Sweet Jane

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"Sweet Jane"
Single by the Velvet Underground
from the album Loaded
Recorded1970
GenreRock
Length4:09
LabelCotillion/Atlantic
Writer(s)Lou Reed
ProducerGeoff Haslam,
Shel Kagan and
The Velvet Underground
 
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"Sweet Jane"
Single by the Velvet Underground
from the album Loaded
Recorded1970
GenreRock
Length4:09
LabelCotillion/Atlantic
Writer(s)Lou Reed
ProducerGeoff Haslam,
Shel Kagan and
The Velvet Underground

"Sweet Jane" is a song by the Velvet Underground, originally appearing on their 1970 album Loaded. The song was written by the band's leader Lou Reed, who continued to incorporate the piece into live performances years later as a solo artist.

When Loaded was originally released in 1970, the song's bridge was edited out. The box set Peel Slowly and See and reissue Loaded: Fully Loaded Edition restored the missing section.

The song also appears on the albums Live at Max's Kansas City; 1969: The Velvet Underground Live; Peel Slowly and See; Live MCMXCIII; Loaded: Fully Loaded Edition; American Poet; Rock 'n' Roll Animal; Live: Take No Prisoners; Live in Italy; The Concert for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Rock and Roll: an Introduction to The Velvet Underground; NYC Man (The Ultimate Collection 1967–2003); Live on Letterman: Music from The Late Show; and Berlin: Live At St. Ann's Warehouse.

History[edit]

There are two distinct versions of "Sweet Jane" with minor variations, spread over its first four releases. The first release of the song, in November 1970, was a version recorded earlier that year and included on Loaded. In May 1972, a live version (recorded August 1970) appeared on the Velvet Underground's Live at Max's Kansas City; the live song had an additional bridge that was missing from the Loaded release. In February 1974 a live version recorded in December 1973 (similar to the Loaded version but with extended intro and hard rock sound), appeared on Reed's Rock 'n' Roll Animal. In September 1974 a down-tempo live version recorded in late 1969 was included on 1969: The Velvet Underground Live, with a different song structure and lyrics. When a restored version of the original Loaded release was eventually unveiled on Peel Slowly and See in 1995 (and in 1997 on Loaded: Fully Loaded Edition), it turned out that some of the 1969 lyrics (notably the entire bridge as heard on Live at Max's Kansas City) had originally been included in the Loaded version as well, but were scrapped in the final mix.

Lou Reed performed "Sweet Jane" in two keys: the 1969 and 1970 versions were in D, as was 1972's American Poet version. On 1973's Rock 'n' Roll Animal, and 1978's Take No Prisoners, the song is in E, while on 1984's Live in Italy the song is back in D.

Cover versions[edit]

"Sweet Jane"
Single by Mott the Hoople
from the album All the Young Dudes
B-side"Jerkin' Crocos"
Released19 January 1973
RecordedMay–July 1972
Olympic and Trident Studios, London
GenreGlam rock
Length4:21
LabelColombia Records
Writer(s)Lou Reed
ProducerDavid Bowie
Mott the Hoople singles chronology
"One of the Boys"
(1972)
"Sweet Jane"
(1973)
"Honaloochie Boogie"
(1973)

English band The Kooks performed a cover of the song combined with The Rolling Stones' "Beast of Burden".

Covered by the Jim Carroll Band.

Covered by the Red Hot Chili Peppers live.

Lou Reed performed the song with Metallica on October 25, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York City during a concert to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Rankings[edit]

In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked it #335 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

In March 2005, Q magazine placed "Sweet Jane" at number 18 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks.

Guitar World ranked "Sweet Jane" at number 81 on its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos.[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.teenagewildlife.com/wcgi-bin/dcinfo.wcgi?date=19720708
  2. ^ "Cowboy Junkies" Radio 4 Woman's Hour. BBC (29 January 2007)
  3. ^ 100 Greatest Guitar Solos (as ranked by the readers of Guitar World)

External links[edit]