10 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Nico's first solo album is an intriguing mix of poignant singer/songwriter compositions and the avant-garde leanings that reflect her involvement with The Velvet Underground. A then-unknown and very young Jackson Browne contributes three songs of stellar beauty ("Fairest of the Seasons," "These Days," and "Somewhere There's a Feather"), along with his understated guitarwork. Nico's compatriots in the Velvet Underground—Lou Reed, John Cale, and Sterling Morrison—join her for a variety of tunes, including the discordant "It Was a Pleasure Then" and the gentler, more introspective early Velvet Underground track "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams," plus "Little Sister" and the poignantly autobiographical title track. Tom Wilson's production is artful and sublime, adding strings and flutes for a chamber-folk feel that's as singular in its approach as Nico's vocal phrasing. Bob Dylan's "I'll Keep It with Mine" is given a stern read, while Tim Hardin's "Eulogy to Lenny Bruce" couldn't be more stark and revealing. This 1967 album was at odds with the era's Summer of Love hippie vibe. It stands on its own as a unique masterwork. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Nico's first solo album is an intriguing mix of poignant singer/songwriter compositions and the avant-garde leanings that reflect her involvement with The Velvet Underground. A then-unknown and very young Jackson Browne contributes three songs of stellar beauty ("Fairest of the Seasons," "These Days," and "Somewhere There's a Feather"), along with his understated guitarwork. Nico's compatriots in the Velvet Underground—Lou Reed, John Cale, and Sterling Morrison—join her for a variety of tunes, including the discordant "It Was a Pleasure Then" and the gentler, more introspective early Velvet Underground track "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams," plus "Little Sister" and the poignantly autobiographical title track. Tom Wilson's production is artful and sublime, adding strings and flutes for a chamber-folk feel that's as singular in its approach as Nico's vocal phrasing. Bob Dylan's "I'll Keep It with Mine" is given a stern read, while Tim Hardin's "Eulogy to Lenny Bruce" couldn't be more stark and revealing. This 1967 album was at odds with the era's Summer of Love hippie vibe. It stands on its own as a unique masterwork. 

TITLE TIME
4:06
3:30
4:22
3:17
8:02
7:22
3:17
2:16
5:06
3:45

About Nico

One of the most fascinating figures of rock's fringes, Nico hobnobbed, worked, and was romantically linked with an incredible assortment of the most legendary entertainers of the '60s. The paradox of her career was that she herself never attained the fame of her peers, pursuing a distinctly individualistic and uncompromising musical career that was uncommercial, but wholly admirable and influential. Nico first rose to fame as a European supermodel, also landing a bit part in Fellini's La Dolce Vita film and giving birth to a son by Alain Delon. In 1965, she attracted the attention of Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, who gave her a chance to record for his Immediate label, though the resulting single, which also featured Brian Jones and Jimmy Page on guitars, flopped. Shortly afterward, she moved to New York, where Andy Warhol installed her as a vestigial presence and occasional lead singer for the Velvet Underground. The band never really accepted her as a bona fide member and she departed in 1967, but not before contributing unforgettable deadpan vocals to three of the songs on their classic 1967 debut album.

Nico embarked on a solo career, recording folk-rock-flavored songs for her debut Chelsea Girl album with assistance from Jackson Browne, Lou Reed, and John Cale. Her 1969 follow-up, The Marble Index, was a dramatic departure that unveiled her doom-laden, gothic persona, produced by Cale and prominently featuring her deep vocals, impenetrable lyrics, and ghostly harmonium. Her subsequent '70s albums explored much the same territory, with assistance from Cale and influential art rockers like Eno and Phil Manzanera. Her career fell into disarray during the rest of the '70s and the '80s as she struggled with a massive drug habit and tangled personal life. She released several live albums on various labels, but the ill-planned Drama of Exile and the more successful Camera Obscura were her only coherent studio efforts until she died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Ibiza in 1988.

The original goth rocker, Nico's albums are demanding and bleak, but map a unique and starkly powerful vision that has become more influential with age. An intimate of Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, the Velvet Underground, the Stones, Jim Morrison, Iggy Pop, and others, her fascinating story is recounted in the biography Nico: The Life & Lies of an Icon by Richard Witts, published in Great Britain by Virgin books; The End by James Young is a seedy look at her drug-addled final years by a member of her touring band.

  • ORIGIN
    Cologne, Germany
  • BORN
    Oct 16, 1938

Top Songs by Nico

Top Albums by Nico

Top Music Videos by Nico

Listeners Also Played