|1. Sunday Morning|
|2. I'm Waiting For The Man|
|3. Femme Fatale|
|4. Venus in Furs|
|5. Run Run Run|
|6. All Tomorrow's Parties|
|8. There She Goes Again - The Velvet Underground|
|9. I'll Be Your Mirror|
|10. The Black Angel's Death Song|
|11. European Sun|
"Femme Fatale" is one of my favorite songs ever. The great Nico coyly identifying "here she comes...you better watch your step. She's going to break your heart in two...it's true." She's just a little tease, indeed. Her vocal work on this album is just amazing. The contrast between her and Lou Reed is genius. "I'll Be Your Mirror" is one of the sweetest love songs I have ever heard. It has a such an original and sweet perspective, and is so melancholy in the hands of Nico, whose voice really is so distinctive, warm and charmingly amateur all at once. It really is a pitty that her work with the Velvet Underground pretty much ended with this album. I can only imagine how the Velvet's history may have been different had she stuck around for subsequent releases.
"I'm Waiting For My Man" is probably my favorite singular song on the album. The low-key guitar approach is pure Lou Reed, and I love the imagery he brings to life about New York, and trying to meet up with his dealer. "He's never early...he's always late. First thing you learn is that you always gotta wait..." Amazing stuff, and Mo Tucker keeps it all together with her electrifying drum assault. The song that most people identify as one of the most important contributions to rock history would have to be "Heroin," Reed's droning anthemic ode to the gift's and perils of the drug he so treasured.Read more ›
I guess I heard VU too late in life--when I finally purchased a copy of "Nico" last year, I was preparing myself to be stunned by what my friends called "visionary music." What I got in return was a collection of quaint, jangly guitar rock songs, not unlike a softer version of The Who. It has some original character of its own, with a few fey guitar distortion parts and screeching viola lines thrown into the mix, adding a somewhat bizarre and obtuse character to Lou Reed's bluesy compositions. Occasionally, an actual tune (i.e., "Sunday Morning") emerged from the 'experimentation,' but even its melodic merits sounded dated and clichÃ© to my modern ears. That's the chief problem with "Nico"--once you have heard the music of VU-influence bands like the Jesus and Mary Chain, Joy Division, and the Stooges, you don't turn back to this primordial album. It may have been alt-rock's blueprint, but it is not that genre's definitive statement.
I'm sure that, at some point in time, VU sounded unlike anyone else. They were supposedly the antithesis of the "flower-power" movement of the late 60s, as if this is supposed to be some sort of admirable feat (maybe it's just me, but a lot of good and influential music came out of that 'wimpy' hippie movement). Needless to say, VU's golden moment has long since passed.Read more ›
In the mid-late sixties, a band called the Velvet Underground had began to build up a reputation as a pretty strong live act. The band, which consisted of Lou Reed (best known for his seventies solo hit, Walk On The Wild Side), John Cale, Moe Tucker, Sterling Morrison, and Nico (who would perform only on this album but record several later solo albums) recorded their first album in 1966. Unfortunately, due to numerous delays, the album didn't actually get released until the following year. The act was managed and produced by legendary sixties artist Andy Warhol, who also created the cover art. How does the act's first album measure up? Read on and find out.
This is the only one of the Velvet Underground's albums to feature Nico in the band. Accordingly, some tracks feature her on lead vocals, and some feature Lou Reed. The opener, Sunday Morning, is a slow, soft, and melodic number, featuring some excellent singing by Reed. It makes for an excellent opening track. Next up we have I'm Waiting For The Man, a fast-paced sixties pop rocker. This is quite possibly the album's finest and most memorable song, and it's no surprise to see fans of the Velvets praise this song. Once again, Reed's vocals are great. Femme Fatale, the next track on the album, is considerably slower and darker than the previous two. On this one Nico does lead vocals, and her vocals are excellent. I admit, her voice can take some getting used to, but after a while you'll agree - she can sing well. Another excellent track featuring Nico's vocals is All Tomorrow's Parties. This one isn't quite as dark and eerie as Femme Fatale, but it's no less excellent. An edited version of this song was issued as one of the band's singles.Read more ›