"Sweet Jane" Bridge or No Bridge (Forced Choice Poll)

“Heavenly Wine and Roses . . .”

This is Forced Choice Poll.
When you post, you can give your detailed description of “Well, it depends . . .” but when you vote in the Poll you’ve got to make a stand and choose one or the other.
Before I became familiar with The Velvet Underground, I was turned on to the Cowboy Junkies album The Trinity Session- I was a Freshman in high school, this would have been about two years after the Cowboy Junkies album was first released. So, this was my first introduction to the song- and it has the bridge.
Noteworthy: according to the Wiki page for “Sweet Jane”, Lou Reed considered the Cowboy Junkies’ version to be “the best and most authentic version” he had ever heard.

So, as a high school kid into music I was inspired to now find out about The Velvet Underground (inspiration came also from Jane’s Addiction’s version of “Rock and Roll” which, similarly, I heard before knowing the Velvet Underground version).

I started with The Best of The Velvet Underground: Words and Music of Lou Reed. No Bridge!
I played this CD so much that it was burned into my brain before I ever moved on to seeking out the original albums. It was one of those “This compilation album is so good I’m afraid of being disappointed by the rest of the catalogue” situations. So, by the time I heard any other Velvet Underground recordings the “No Bridge” version was burned into my brain as the “official” version.

Ever since- except for the Cowboy Junkies version- the bridge just sounds like it doesn’t belong. Sometimes I include it when I sing the song myself while playing guitar, and it just doesn’t feel right.

I still love the Cowboy Junkies version- the first version I ever heard- but as a Velvet Underground song I am going to have to vote for “No Bridge”.

I can’t really disagree with you.

But I think I’m a bit of an outlier as I’ve never thought of either Lou Reed or The Velvet Underground as very good. Decent songwriter, sure, but as a band I always thought they earned their rep due to the whole ‘NYC art scene/Andy Warhol’ connection. If they’d come up in Omaha or something they’d never have received the attention they did.

It’s sort of the same thing as Bob Dylan. Great songwriter, not so great performer. Other people have done his songs far better than he ever could. So hearing that you appreciate The Cowboy Junkies and Jane’s Addictions covers - possibly more than the originals doesn’t surprise me.

I wouldn’t say that I prefer the covers, just mentioned them for context, but both examples mentioned in the OP would be cases where I’d say I am very happy that both the covers and the originals exist.

How very Straight Dope of you. And it only took one reply as well.

Personally I love the bridge.

Fast, rocking version: no bridge.

Slow, easy version: bridge.

Not the answer you’re looking for, but it’s the one you get.

Bridge! Hit me!

“Sweet Jane” has been a favorite of mine since approximately the time it came out. I knew the Cowboy Junkies did a version of it and I know I’ve heard at least part of it… but this is the first time I’ve ever heard of this song having a bridge.

You can hear the original full version here. It was edited down for the original album release, apparently much to Lou Reed’s annoyance.

You’re worried about the bridge?! (by the way, I love it with the bridge - Cowboy Junkie’s version) - but what about the fact that the CJ’s version leaves out the critical 4th chord? I think they just do E-A-B-A - whereas the riff really goes E - B - A - Dbm - B - E…:wink:

ETA - a quick check of online tabs puts the song in D, not E - whatever, the missing chord still holds…

Where’s that confounded bridge??

Dunno, I think I prefer Mott the Hoople version (no bridge). Would take the Velvets’ over Cowboy Junkies’. I like CJ, but I’m not that crazy about their version of Sweet Jane.

Ya know, I never noticed that, but you’re right. The Cowboy Junkies version doesn’t have the minor chord in it (which–sorry for the nitpick, please don’t hurt me!–would be called C#m instead of Dbm in the key of E.)

I suck at that stuff - thanks for the correction.

But I was right about the important stuff - they skip that chord! I love that version, so was surprised when I sussed it out…

You know, I’ve been looking at a couple of versions of Lou Reed playing it online, and he doesn’t always stick that minor chord in there. Like the David Letterman version. Interesting. (He does throw in a Bm in there in the intro, not the first two times through the progression, but the third time. However, it does sound like the bass is playing the B under Lou Reed’s D chord, which would basically make it sound like a Bm7 chord instead of a D).