The Velvet Underground’s “Foggy Notion” Surfaces in Unreleased Mix

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 11.12.14 in News

The Velvet Underground‘s vaults keep emptying. On November 24, Polydor/UME will release a six-CD, 64-track version of 1969′s The Velvet Underground, the band’s first album with Doug Yule stepping in to replace John Cale. Two previously unreleased tracks from the package — a live version of “I’m Waiting for the Man” and a new “I Can’t Stand It” mix — are already streaming, and now you can hear an unreleased mix of “Foggy Notion,” a sex-themed proto-punk rave-up that took on a special place in the band’s lore because it never appeared on an album while the band still existed.

“Foggy Notion” has been available, on bootlegs, official releases and YouTube, for years now, of course, and it’s not easy to discern what else this freshly uncovered 1969 mix has to offer. To these ears, it’s almost identical to the version included on 1985 outtakes compilation VU and 1995′s Peel Slowly and See box set, right down to Reed’s chuckle about halfway through. The latest reissue mix does restore the opening chatter and warm-up sounds that had been missing from the CD version of VU, so perhaps this one is for studio-banter completists.

That said, “Foggy Notion” has an enduring legacy, and it’s well worth hearing in any mix. “I can listen to ‘Foggy Notion’ every single moment of my life,” Nots drummer Charlotte Watson told our own Tess Duncan just last week. “On that song, Lou is so casual and so perfect. And since it’s a never-before-released Velvet Underground track, people want to cover it a lot. Modern Lovers did it, Real Kids did it, Rocket from the Tombs have done a cover. I love the back-up vocals and the pop elements.”

Listen over at The Guardian or, after November 13, below.