Cover of The Best Of The Velvet Underground

From The Best Of The Velvet Underground and 35 other releases

“Heroin” is a song by The Velvet Underground, released on their 1967 debut album, The Velvet Underground and Nico. Written by Lou Reed in 1964, the song is one of the band’s most celebrated compositions, overtly depicting heroin use and abuse. Critic Mark Deming writes, “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”.

In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked it #448 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In 2006, Pitchfork Media ranked it #77 on their list of the 200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s. In 2007 Mental Floss magazine listed it as one of ten songs that changed the world.

“Heroin” was among a three-song set to be re-recorded at T.T.G. Studios, Hollywood before being included on the final release of The Velvet Underground and Nico (along with “I’m Waiting for the Man” and “Venus in Furs”). This recording of the song would be the album’s second longest at 7 minutes and 12 seconds, being eclipsed only by “European Son” by about thirty seconds.

“Heroin” begins slowly with Lou Reed’s quiet, melodic guitar and hypnotic drum patterns by Maureen Tucker, soon joined by John Cale’s droning electric viola and Sterling Morrison’s steady rhythm guitar. The tempo increases gradually, mimicking the high the narrator receives from the drug, until a frantic crescendo is reached, punctuated by Cale’s shrieking viola and the more punctuated guitar strumming of Reed and Morrison.

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I don't know just where I'm going
But I'm gonna try for the kingdom, if I can
'Cause it makes me feel like I'm a man
When I put a spike into my vein

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics

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  • samiskywalker

    One of the best songs ever, for sure [4]

    Yesterday 3:47am Reply
  • MrBicile

    One of the best songs ever, for sure [3]

    20 Feb 6:05am Reply
  • tresfoufou

    Heroin, be the death of me...

    23 Jan 6:36am Reply
  • PissheadBrummie

    Heroin, it's my wife and it's my life

    21 Dec 2014 Reply
  • muerto14

    One of the best songs ever, for sure [2]

    15 Dec 2014 Reply
  • zaroOoO

    this song is pure heroin.

    5 Dec 2014 Reply
  • cap_surgeon

    stop talking 'bout things you only heard of

    2 Dec 2014 Reply
  • Vinkgor

    One of the best songs ever, for sure

    26 Oct 2014 Reply
  • thebobx

    herrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrroin

    17 Oct 2014 Reply
  • BanconIsGood

    politicians making crazy sounds

    9 Oct 2014 Reply
  • buckleytim

    one of the best songs ever .....!!!!

    3 Oct 2014 Reply
  • sousah

    I don't know just where I'm going.

    28 Sep 2014 Reply
  • jpzitoleopold

    AH WHEN THE HEROIN IS IN MY BLOOD HAHA AND THE BLOOD IS IN MY HEAD

    16 Sep 2014 Reply
  • thebobx

    it is my life hehe

    10 Aug 2014 Reply
  • progbro

    OH AND I GUESS THAT I GUESS THAT I JUST DON'T KNOW

    2 Aug 2014 Reply
  • MGMT-

    Live version is much better

    1 Aug 2014 Reply
  • AlterJohn

    Wo ?

    1 Aug 2014 Reply
  • TheMally98

    In sharp contrast with the groups of that age, who spoke of psychedelics and when the progressive rock was emerging... The Velvets painted the shit of the streets, the dark side of life, you can even breath the smell of a stinky room with a man on the floor... that's so biting and paranoid... a song that brings the reality in our ears. "And when heroin is in my blood and that blood is in my vein, oh thank god that i'm good as dead!"

    25 Jul 2014 Reply
  • laryoverkill

    I've heard this song a million times and that's my thought about : the song starts softly like he just had a shot and when it becomes noisy it looks like a dispair from someone who needs another shot .. You can even notice it on lou's laugh .. And thank your God that i'm not aware...

    25 Jul 2014 Reply
  • pogoshrooms

    If this song isn't still one of my favourite songs, ever, in years to come, I dread to think what kind of a person I'll be. It kind of blows my mind...

    23 Jul 2014 Reply
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