Watch Lou Reed’s unique cover of Smokey Robinson live in Rome, 1994
Stepping back into the Far Out Magazine Vault, we’ve unearthed footage of Velvet Underground frontman Lou Reed putting his own unique spin on Smokey Robinson classic ‘The Tracks of My Tears’.
The song, originally written by Smokey Robinson, Pete Moore, and Marv Tarplin, was recorded and released in 1965 by their group, The Miracles, on Motown’s now-iconic Tamla label. The song would go on to earn the band critical and commercial success in the sixties and is widely considered one of The Miracles’ finest recordings.
While Robinson, Moore and Tarplin triumphed with the track upon its original release, ‘The Tracks of My Tears’ enjoyed repeated success in the years that followed as more contemporary artists began putting their own spin on the song. The likes of Aretha Franklin, Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Rivers and more released their own cover versions to moderate success. One cover version, however, has received less coverage.
While teaming up with Kris Kristofferson for the collaborative double record The Bottom Line Archive, Lou Reed added his own version of ‘The Tracks of My Tears’ to earn a place in the song’s long history. The official studio version, recorded on February 2nd, 1994, at The Bottom Line in New York’s Greenwich Village, would see his first initial affiliation with the song.
Three months later, however, Reed brought the track to the live stage while performing as part of Italian Labor Day at the Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano, Rome, Italy. See the footage, below.