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Keith Richards Covers Velvet Underground On Lou Reed Tribute LP

'The Power of the Heart' arrives April 20 and also features Joan Jett, Angel Olsen and Rufus Wainwright
(photo: Karl Walter / Getty Images)

Keith Richards’ cover of the Velvet Underground’s iconic “I’m Waiting for the Man” leads the upcoming collection The Power of the Heart: A Tribute to Lou Reed, due April 19 on CD/digital and the next day on vinyl from Light in the Attic Records as part of Record Store Day. Details were announced today (March 1) ahead of what would have been the late Reed’s 82nd birthday tomorrow.

“To me, Lou stood out. The real deal! [He was] important to American music and to ALL MUSIC! I miss him and his dog,” says the Rolling Stones guitarist, who himself just turned 80 last December. The Power of the Heart also sports contributions from Rosanne Cash, Rufus Wainwright, Lucinda Williams, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, the Afghan Whigs, 90-year-old blues legend Bobby Rush, Maxim Ludwig and Angel Olsen and Rickie Lee Jones, among others. It was produced by longtime music executive Bill Bentley, who worked with Reed in various capacities for decades.

Wainwright, who covers the Reed solo favorite “Perfect Day,” calls him “one of the few people whom I miss as much now as when he left. There are so many instances where I wonder what he would say or what he would think. His general aura would always lend something really unique to the room. Thank God he left his great music and recordings. His personality is sorely missed.”

Adds Bentley’s son Brogan, whose take on “The Power of the Heart” is included as a CD and digital bonus track, “I aimed to embody the vulnerability and softness of Lou’s love for [his wife Laurie Anderson] and the love we’ve all experienced for another person at some point in our lives.”

The Power of the Heart is the third Reed-related archival project from Light in the Attic. The 2022 collection Words & Music, May 1965, which features the earliest known recordings of “I’m Waiting for the Man” and fellow Velvet Underground staples “Heroin” and “Pale Blue Eyes,” was nominated for a Grammy. The label also reissued Hudson River Wind Meditations, Reed’s final solo album before his death in 2013.

Here is the track list for The Power of the Heart:

Keith Richards – I’m Waiting for the Man
Maxim Ludwig & Angel Olsen – I Can’t Stand It
Rufus Wainwright – Perfect Day
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – I’m So Free
Bobby Rush – Sally Can’t Dance
Rickie Lee Jones – Walk on the Wild Side
The Afghan Whigs – I Love You, Suzanne
Mary Gauthier – Coney Island Baby
Lucinda Williams – Legendary Hearts
Automatic – New Sensations
Rosanne Cash – Magician
Brogan Bentley – The Power of the Heart (CD/digital bonus track)