Stephanie Says

Album: VU (1985)
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  • This song demonstrates a sensitive side of Lou Reed's songwriting. Like many of Reed's songs, the lyrics are rather complicated, but they seem to be about a girl who was once very restricted, but escaped and moved on to another life. As she reflects on what once was, she becomes depressed about her life. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Marcus - Sydney, Australia
  • As written in The Velvet Underground: An Illustrated History of a Walk on the Wild Side, this is one of three final songs recorded by the Velvet Underground's seminal line-up of Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison, John Cale, and Maureen Tucker. Tucker had taken maternity leave and came back with family commitments interfering with her career; Reed and Cale continued to feud, and the group members also had clashes with their manager, Sesnick. Combined tensions with the lack of radio support in New York, lack of chart recognition, and lack of money spelled the last days of the Velvet Underground. The three final songs recorded were "Stephanie Says" and "Temptation Inside Your Heart," in February of 1968 at New York's A&R Studios, and "Hey Mr. Rain" at T.T.G. Studios in Los Angeles, in May of 1968.
  • This song was covered by Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, in the 1994 album Fifteen Minutes: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground.
  • One of the sources of tension within the group was Cale's new girlfriend, designer Betsy Johnson, whom Reed resented interfering with the group's chemistry in a kind of imitation of the way Yoko Ono was said to drive a wedge between the Beatles. Speaking of Yoko Ono, she, too, was active in the New York avant-garde art scene, having been a member of Fluxus, worked with John Cage, and visiting the "art happenings" around the Bohemian sections of town. She was even part of the Theatre of Eternal Music, which also included John Cale, as well as Warhol-era personalities such as La Monte Young and Tony Conrad. So she just missed being a direct part of the Velvet Underground - oh, what might have been?

Comments: 5

  • Derek from Pittsburgh, PaDoes anyone know of a live version of this song???
  • Ross from Brooklyn, Ny"Stephanie Says" morphed into "Caroline Says" for Lou's Berlin" LP. Quite different arrangement!
  • Eleanor from Buenos Aires, Argentinathis song is part of The Royal Tenembaums OST
  • Cameron from Irvine, CaThis was one of the many "Says" ballads that Lou wrote, along with "Candy Says" from the Velvet's 3rd album and "Lisa Says" which was released on the 1985 compilation VU.
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScI think I've heard this one. That was before I weally knew anything about the Velvet Underground or had listened to any of their albums.
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