1001 Albums #77

Nico released two albums in 1967. The first was with the Velvet Unground and the second was her solo effort Chelsea Girl. I am not sure why Robert Dimery’s book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die has them out of order. I have lost confidence in this list. If you cannot get the albums in order of their release, then should you be allowed to write a book.

Besides her highly regarded work with the Velvet Underground, Nico is famous for her many lovers. Think of Taylor Swift, but with looks and personality. One of her many lovers was Jackson Browne who was a teenager when he played on this album and wrote three of the songs. Yikes!

Many artist from the late 70s and early 80s considered Nico an inspiration, especially in gothic music. Her vocals are not the strongest ever, but the same can be said about Bob Dylan. Sometimes the message is more important that the messenger. Sometimes it is about the feeling the artist can evoke from the listener. Yet, I still believe you have to be able to carry a tune.

One of my the best songs was written by Jackson Browne when he was about 16. He lyrics show he was already ahead of many of his peers in the expressing emotions with “These Days

“I’ve been out walking
I don’t do too much talking
These days, these days
These days I seem to think a lot
About the things that I forgot to do
And all the times I had the chance to.”

One of my other favourite songs is “I’ll Keep It with Mine” was written by Bob Dylan. He had recorded it his Blonde on Blonde album, but did not release it until 20 years later. I think his version is incredible. He should have released it in 1965. It would have been a hit.

Nico knows how to make the lyrics even more depressing than what is written. Her vocals are extremely passionate. She knows about pains that many people should not know. Nico was born in Germany before WWII ended. She was raped at 15 years old by an American sergeant. She lived a tragic life.

I think Nico is an acquired taste. Many people will listen to this album and not “get” it. This is music for those who feel and know pain. Deep pain. I know this pain. I have had some many things happen to me that I have never shared and probably never will tell anyone about. Sometimes the things that happen to you as a child you feel guilty as if you asked for it. Even if you did not ask for it the guilt is there. There are times when I am not sure if I asked for it or was it something that should not have happened. Life is one long miserable thing until you die. I am alone.

I think everyone should listen to Nico at least twice to be sure that like it or hate it. There is nothing like her before her. I know she was a favourite singer of the characters on Gilmore Girls. I feel that I must watch it over to see what Lane Kim was going on about Nico all the time. I think this album is great. 8.5/10.

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