The rare April 1966 “Scepter Studios” recordings captured on acetate disc featuring early, alternate versions of songs later issued on The Velvet underground & Nico.
Norman Dolph's original acetate recording of the “Scepter Studios” material contains several recordings that would make it onto the final album, though many are different mixes of those recordings and three are different takes entirely. The acetate was cut on April 25, 1966, shortly after the recording sessions.
The bulk of the songs that would become The Velvet Underground & Nico were recorded in mid-April, 1966, during a four-day stint at “Scepter Studios”, a decrepit recording studio in New York City. This recording session was financed by Warhol and Columbia Records' sales executive Norman Dolph, who also acted as an engineer with John Licata. Though exact total cost of the project is unknown, estimates vary from $1,500 to $3,000.
Soon after recording, Dolph sent an acetate disc of the recordings to Columbia in an attempt to interest them in distributing the album, but they declined, as did Atlantic Records and Elektra Records. Eventually, the MGM Records-owned Verve Records accepted the recordings with the help of Verve staff producer Tom Wilson, who had recently moved from a job at Columbia.
With the affirmation of a label, three of the songs, "I'm Waiting for the Man", "Venus in Furs" and "Heroin", were re-recorded in two days at T.T.G. Studios during a stay in Hollywood later in 1966. When the record's release date was postponed, Wilson brought the band into a New York studio in November 1966 to add a final song to the track listing: the single "Sunday Morning".
Although ten songs were recorded during this session, only nine appear on the acetate cut. Norman Dolph recalls "There She Goes Again" being the missing song (and, indeed, the version of "There She Goes Again" that appears on the final LP is attributed to the Scepter Studios session.
This only acetate disc would resurface decades later when it was bought by a collector of Montreal, Canada in 2002 at a flea market in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City for a few coins. It was then sold on E-Bay from that collector for over $25,200 (€18.322).