The Velvet Underground & Nico from The Velvet Underground is out of order in the book of 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. The problem is that the book is wrong on the order of some of the albums. I think I will make more changes with the next post.
The Velvet Underground has risen from an underappreciated band that was briefly managed by artist Andy Warhol to one that influence music greatly through the decades. Andy Warhol? Weird right? The album was also a failure when it was released in 1967.
The albums starts off with the lush lullaby “Sunday Morning“. It is one of those songs where you should pay attention to the lyrics,
“Watch out, the world’s behind you
There’s always someone around you who will call
It’s nothing at all”.
It is about paranoia. If ever there was a time when the world is watching you it is today. They are also recording you. Was Lou Reed and John Cale prophets?
Nico finally makes a full appearance on the third song “Femme Fatale“. I never knew this was a Velvet Underground song. I thought it was a Duran Duran song. The song has been covered many times. It is strange to hear a woman sing it. It kind of takes on a different meaning.
My other favourite song is “All Tomorrow’s Parties“. It is incredible. In fact the song “Heroin“, although a strange take on drugs is a great song. The whole album is a dark look at the realities of life, especially in the Summer of Love and at The Factory, where the Velvet Underground was Andy Warhol‘s house band. The Factory was the studio where he had famous parties, filmed his bizarre movies, created art and used it as a hangout for his artistic friends.
I cannot believe this album was thought to be terrible in 1967 and Rolling Stone magazine did not even review it. It is an amazing album. This album was the reason that many bands in the late 70s and 80s existed. If you listen you can hear Bauhaus, Simple Minds, U2, Sex Pistols, Joy Division, The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys and the list goes on and on. It deserves to be listed and heard. 9.5/10.