Chelsea Girl

( 6 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Lindsay Planer
Although Chelsea Girl 1967 was the first long-player from the German-born Christa Päffgen, it was not her debut solo effort. Prior to becoming involved with the Velvet Underground and while under the direction of Andrew Loog Oldham, Nico issued an obscure 7" on the mod pop Immediate label. The song selection on that 1965 single -- which featured a cover of Gordon Lightfoot's "I'm Not Sayin'" and an Oldham co-composition with Jimmy Page called "Last Mile" -- foreshadowed the eclectic nature of this LP. Although the dissolution between the vocalist and core instrumental quartet was not without its share of acrimony, the non-percussive contingent of the Velvet Underground ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Lindsay Planer
Although Chelsea Girl 1967 was the first long-player from the German-born Christa Päffgen, it was not her debut solo effort. Prior to becoming involved with the Velvet Underground and while under the direction of Andrew Loog Oldham, Nico issued an obscure 7" on the mod pop Immediate label. The song selection on that 1965 single -- which featured a cover of Gordon Lightfoot's "I'm Not Sayin'" and an Oldham co-composition with Jimmy Page called "Last Mile" -- foreshadowed the eclectic nature of this LP. Although the dissolution between the vocalist and core instrumental quartet was not without its share of acrimony, the non-percussive contingent of the Velvet Underground is heavily featured on Chelsea Girl: along with then-unknown singer/songwriter Jackson Browne guitar -- the vocalist's concurrent love interest -- there is Lou Reed guitar, Sterling Morrison guitar/bass, and John Cale piano/bass/viola, who contrast what they had been doing with the larger combo. These sides are decidedly "unplugged," providing a folky and Baroque setting for Nico's dark and brooding vocal inflections. There is an introspective foresight in Browne's "Fairest of the Seasons," "These Days," and "Somewhere There's a Feather." The minimalist string section features a quaint, yet effective arrangement giving the material a distinctly European feel. These orchestrated folk leanings are similar to the sound emanating from other burgeoning groups such as the Incredible String Band, Pentangle, and the Fairport Convention spin-off Fotheringay.The same can be said of her almost unrecognizable reworking of Bob Dylan's "I'll Keep It With Mine." The noir black-widow charm ultimately saves the performance, as does Cale's remarkable classical intonations. With Reed's "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams" -- a track which actually predates the Velvet Underground -- there is a sense of history that Nico brings to her interpretation, as if the melody were, in fact, a traditional German folk tune. There is a palpable distinction between those lighter cuts and the menacing Velvet Underground-conceived material. At the center of the project are the extended "It Was a Pleasure Then" and the stunning semi-autobiographical Reed/Morrison title track. The juxtaposition of such honest and at times harrowing imagery to Nico's inherently bleak delivery is nothing short of an inspired artistic statement which has since long outlasted its initial socially relevant context -- similar to the more modern contributions of Laurie Anderson, Ann Magnuson, and Patti Smith. An unqualified masterpiece.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/25/1990
  • Label: Polydor / Umgd
  • UPC: 042283520929
  • Catalog Number: 835209
  • Sales rank: 6,974

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Nico Primary Artist, Marimbas, Vocals
Larry Fallon Conductor
Technical Credits
Lou Reed Composer
Larry Fallon Arranger
Gary Kelgren Engineer
Val Valentin Engineer, Director Of Engineering
Tom Wilson Producer
Gary Kellgren Engineer
Pat Patterson Liner Notes
Tom "Curly" Ruff Mastering
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Royal Tenenbaums - the movie.

    After staying through the credits rolling, I was able to catch the name 'NICO' for a song I really enjoyed in the movie. I was on a quest to find something by NICO. I was very pleased to find 'Chelsea Girl' and even mored pleased to find the first two cuts on the CD were songs in the movie. 'Chelsea Girl' is from 1967 and also includes a Dylan song that he wrote for her, as I discoved from doing a little research on her. It is history from that time and era with songs written by Lou Reed, Jackson Browne, and John Cale.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Musical Poetry

    I have been a fan of Nico's for only a short time now, but her moving lyrics and inspiring sound are sure to move anyone. It is not just music that she sings, but poetry. You can feel the depth and pain of a true artist in her profound voice.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Average

    A couple tracks are good.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    bored beauty

    great music for bored people lounging around their house and smoking cigarettes. makes you want to wear your sunglasses at night.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews