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The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground & Nico

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The Velvet Underground & Nico

The Velvet Underground, Nico

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One would be hard-pressed to name a rock album whose influence has been as broad and pervasive as The Velvet Underground & Nico. While it reportedly took over a decade for the album's sales to crack six figures, glam, punk, new wave, goth, noise, and nearly every other left-of-center rock movement owes an audible debt to this set. While The Velvet Underground had as distinctive a sound as any band, what's most surprising about this album is its diversity. Here, the Velvets dipped their toes into dreamy pop ("Sunday Morning"), tough garage rock ("Waiting for the Man"), stripped-down R&B ("There She Goes Again"), and understated love songs ("I'll Be Your Mirror") when they weren't busy creating sounds without pop precedent. Lou Reed's lyrical exploration of drugs and kinky sex (then risky stuff in film and literature, let alone "teen music") always received the most press attention, but the music Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, and Maureen Tucker played was as radical as the words they accompanied. The bracing discord of "European Son," the troubling beauty of "All Tomorrow's Parties," and the expressive dynamics of "Heroin" all remain as compelling as the day they were recorded. While the significance of Nico's contributions have been debated over the years, she meshes with the band's outlook in that she hardly sounds like a typical rock vocalist, and if Andy Warhol's presence as producer was primarily a matter of signing the checks, his notoriety allowed The Velvet Underground to record their material without compromise, which would have been impossible under most other circumstances. Few rock albums are as important as The Velvet Underground & Nico, and fewer still have lost so little of their power to surprise and intrigue more 50 years after first hitting the racks.
© Mark Deming /TiVo

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The Velvet Underground & Nico

The Velvet Underground

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1
Sunday Morning
The Velvet Underground
00:02:55

Sterling Morrison, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Maureen Tucker, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - John Cale, Piano, Viola, Celesta, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Lou Reed, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Wilson, Producer - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International, a division of Universal Music GmbH

2
I'm Waiting For The Man
The Velvet Underground
00:04:39

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music Group, Inc.

3
Femme Fatale
The Velvet Underground
00:02:38

Lou Reed, Unknown, Other, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International, a division of Universal Music GmbH

4
Venus In Furs
The Velvet Underground
00:05:11

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International, a division of Universal Music GmbH

5
Run Run Run
The Velvet Underground
00:04:22

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International, a division of Universal Music GmbH

6
All Tomorrow's Parties
The Velvet Underground
00:05:58

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International, a division of Universal Music GmbH

7
Heroin
The Velvet Underground
00:07:13

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International, a division of Universal Music GmbH

8
There She Goes Again
The Velvet Underground
00:02:40

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International, a division of Universal Music GmbH

9
I'll Be Your Mirror
The Velvet Underground
00:02:14

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International, a division of Universal Music GmbH

10
The Black Angel's Death Song
The Velvet Underground
00:03:11

John Cale, ComposerLyricist - Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc.

11
European Son
The Velvet Underground
00:07:46

Sterling Morrison, ComposerLyricist - John Cale, ComposerLyricist - Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Maureen Ann Tucker, ComposerLyricist - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc.

12
All Tomorrow's Parties (Alternate Single Voice Version)
The Velvet Underground
00:05:57

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 Universal Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

13
European Son (Alternate Version)
The Velvet Underground
00:09:06

Sterling Morrison, ComposerLyricist - John Cale, ComposerLyricist - Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Maureen Ann Tucker, ComposerLyricist - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 Universal Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

14
Heroin (Alternate Version)
The Velvet Underground
00:06:17

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 Universal Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

15
All Tomorrow's Parties (Alternate Instrumental Mix)
The Velvet Underground
00:05:51

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 Universal Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

16
I'll Be Your Mirror (Alternate Mix)
The Velvet Underground
00:02:20

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 Universal Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

DISCO 2

1
Sunday Morning (Mono)
The Velvet Underground
00:02:54

John Cale, ComposerLyricist - Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Wilson, Producer - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
I'm Waiting For The Man (Mono)
The Velvet Underground
00:04:46

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
Femme Fatale (Mono)
The Velvet Underground
00:02:37

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
Venus In Furs (Mono)
The Velvet Underground
00:05:13

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
Run Run Run (Mono)
The Velvet Underground
00:04:24

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
All Tomorrow's Parties (Mono)
The Velvet Underground
00:05:59

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
Heroin (Mono)
The Velvet Underground
00:07:14

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
There She Goes Again (Mono)
The Velvet Underground
00:02:41

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
I'll Be Your Mirror (Mono)
The Velvet Underground
00:02:13

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc.

10
Black Angel's Death Song (Mono)
The Velvet Underground
00:03:13

John Cale, ComposerLyricist - Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc.

11
European Son (Mono)
The Velvet Underground
00:07:57

Sterling Morrison, ComposerLyricist - John Cale, ComposerLyricist - Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Maureen Ann Tucker, ComposerLyricist - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc.

