Rare Lou Reed demos dropped and withdrawn

A 17-track project titled I’m So Free: The 1971 RCA Demos was released over the Christmas period

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A collection of rare Lou Reed demos were released over the holiday period and then quickly withdrawn in an apparent copyright dump.

According to Variety, RCA/Sony Music uploaded a 17-track album of Lou Reed demos to iTunes in Europe on December 23 titled I’m So Free: The 1971 RCA Demos. It was then removed a couple of days later.

Matthew Goody, the author of Needles And Plastic: Flying Nun Records, 1981–1988, took to social media last Thursday (December 30) to point out that the album had been released, sharing a link that previewed the album’s artwork.


“Apparently Lou Reed‘s RCA demos from 1971 were dumped on Apple Music in Europe on Xmas Eve,” he tweeted. “No sign they’ll be available anywhere else.”

The tracklist for I’m So Free includes rough versions of nearly every song from Reed’s self-titled 1972 debut solo album and his breakthrough follow-up, Transformer, although two tracks, “Kill Your Sons” and “She’s My Best Friend”, were not officially released until his 1976 sixth album Coney Island Baby.

The album, which also includes songs like “Perfect Day”, “I’m Sticking With You”, “Ride Into The Sun” and others, appears to be made up of demos that have been doing the rounds for several years – see the full tracklist below.

I’m So Free: The 1971 RCA Demos tracklist:

“Perfect Day (Demo – Takes 1 & 2)”
“I’m So Free (Demo)”
“Wild Child (Demo)”
“I’m Sticking with You (Demo – Take 2)”
“Lisa Says (Demo)”
“Going Down (Demo – Take 2)”
“I Love You (Demo)”
“New York Telephone Conversation (Demo)”
“She’s My Best Friend (Demo)”
“Kill Your Sons (Demo)”
“Berlin (Demo)”
“Ocean (Demo – Takes 1 & 2)”
“Ride Into the Sun (Demo – Take 2)”
“Hangin’ Around (Demo – Take 2)”
“Love Makes You Feel (Demo – Take 2)”
“I Can’t Stand It (Demo)”
“Walk It And Talk It (Demo)”

The reason for the brief release looks to be an apparent copyright dump to extend RCA/Sony Music’s ownership of the recordings. Reed died of liver disease on October 27, 2013.

Originally published on NME

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