-and-response vocals after her verses.
Last year, Rolling Stone asked Tucker about the times she sang lead for the group, beginning with the band’s self-titled third album. Reed had described her voice as “very innocent” and approached her to sing that record’s closing number, “After Hours.” “I was very, very nervous,” she recalled. “I wound up making everybody leave except for Lou, ’cause he was playing guitar with me, and the engineer. It took quite a few takes for me to be calmed down enough to do it OK.” When she looked back on the track, she said, “I was surprised that it was decent.”
As for “I’m Sticking With You,” in particular, she looked back on it differently. “I have not one ounce of recollection of recording that,” Tucker said. “I swear, it’s really weird.”
The new box set, Loaded: Re-Loaded 45th Anniversary Edition, is set to come out on October 30th and is available to preorder now. The six-disc set contains the album in stereo and mono, a disc of outtakes and alternate takes, the Live at Max’s Kansas City album, a previously unreleased concert recording from 1970 and an audio DVD of the album in different mixes.
“Loaded is the Velvet Underground album that completes the quartet of their star-crossed legend, that fulfills Lou Reed’s Odyssean journey through the darkness and his return to the light,” Patti Smith guitarist Lenny Kaye, who wrote the box set’s liner notes and Rolling Stone’s original review of the album, says. “At once accessible and filled with strange innuendo, it shows the band circling back to begin again, from whence they came, a circle all the more magical for its radius and radiance.”