12
All Tomorrow's Parties (Mono Single)
The Velvet Underground
00:02:51

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1966 Universal Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

13
I'll Be Your Mirror (Mono Single - Alternate Ending)
The Velvet Underground
00:02:18

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1966 Universal Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

14
Sunday Morning (Mono Single - Alternate Mix)
The Velvet Underground
00:03:12

John Cale, ComposerLyricist - Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Wilson, Producer - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1966 Universal Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

15
Femme Fatale (Mono Single)
The Velvet Underground
00:02:36

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1966 Universal Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

DISCO 3

1
The Fairest Of The Seasons
Nico
00:04:10

Jackson Browne, ComposerLyricist - Aaron Copland, ComposerLyricist - Nico, MainArtist - Tom Wilson, Producer

℗ 1966 UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
These Days
Nico
00:03:34

Jackson Browne, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Nico, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Wilson, Producer

℗ 1966 UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
Little Sister
Nico
00:04:26

John Cale, ComposerLyricist - Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - Nico, MainArtist - Tom Wilson, Producer

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
Winter Song
Nico
00:03:20

John Cale, ComposerLyricist - Nico, MainArtist - Tom Wilson, Producer

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
It Was A Pleasure Then
Nico
00:08:06

John Cale, ComposerLyricist - Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - Nico, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Tom Wilson, Producer - Larry Fallon, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Gary Kellgren, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International, a division of Universal Music GmbH

6
Chelsea Girls
Nico
00:07:26

Sterling Morrison, ComposerLyricist - Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - Nico, MainArtist - Tom Wilson, Producer - Larry Fallon, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Gary Kellgren, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1967 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International, a division of Universal Music GmbH

7
I'll Keep It With Mine
Nico
00:03:21

Bob Dylan, ComposerLyricist - Nico, MainArtist - Tom Wilson, Producer

℗ 1966 UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
Somewhere There's A Feather
Nico
00:02:19

Jackson Browne, ComposerLyricist - Nico, MainArtist - Tom Wilson, Producer

℗ 1966 UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams
Nico
00:05:09

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - Nico, MainArtist - Tom Wilson, Producer

℗ 1966 UMG Recordings, Inc.

10
Eulogy To Lenny Bruce
Nico
00:03:46

Tim Hardin, ComposerLyricist - Nico, MainArtist - Tom Wilson, Producer

℗ 1966 UMG Recordings, Inc.

DISCO 4

1
European Son (Alternative Version)
The Velvet Underground
00:09:02

Sterling Morrison, ComposerLyricist - John Cale, ComposerLyricist - Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Maureen Ann Tucker, ComposerLyricist - Andy Warhol, Producer - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1966 Universal Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
Black Angel's Death Song (Alternative Mix)
The Velvet Underground
00:03:16

John Cale, ComposerLyricist - Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1966 Universal Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
All Tomorrow's Parties (Alternative Version)
The Velvet Underground
00:05:53

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1966 Universal Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
I'll Be Your Mirror (Alternative Version)
The Velvet Underground
00:02:11

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1966 Universal Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
Heroin (Alternative Version)
The Velvet Underground
00:06:15

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1966 Universal Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
Femme Fatale (Alternative Mix)
The Velvet Underground
00:02:35

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1966 Universal Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
Venus In Furs (Alternative Version)
The Velvet Underground
00:04:28

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1966 Universal Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
Waiting For The Man (Alternative Version)
The Velvet Underground
00:04:09

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1966 Universal Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
Run Run Run (Alternative Mix)
The Velvet Underground
00:04:23

Lou Reed, ComposerLyricist - The Velvet Underground, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nico, MainArtist - Norman Dolph, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andy Warhol, Producer - Omi Haden, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Licata, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1966 Universal Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Descrizione dell'album

One would be hard-pressed to name a rock album whose influence has been as broad and pervasive as The Velvet Underground & Nico. While it reportedly took over a decade for the album's sales to crack six figures, glam, punk, new wave, goth, noise, and nearly every other left-of-center rock movement owes an audible debt to this set. While The Velvet Underground had as distinctive a sound as any band, what's most surprising about this album is its diversity. Here, the Velvets dipped their toes into dreamy pop ("Sunday Morning"), tough garage rock ("Waiting for the Man"), stripped-down R&B ("There She Goes Again"), and understated love songs ("I'll Be Your Mirror") when they weren't busy creating sounds without pop precedent. Lou Reed's lyrical exploration of drugs and kinky sex (then risky stuff in film and literature, let alone "teen music") always received the most press attention, but the music Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, and Maureen Tucker played was as radical as the words they accompanied. The bracing discord of "European Son," the troubling beauty of "All Tomorrow's Parties," and the expressive dynamics of "Heroin" all remain as compelling as the day they were recorded. While the significance of Nico's contributions have been debated over the years, she meshes with the band's outlook in that she hardly sounds like a typical rock vocalist, and if Andy Warhol's presence as producer was primarily a matter of signing the checks, his notoriety allowed The Velvet Underground to record their material without compromise, which would have been impossible under most other circumstances. Few rock albums are as important as The Velvet Underground & Nico, and fewer still have lost so little of their power to surprise and intrigue more 50 years after first hitting the racks.
© Mark Deming /TiVo

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