I Wore My Teeth In My Hands So I Could Shake Hands With The Night

The Velvet Underground have been re-issued and anthologised and expanded all the place in recent years, boxed sets galore. I picked up a nice double album on vinyl recently called The Velvet Underground/1969, an attempt to put together the lp that didn’t come out in that year. Yeah, essentially it’s VU and Another VU in one edition but with some different mixes (the 2014 versions of some tracks) and other mixes of others. Disappointingly it doesn’t contain the more recent mix of I Can’t Stand It (with the 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 countdown by Lou after the guitar solo, which is exciting beyond words) but you can’t have everything.

Although most of the tracks (3 out of the 4 sides of vinyl) are the Doug Yule version of the group the 4th side has some recordings before John Cale packed up his viola and left. The final song on the album is this early version of Beginning To See The Light, recorded with Cale, which would later be recorded again with Yule for the self-titled album which did come out in 1969. Makes sense?

I love Lou’s lyrics on this song, aping gospel, sneering with NYC cool and in places brilliantly nonsensical. This version has different words, clearly a work in progress.  The title of this post became ‘I wore my teeth in my hands, so I could mess the hair of the night’ in the final mix. Both work for me.

Beginning To See The Light (Early Version)