An acetate copy of the original incarnation of the Velvet Underground's debut album turned up on eBay a couple years back, causing a flurry of interest and some ridiculously high bids. Well, it turns out drummer Moe Tucker also still has a copy of the acetate, and her copy had been the source of some bootlegs in the past.
Another version of that acetate is now floating around as a spiffy green vinyl LP, and hardcore fans of VU should be sure to check it out. In fairly decent fidelity, about half of the tracks are completely different takes from the later version released by Verve with the remainder stripped-down mixes of what ended up on the official version.
Prepared as a demo for Columbia Records (which passed on it) in 1966, the recordings are definitely more of a bridge between Reed & Cale's work recording cheesy garage pop for budget compilation LPs and the malevolent masterpiece that eventually emerged the next year. The most radical difference here is the version of "Heroin;" compared to the later version it sounds more like they were on speed instead. And considering someone decided to begin the acetate version of the album with "European Son" and "The Black Angel's Death Song," I wonder if anyone at Columbia even made it past the opening salvo?