Tox tunes #55: Heroin (The Velvet Underground)

February 26, 2012, 5:36 pm

This song — from the 1967 album The Velvet Underground & Nico — was controversial from the time it was first released. Wikipedia quotes critic Mark Deming on the reason why:

While ‘Heroin’ hardly endorses drug use, it doesn’t clearly condemn it, either, which made it all the more troubling in the eyes of many listeners.

Rolling Stone has ranked ‘Heroin’ as #448 of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

BTW, the cover of The Velvet Underground & Nico – by Andy Warhol — featured a yellow peelable banana. There was a widespread rumor in the late 1960s that the peel had been impregnated with LSD. This was one of many stories going around at the time —  fried banana peel would get you high, the woman on the cover of Bringing It All Back Home was Dylan in drag, Paul was dead. All of these rumors were false.

However, according to SongFacts, an original acetate recording of The Velvet Underground & Nico was discovered at a yard sale in 2006 and purchased for 75 cents. That recording late sold on eBay for $75.000.

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