Best known for taking the lead on three tracks from the Velvet Underground's debut, Nico's chilly Germanic intonation ensured that “All Tomorrows Parties” et al. had the kind of depressing edge beloved by miserablists everywhere (not that the Velvets themselves were any strangers to misfortune and vice). It was perhaps the perversely minimal solo record The Marble Index, though, which sealed Nico as an inspiration for future generations of icy maidens. This live 1980 recording from Manchester's Library Theatre plucks tracks from near and far, resulting in a compact summary of her career. Nico's penetrating voice is resoundingly pushed to centre stage, leaving the backing musicians so subdued as to almost be non-existent. The effect is of a lonely, unaccompanied siren practically draining the life from the room with her haunting lamentations. Fair warning here, the audio quality is not immaculate and Nico is always a challenging listen — but that's really half the point. Here's proof that you don't always need grotesque lyrics or a silly costume to produce an unsettling record.
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By Andrew Parks on 10.10.14 in News
Since you won't be hearing any Nico on the Velvet Underground's latest round of reissues, we thought we'd share the next best thing: an expanded vinyl edition of the singer's fifth collaboration with John Cale, 1974...
By Ira Robbins on 11.01.13 in Reviews
The Velvet Underground and Nico, released months before Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club in 1967, is no concept album, but it is the distinct product of multiple creative forces pulling in different directions and boasts...
By Andrew Perry on 10.29.13 in Lists
To celebrate the release of This Is What I Do, Boy George's first studio album in 18 years, we invited him to take over eMusic. You can read our revealing interview with the pop legend here, and he shares his favorite al...