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"Sweet Jane" is a song by The Velvet Underground, originally appearing on their 1970 album Loaded. The song was written by band's leader Lou Reed, who continued to incorporate the piece into live performances years later as a solo artist.

When Loaded was originally released in 1970, the song's bridge was edited out. The box set Peel Slowly and See and reissue Loaded: Fully Loaded Edition restored the missing section.

The song also appears on the albums Live at Max's Kansas City1969: The Velvet Underground LivePeel Slowly and SeeLive MCMXCIIILoaded: Fully Loaded EditionAmerican Poet;Rock 'n' Roll AnimalLive: Take No PrisonersLive in ItalyThe Concert for the Rock and Roll Hall of FameRock and Roll: an Introduction to The Velvet UndergroundNYC Man (The Ultimate Collection 1967–2003)Live on Letterman: Music from The Late Show; and Berlin: Live At St. Ann's Warehouse.


There are two distinct versions of "Sweet Jane" with minor variations, spread over its first four releases. The first release of the song, in November 1970, was a version recorded earlier that year and included on Loaded. In May 1972, a live version (recorded August 1970) appeared on The Velvet Underground's Live at Max's Kansas City; the live song had an additional bridge that was missing from the Loaded release. In February 1974 a live version recorded in December 1973 (similar to the Loaded version but with extended intro and hard rock sound), appeared on Reed's Rock 'n' Roll Animal. In September 1974 a down-tempo live version recorded in late 1969 was included on 1969: The Velvet Underground Live, with a different song structure and lyrics. When a restored version of the original Loaded release was eventually unveiled on Peel Slowly and See in 1995 (and in 1997 on Loaded: Fully Loaded Edition), it turned out that some of the 1969 lyrics (notably the entire bridge as heard on Live at Max's Kansas City) had originally been included in the Loaded version as well, but were scrapped in the final mix.

Lou Reed has performed "Sweet Jane" in two keys: the 1969 and 1970 versions were in D, as was 1972's American Poet version. On 1973's Rock 'n' Roll Animal, and 1978's Take No Prisoners, the song is in E, while on 1984's Live in Italy the song is back in D.

Cover versionsEdit

English band The Kooks performed a cover of the song combined with The Rolling Stones' "Beast of Burden".

Covered by the Jim Carroll Band.

Covered by the Red Hot Chili Peppers live.

Lou Reed performed the song with Metallica on October 25, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York City during a concert to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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