Today would have been the late Lou Reed’s 77th birthday, and, to mark the occasion, his representatives shared a “previously unheard” demo of the song “Endless Cycle,” which appeared on the 1989 album New York — released 30 years ago this past January.

The minute-long recording, posted to the Lou Reed Archive channel on YouTube, is sourced from a demo cassette that is part of the New York Public Library’s Lou Reed Archive Collection.

The tape sounds like it’s Reed teaching his band the song’s arrangement. It opens with him vocalizing a bouncing bass part, then he begins singing the lyrics: “The bias of the father runs on to the son.” It’s interspersed with more of the vocalized bassline. “And the drum part would be like a metronome, tick tock, tick tock,” he says. There’s finger snapping, and more vocalized bass, more sung lyrics.

Then it ends: “Get it?”

Listen to the demo and the studio version of “Endless Cycle” below.

 

Lou Reed, “Endless Cycle” (Demo)

 

Lou Reed, “Endless Cycle” (Album Version)

 

PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS

 

 

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