The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)


“The Velvet Underground & Nico is the debut album by American rock band the Velvet Underground, released in March 1967 by Verve Records. It was recorded in 1966 while the band were featured on Andy Warhol‘s Exploding Plastic Inevitable tour, which gained attention for its experimental performance sensibilities and controversial lyrical topics, including drug abuse, prostitution, sadomasochism and sexual deviancy. It sold poorly and was mostly ignored by contemporary critics, but later became regarded as one of the most influential albums in the history of popular music. Many subgenres of rock music and forms of alternative music were significantly informed by the album, including art rock, punk, garage, shoegazing, goth, and indie. … The Velvet Underground & Nico was recorded with the first professional line-up of the Velvet Underground: Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker. At the instigation of their mentor and manager Andy Warhol, and his collaborator Paul Morrissey, German singer Nico was also featured; she had occasionally performed lead vocals for the band. She sang lead on three of the album’s tracks—’Femme Fatale‘, ‘All Tomorrow’s Parties‘ and ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’‘—and back-up on ‘Sunday Morning’. In 1966, as the album was being recorded, this was also the line-up for their live performances as a part of Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable. … The Velvet Underground & Nico was notable for its overt descriptions of topics such as drug abuse, prostitution, sadism and masochism and sexual deviancy. ‘I’m Waiting for the Man’ describes a man’s efforts to obtain heroin, while ‘Venus in Furs‘ is a nearly literal interpretation of the 19th century novel of the same name (which itself prominently features accounts of BDSM).  ‘Heroin‘ details an individual’s use of the drug and the experience of feeling its effects. Lou Reed, who wrote the majority of the album’s lyrics, never intended to write about such topics for shock value. Reed, a fan of poets and authors such as Raymond Chandler, Nelson Algren, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and Hubert Selby, Jr., saw no reason the content in their works couldn’t translate well to rock and roll music. … Though the album’s dark subject matter is today considered revolutionary, several of the album’s songs are centered on themes more typical of popular music. …”
Wikipedia (Audio)
‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’: Peel Slowly And See The VU’s Debut (Audio)
Rolling Stone – ‘The Velvet Underground and Nico’: 10 Things You Didn’t Know (Video)
YouTube: Velvet Underground-“Sunday Morning” from “Velvet Underground and Nico” LP

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