The Velvet Underground & Nico

( 10 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
One would be hard-pressed to name a rock album whose influence has been as broad and pervasive as The Velvet Underground & Nico. While it reportedly took over a decade for the album's sales to crack six figures, glam, punk, new wave, goth, noise, and nearly every other left-of-center rock movement owes an audible debt to this set. While The Velvet Underground had as distinctive a sound as any band, what's most surprising about this album is its diversity. Here, the Velvets dipped their toes into dreamy pop "Sunday Morning", tough garage rock "Waiting for the Man", stripped-down R&B "There She Goes Again", and understated love songs "I'll Be Your Mirror" when they ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
One would be hard-pressed to name a rock album whose influence has been as broad and pervasive as The Velvet Underground & Nico. While it reportedly took over a decade for the album's sales to crack six figures, glam, punk, new wave, goth, noise, and nearly every other left-of-center rock movement owes an audible debt to this set. While The Velvet Underground had as distinctive a sound as any band, what's most surprising about this album is its diversity. Here, the Velvets dipped their toes into dreamy pop "Sunday Morning", tough garage rock "Waiting for the Man", stripped-down R&B "There She Goes Again", and understated love songs "I'll Be Your Mirror" when they weren't busy creating sounds without pop precedent. Lou Reed's lyrical exploration of drugs and kinky sex then risky stuff in film and literature, let alone "teen music" always received the most press attention, but the music Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, and Maureen Tucker played was as radical as the words they accompanied. The bracing discord of "European Son," the troubling beauty of "All Tomorrow's Parties," and the expressive dynamics of "Heroin" all remain as compelling as the day they were recorded. While the significance of Nico's contributions have been debated over the years, she meshes with the band's outlook in that she hardly sounds like a typical rock vocalist, and if Andy Warhol's presence as producer was primarily a matter of signing the checks, his notoriety allowed The Velvet Underground to record their material without compromise, which would have been impossible under most other circumstances. Few rock albums are as important as The Velvet Underground & Nico, and fewer still have lost so little of their power to surprise and intrigue more than 40 years after first hitting the racks.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/7/1996
  • Label: Polydor / Umgd
  • UPC: 731453125025
  • Catalog Number: 531250
  • Sales rank: 7,227

Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Velvet Underground Primary Artist
John Cale Bass, Piano, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Viola, Electric Viola
Nico Vocals, Chant
Lou Reed Guitar, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Maureen Tucker Bass, Percussion, Drums
Sterling Morrison Bass, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Rhythm Guitar
Technical Credits
John Cale Composer
Lou Reed Composer
The Velvet Underground Arranger
David Greene Remixing, Remastering
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Gene Radice Remixing, Remastering
Moe Tucker Composer
Val Valentin Director Of Engineering
Andy Warhol Producer, Cover Painting
Tom Wilson Producer, Contributor
Omi Haden Engineer
Acy Lehman Cover Design
John Wilcock Liner Notes
David Antim Liner Notes
Jonas Mekas Liner Notes
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the Birthplaces of Modern Rock

    This is one of the most innovative and cutting-edge albums of its time. Lou Reed must be remembered for treating rock 'n' roll as an ART. He and his bandmates John Cale, Sterling Morrison, and Maureen Tucker, take their instruments and compose their songs from all different genres. Examples are classical, pop, gothic, punk, and heavy metal. Many bands in the blues,punk, new wave, heavy metal, grunge, industrial, hip-hop, soft rock, and even country scene, definitely have an homage to pay to the Velvet Underground. Their legacy is on the same level as artists like The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, James Brown, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Little Richard, Bo Diddley, etc.. If you want a landmark where modern rock started, this is one of them!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the most Mindblowing albums ever created

    I bought this album on vinyl, and I was completely blown away. Lou Reed is a definite genius. This album ranges from punk, glam, goth, new wave, garage rock, noise, to pop songs. Its one of the most influential albums ever. After listening to the song "Heroin", you know where Sonic Youth gets inspiration from. The lyrics are phenomenal, containing songs that were considered controversial at the time. The songs talk about drugs, prostitution, transvestites, and s & m. Its one of the first albums that contains a variety of different music styles yet still has the same feel. I could never forget Nico's unforgettable contributions of vocals to the songs, including "Femme Fatale", "All Tommorow's Parties", "I'll Be Your Mirror" and her back up vocals to "Sunday Morning". She is one of the greatest female singers of all time. The next time you are at a record store, please pick this album up immediately.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Punk, glam, new wave and alternative fans? Here's where it all began...

