V6-5008 The Velvet Underground & Nico
Produced by Andy Warhol
(Track 1 produced by Tom Wilson)
Released on 1967
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
V6-5008 cover  

C reated in the fertile environs of Andy Warhol’s Factory during the mid Sixties, The Velvet Underground & Nico set out to do in music what Warhol, Fellini and others were doing in art and film. And they succeeded, though it would take years to gauge the full extent of that success. While their debut still holds up remarkably well by today’s standards (they were, after all, long-range visionaries), understanding and appreciating this album requires that the listener recall the state of music in the mid Sixties. Certainly Dylan, The Who and the psychedelic movement had recently paved part of the road that led to the Velvets, but for the most part Reed, Cale, Nico and the band were blazing trails in the wilderness. The unblinking intensity of “Venus in Furs,” the harrowing urban storytelling of “Heroin” and “I’m Waiting for the Man,” the European art-film aesthetics of “All Tomorrow’s Parties,” and the sonic experimentation of “European Son” are unique to the Velvets. The band’s originality is underscored by the fact that Lou Reed could write commercial music; “Sunday Morning” is all smiles and sweetness, for example, but in retrospect it’s like a ticking time bomb that never goes off. Nico’s vocals are aloof and impenetrable (elements that are played up to best effect on “Femme Fatale”), Cale cuts through the music like a rusty saw through bone, Morrison turns in moments of Zappa-esque fury (whom he predates) on “Run, Run, Run” and elsewhere, and Tucker provides only a hint of form with her percussion. Just about every track on The Velvet Underground & Nico is important, especially as this seminal band left so little music behind. The record remains a classic, and a testament that the most important art is created outside of the mainstream. (Note: 25 years later, the whole thing was repackaged as a two-disc set with mono and stereo mixes of the album plus some extra cuts. I'll try to sort out which is which soon, and hopefully rewrite this review, which admittedly lacks inspiration.)

V6-5008 back cover
V6-5008 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. SUNDAY MORNING    2:53
  2. I'M WAITING FOR THE MAN    4:37
  3. FEMME FATALE    2:35
  4. VENUS IN FURS    5:07
  5. RUN RUN RUN    4:18
  6. ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES    5:55
  7. HEROIN    7:05
  8. THERE SHE GOES AGAIN    2:30
  9. I'LL BE YOUR MIRROR    2:01
  10. THE BLACK ANGEL'S DEATH SONG    (Lou Reed/John Cale)    3:10
  11. EUROPEAN SON to DELMORE SCHWARTZ    (Lou Reed/John Cale/Sterling Morrison/Maureen Tucker)    (track time unlisted on elpee)

    All songs written by Lou Reed unless noted. All arrangements by The Velvet Underground.

    DELUXE EDITION track listing

    disc one
  12. SUNDAY MORNING (stereo versions?)
  13. I'M WAITING FOR THE MAN
  14. FEMME FATALE
  15. VENUS IN FURS
  16. RUN RUN RUN
  17. ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES
  18. HEROIN
  19. THERE SHE GOES AGAIN
  20. I'LL BE YOUR MIRROR
  21. THE BLACK ANGEL'S DEATH SONG
  22. EUROPEAN SON
  23. LITTLE SISTER
  24. WINTER SONG
  25. IT WAS A PLEASURE THEN
  26. CHELSEA GIRLS
  27. WRAP YOUR TROUBLES IN DREAMS

    disc two
  28. SUNDAY MORNING (mono versions?)
  29. I'M WAITING FOR THE MAN
  30. FEMME FATALE
  31. VENUS IN FURS
  32. RUN RUN RUN
  33. ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES
  34. HEROIN
  35. THERE SHE GOES AGAIN
  36. I'LL BE YOUR MIRROR
  37. THE BLACK ANGEL'S DEATH SONG
  38. EUROPEAN SON
  39. ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES
  40. I'LL BE YOUR MIRROR (MONO SINGLE VERSION)
  41. SUNDAY MORNING (SINGLE VERSION)
  42. FEMME FATALE (MONO SINGLE VERSION)

CREDITS

JOHN CALE -- electric viola, piano, bass guitar
STERLING MORRISON -- rhythm guitar, bass guitar
NICO -- chanteuse
LOU REED -- lead guitar, ostrich guitar, vocal
MAUREEN TUCKER -- percussion
Edited and remixed under the supervision of Tom Wilson by Gene Radice and David Greene
Omi Haden - T.T.G. Hollywood -- recording engineers
Val Valentin -- director of engineering
Acy R. Lehman -- cover design
Hugo -- color show photo
Paul Morrissey -- portraits
Andy Warhol -- cover painting

return to THE VELVET UNDERGROUND discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US 1967 Verve LP V6-5008 gatefold picture sleeve
US   Verve LP V6-5008 gf pic sleeve, blue/silver label reissue
JPN   Verve LP 23MM-1091 gf pic sleeve, lyric insert
US   Verve LP V6-5008 black label reissue
UK August 1983 Polydor LP SPELP20 reissue
US   Verve LPYEL V6-5008 yellow vinyl reissue
US   Verve CD 823 290  
EUR May 20, 1996 Universal CD 531 250 digital remaster
US 1997 Mobile Fidelity CD UDCD-695 original master recording
JPN   Polydor CD UICY-2334 digital remaster
US 2002 Polydor 2CD 589 588 DELUXE EDITION, digital remaster
US 2002 Polydor 2CDLE 589 624 ltd. ed. DELUXE EDITION w. peelable cover

 

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