"Sweet Jane" is a song by the Velvet Underground, originally appearing on their 1970 album "Loaded". The song was written by Velvets leader Lou Reed, who continued to incorporate the song into his own live performances years later as a solo artist. The song is a fan favorite and frequently appears on classic rock radio stations.
When Loaded was originally released in 1970, Warner Brothers edited out the song's bridge, possibly to shorten the song for radio airplay. This greatly upset Reed, though since fans weren't familiar with the bridge, he would perform it as edited for years thereafter.
How many times can one come across a Velvet Underground song and describe it as one of the all-time classic rock & roll songs? As many times as Lou Reed wrote one that deserves such an appellation, of course, and even his detractors will admit that "Sweet Jane" deserves every grandiose epithet that has ever been heaped upon its head. Like "Waiting for the Man" and "White Light/White Heat," its partners in the upper echelons of glory, "Sweet Jane" is little more than a memorable riff, buoyed by a lyric that is almost outspoken in its openness — all the ingredients of a classic rock monster. And Reed knew that from the outset — the group's fourth (and final) album, from whence "Sweet Jane" comes, was titled Loaded because it was. Loaded with hits, that is. Heard on the Live 1969 album, recorded the night the song debuted in the Velvet Underground's live set, "Sweet Jane" is already a jewel. Yet the version that emerged on the original Loaded album release was only part of the picture. Post-production, pre-release, and completely unbeknownst to Reed, an entire section was sliced out of the song, a dramatic surgery that may have tightened the song for radio play, but utterly eviscerated the song. CD repackages have restored the absent section but the damage was already done — of the multitude of covers that "Sweet Jane" has provoked over the years, few ( Lou Reed included!) render the song in its full glory; fewer still ( Reed presumably not included) were even aware that such a beast even existed. And that, perhaps, is the greatest testament of all. Even hacked in half, "Sweet Jane" was still more of a song than most folks could even dream of writing.
Song: "Sweet Jane"
From the LP "LOADED" (Cotillion) Sep. 1970
Lou Reed : vocals, guitar
Doug Yule : keyboards, guitar, bass, drums, backing vocals
Sterling Morrison : guitar
Also released as a single, 1973:
Get it here : Sweet Jane (album version)
And in 1995, the box set "Peel Slowly And See" was released, which included the original, unedited version of the song. Alas, after 25 years, most people preferred the 1970 release. But click below to check it out.
Get it here : Sweet Jane (full length version)