From 1967 comes The Velvet Underground & Nico, a hugely influential album that is referenced by new and aspiring young musicians even today. In simple terms it saw the début of Lou Reed and John Cale, who would both go on to have wide and varied careers even until today. Beyond that the band had its roots in Andy Warhol’s New York circle and it was he who introduced them to the German composer, actress and chanteuse Nico who guests on the album.
There’s a bit of everything on here and it is a great mix. Some of it is barely listenable (e.g. Heroin) but since that is supposed to be an audio attempt to mimic the rush that the injected drug brings, it is perhaps to be expected. Some tracks on here probably represent the foundation stone(s) of the Punk music that would erupt around 1976.
3 thoughts on “The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)”
This one I personally think is a bit overrated, probably because I just never could get warm with Nico (even though I attended a live concert of her once). For the real and unadulterated Velvet Underground experience I’d suggest White Light / White Heat, their second album, which is quite a different beast from the first one. Not quite as easy on the ears, however…
To be honest the only song I really love on this album is Venus in Furs, because it has that really sultry, swaggering leitmotif. I’m not familiar with Nico at all – nor the Velvet Underground, really, so I’ll hunt out White Light / White Heat. Thanks for the recommendation!
You’re welcome. “White Light / White Heat” really is very different however – although I guess the song on their first album that would come closest to it is actually “Venus in Furs”. Still, you might want to give Sister Ray a listen before you rush out and get the album. 😉 If you do, I’d be very interested in your opinion, though!