End

The End

by Nico
     
 

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It is one of the most entrenched visions in the rock critic's vocabulary: Nico as doomed Valkyrie, droning death-like through a harsh gothic monotone, a drained beauty pumping dirges from her harmonium while a voice as old as dirt hangs cobwebs 'round the chords. In fact she only made one album which remotely fit that bill -- this one -- and it's

Overview

It is one of the most entrenched visions in the rock critic's vocabulary: Nico as doomed Valkyrie, droning death-like through a harsh gothic monotone, a drained beauty pumping dirges from her harmonium while a voice as old as dirt hangs cobwebs 'round the chords. In fact she only made one album which remotely fit that bill -- this one -- and it's a symbol of its significance that even the cliché emerges as a thing of stunning beauty. Her first album following three years of rumor and speculation, The End, was consciously designed to highlight the Nico of already pertinent myth. Stark, dark, bare, and frightening, the harmonium is dominant even amid the splendor of Eno's synthesized menace, John Cale's child-like piano, and Phil Manzanera's scratchy, effects-whipped guitar; it is the howling wind upon wuthering heights, deathless secrets in airless dungeons, ancient mysteries in the guise of modern icons. Former lover Jim Morrison haunts the stately "You Forgot to Answer," a song written about the last time Nico saw him, in a hired limousine on the day of his death; of course he reappears in the title track, an epic recounting of the Doors' own "The End," but blacker than even they envisioned it, an echoing maze of torch-lit corridors and spectral children, and so intense that, by the time Nico reaches the "mother...father" passage, she is too weary even to scream. The cracked groan which emerges instead is all the more chilling for its understatement, and the musicians were as affected as the listener. But to dwell on the fear is to overlook the beauty -- The End, first and foremost, is an album of intimate simplicity and deceptive depths. [The 2012 deluxe version adds a 49-minute bonus disc to the package. Included are two Peel Sessions from 1971 and 1974, respectively, a pair of cuts from an Old Grey Whistle Test performance in 1975, and a pair of live cuts from the Rainbow Theater in 1974. All nine of these cuts are previously unreleased. All but one of these nine tracks are performances from The End, but the version of "Janitor of Lunacy" is well worth the price all by itself. All of the tracks feature Nico accompanied only by her harmonium. Stunning.] ~ Dave Thompson & Thom Jurek

Product Details

Release Date:
10/23/2012
Label:
Universal Uk
UPC:
0602537127474
catalogNumber:
3712747
Rank:
58400

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Nico   Primary Artist,Organ,Harmonium,Vocals
John Cale   Organ,Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Glockenspiel,Bass Guitar,Marimbas,Electric Piano,Triangle,Xylophone,Cabasa
Phil Manzanera   Electric Guitar
Brian Eno   Synthesizer
Annagh Wood   Background Vocals
Vicki Wood   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

John Cale   Producer
Nico   Arranger,Composer
John Wood   Engineer
Jim Morrison   Composer
Ray Manzarek   Composer
John Densmore   Composer
Philippe Garrel   Cover Photo
Richard Williams   Producer
Sue Armstrong   Marketing
Simon Bedford   Inlay Photography
Robby Krieger   Composer
Hoffmann von Fallersleben   Composer
Andrew Batt   Liner Notes,Tape Research
Victor Gammat   Engineer
August Heinrich   Composer

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