Home > Uncategorized > #37 Velvet Underground – Velvet Underground & Nico

#37 Velvet Underground – Velvet Underground & Nico

The Velvet Underground and Nico

It would seem like a broken record, however, R.E.M. was the impetus for my interest in the Velvet Underground. Anyone that has the ‘Dead Letter Office’, compilation of B-Side tracks from 86 would know of three tracks that the band had covered: “Femme Fatale”, “There She Goes Again” and “Pale Blue Eyes”. The first two of the tracks mentioned above appear on their debut album which also included the sultry Nico and of course support from Andy Warhol.

The debut release with Nico, whose big moment had been having a small role in Fellini’s ‘La Dolce Vita’ creates the VU into one of the first true “Art Bands”. Pushing the boundaries of New York Psychedelica, the Velvet Underground tear apart the underbelly of the American Cherry Pie. It’s drugs, sex, transvestites, sex, drugs and maybe some more sex. Much thanks has to be given to Andy Warhol who gives the band breathing room to release the album that they want to release rather than holding them back.

There were truly frightful moments, such as the song ‘Heroin’ which ripped the skin from me the first time that I listened to it. It reaches that moment when there is the crescendo when Lou Reed, ‘Feels just like Jesus son’.

There are softer moments as well. The inclusion of Nico offers on songs such as “Sunday Morning” offers a lush introduction or the song that inspired a music festival: All Tomorrow’s Parties. Nico is not just your normal blonde singing voice but creates a style all her own.

What makes this album so impressive is it’s ability to explore both subject matter considered taboo as well as experimentation in music. John Cale and Lou Reed both bring much to the table and do not leave any stone unturned to create what might be the most important psychedelic record ever released, at least the most important one out of New York scene.

Their influence is staggering. I am not sure that a band today, or any that is relevant cannot say to be somewhat influenced by their work.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.