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641360 Posts in 25608 Topics by 3644 Members - Latest Member: Lennon74 December 19, 2018, 06:12:49 AM
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Author Topic: Nico  (Read 920 times)
Ovi
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« on: January 02, 2013, 02:05:10 AM »

Rather known for her contribution to Velvet Underground's debut album (even though many hate her voice; I don't) and for her tragic life story (drug addict, the "I don't-like-to-be-beautiful" myth, making her own child a heroin addict, etc.), I just found out that Nico's got a little 6-albums solo discography. Listened to some songs on YouTube and loved the empty, bare, desperate and mystical sound. Anyone familiar with her discography? What album should I start with?

Also, has anyone read the book "Songs They Never Play on the Radio", written by James Young about his adventures with heroin-addict Nico in the 80's on the road?
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A band called The Beach Boys are mostly going to be a fun in the sun-themed group. And that has, is, and will always be just as it should. There needs to be ONE classic band that isn't a pack of endless "artistic" moan. All people wanna do is make The Beach Boys into another Beatles they are less tired of.
And, for anyone who has actually experienced them, surfing and cars carry PLENTY of emotion and life experience. They can carry as much metaphor as any Van Dyke Parks clever epistle.
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2013, 03:04:33 AM »

Rather known for her contribution to Velvet Underground's debut album (even though many hate her voice; I don't) and for her tragic life story (drug addict, the "I don't-like-to-be-beautiful" myth, making her own child a heroin addict, etc.), I just found out that Nico's got a little 6-albums solo discography. Listened to some songs on YouTube and loved the empty, bare, desperate and mystical sound. Anyone familiar with her discography? What album should I start with?

Also, has anyone read the book "Songs They Never Play on the Radio", written by James Young about his adventures with heroin-addict Nico in the 80's on the road?

I'm only familiar with her debut album, Chelsea Girl, which is fantastic and highly recommended. The Velvet Underground back her on some of the tracks including the title track which makes it a good companion to the VU discography (hence it's inclusion on the latest Sundazed boxset). It's a much gentler folk album though really with some gorgeous finger picking guitar by a young Jackson Browne!
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2013, 08:44:35 AM »

Chelsea Girl, The Marble Index, Desertshore and The End are all essential. The Marble Index is the best of them, one of the finest albums of the 60's.
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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2013, 12:30:18 PM »

Camera Obscura from 1985 is up to par with her 60's/70's albums, I think. Her version of My Funny Valentine is pretty amazing....
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2013, 08:24:18 PM »

The Marble Index is a pretty stunning record - but very far removed from what one usually thinks of as rock'n'roll.  Chelsea Girl, and her 1980s stuff, is somewhat more conventional.  Her first four albums (Chelsea Girl, Marble Index, Desertshore, The End) are her best - but her very first 45 "i'm Not Sayin'"/"The Last Mile" is also great.

(About twenty years ago, backstage at an SXSW showcase in Austin, I ran into Sterling Morrison. He told me about how Nico, when she joined the Velvets, would talk about the 45, and say, "Looou, Sterrlinng, why cann't you play moorrre like Jeeemy Paaage?" (who had played on it)

I read James Young's The End aka Nico: Songs They Never Play On The Radio back when it was published. It makes for pretty down-and-dirty, gritty reading when discussing her addiction and the all-round squalor in which she lived in her last decade.  But it also has some strange and spooky moments to.  None spookier than when she and her band are touring Poland, and, in the middle of the night, they come to the crossroads, with a sign pointing the direction to a town called, in Polish, Oswiecim, but rather better known by its German name...

The other book about her, Nico: The Life And Lies Of An Icon, by James Watts, is also quite worth reading; it's a full-scale biography that corrects a lot of the misinformation that she loved to circulate in interviews.

The documentary film about her, Nico/Icon, is also very much worth seeing.
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Ovi
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« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2013, 12:35:44 PM »

^
Great facts, thanks for sharing.

Just gave 'Desertshore' a few listens and I love most of it. But it's truly a depressing listen and an album that really requires a certain mood to be appreciated.

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A band called The Beach Boys are mostly going to be a fun in the sun-themed group. And that has, is, and will always be just as it should. There needs to be ONE classic band that isn't a pack of endless "artistic" moan. All people wanna do is make The Beach Boys into another Beatles they are less tired of.
And, for anyone who has actually experienced them, surfing and cars carry PLENTY of emotion and life experience. They can carry as much metaphor as any Van Dyke Parks clever epistle.
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2018, 01:18:52 PM »

Very old thread I know, but a new biopic about Nico called Nico, 1988 came out last year. I found it great.
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A band called The Beach Boys are mostly going to be a fun in the sun-themed group. And that has, is, and will always be just as it should. There needs to be ONE classic band that isn't a pack of endless "artistic" moan. All people wanna do is make The Beach Boys into another Beatles they are less tired of.
And, for anyone who has actually experienced them, surfing and cars carry PLENTY of emotion and life experience. They can carry as much metaphor as any Van Dyke Parks clever epistle.
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« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2018, 01:29:47 PM »

Cool, I'm big Nico fan.
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« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2018, 01:30:55 PM »

Very old thread I know, but a new biopic about Nico called Nico, 1988 came out last year. I found it great.

Thanks for the heads up. Smiley I missed out on this topic first time round--there's some fascinating information in it.

I'd say my favourite Nico track is "Valley Of The Kings":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlRUC_TPEfo
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