    There may be some debate as to where the origins of heavy metal lie. Many say the first heavy metal song was the Kinks' "You Really Got Me" (check the issue of Uncut with them on the cover for details)...one of the members of Blue Oyster Cult thinks it's the Rolling Stones' "Paint it Black", still others cite Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild" (certainly closer in style to what became accepted as heavy metal afterwards, plus had "heavy metal thunder" in its lyrics). But when it comes to finding the origins of punk, glam, new wave and alternative music, one need go no further than 'The Velvet Underground & Nico' released in 1967. It had all the right stuff to be the forerunner of those styles that came afterwards: it sold in low numbers, had very little commercial appeal (as anti-Summer of Love and different the Doors were during the same year, they had much more radio-readiness than the VU) and a distant, cool, detached, middle finger to the establishment attitude as any band could possibly be in the era of psychedelia, flower-power and all such things now beautifully essayed in Barry Miles' book 'Hippie'. It was a pretty diverse album too, slower ballads such as "Femme Fatale" and "Sunday Morning" (not the sort of ballads to be covered by the likes of Tom Jones or Joe Cocker!) and the grungy, noisy "I'm Waiting For the Man", "Heroin" and "Run Run Run", and the tracks I believe got this album to be voted among the top psychedelic albums of all-time (as per the book 'Turn On Your Mind'), "All Tomorrow's Parties" and "European Son" (psychedelia is a broader music genre than one might think). Lou Reed's songwriting is brilliant, and is a precursor for what he would be doing years later as a solo artist. With this debut album, the Velvet Underground became, arguably, the second-most influential band of all-time (after the Beatles, that is).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    REVOLUTIONARY!!

    EARLIER I REVIEWED THIS ALBUM AND I WAS A BIT TOO HASTY. I REALLY DECIPHERED IT FURTHER AND FOUND IT TO BE A ONE OF A KIND MASTERWORK. THIS ALBUM TACKLES TABOO SUBJECTS SUCH AS DRUG DEALS, S&M, AND VARIOUS OTHER CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS. IT IS SO DIABOLICAL IN IT'S PORTRAYAL OF THE SEEDY SIDE OF LIFE, AND, PAINTS AN OMINUS PORTRAIT OF IT. LOU REED'S UNUSUAL VOICE IS PERFECT FOR THE TYPE OF ENVIORMENT THE UNDERGROUND WANT'S TO PORTRAY. THE GERMAN MODEL 'NICO' IS NOT A TYPICAL ROCK STAR, BUT, SHE IS THE PERFECT VOICE FOR THIS TYPE OF MUSIC. THE MUSIC IS LOUD, HARD, AND FINGER NAIL DOWN THE CHALK BOARD TYPE OF SCREECHING IMAGERY. THIS IS WHERE ALTERNO-ROCK STARTED. THIS IS THE MOST IN DEPTH ALBUM I HAVE EVER HEARD, AND THE VERY BEST THIS REVIEWER HAS EVER COME ACROSS.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Golden Banana:The Velvet Underground & Nico

    On their breathtaking debut, the velvet underground open a door to worlds that we only dream about,making it one of the classic recordings of all time

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    velvety smooth

    this album is the cornerstone of todays alternative rock. this album is very moody. there are soft ballads, hard as nails electric guitar songs as well. the german model 'nico' does not add much to the album, but her contribution is memorable on the track 'femme fatale'. lou reed is his usual laid back self. this album is not for everyone, but everyone should have it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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