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Hear Velvet Underground’s Stripped-Back Live ‘I’m Waiting for the Man’

The recording, captured at the San Francisco venue the Matrix, will appear on the upcoming deluxe edition of their self-titled third record

Doug Yule, Lou Reed, Maureen 'Moe' Tucker and Sterling Morrison of Velvet Underground, circa 1970

Doug Yule, Lou Reed, Maureen 'Moe' Tucker and Sterling Morrison of Velvet Underground, circa 1970

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

A casual-sounding live version of the Velvet Underground‘s “I’m Waiting for the Man,” which the group recorded at the San Francisco venue the Matrix in 1969 is now streaming online. The song – the group’s warm ode to a heroin dealer that first appeared on their debut, The Velvet Underground and Nico – is set to appear on the six-disc, super deluxe edition of The Velvet Underground slated to come out on November 24th. That release contains highlights from the band’s two-night stint at the venue in November of that year.

The recording sounds different partially because it was made after John Cale was fired and Doug Yule was brought into the band to play bass, allowing the band to experiment with the song’s structure. Some of the songs from the group’s Matrix residency previously appeared on the two-volume live record 1969: The Velvet Underground Live, which also contained recordings from the band’s appearance at the Dallas venue End of Cole Ave. one month prior. The version of “I’m Waiting for the Man” that appeared on that release was the Dallas version. The deluxe edition of The Velvet Underground contains 11 previously unreleased recordings from the Matrix sets.

The rest of the box set includes three separate mixes of The Velvet Underground – including a stereo mix made by the recording studio’s engineer, the intimate “closet mix” Lou Reed made and the mono mix – as well as a full disc of the band’s sundry 1969 sessions that were intended for a fourth record that never happened. The disc features new mixes of several songs that were made this year to replace the versions that appeared on the band’s mid-Eighties comps VU and Another View.


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