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|Studio||Mayfair Recording, Manhattan|
Chelsea Girl is the debut solo album and second studio album by German singer Nico. It was released in October 1967 by Verve Records and was recorded following Nico's collaboration with the Velvet Underground on their 1967 debut studio album. It was produced by Tom Wilson, who added string and flute arrangements against the wishes of Nico. The title is a reference to Andy Warhol's 1966 film Chelsea Girls , in which Nico starred.
Much of the album features instrumental work and songwriting credits from Velvet Underground members Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison, and John Cale. The song "I'll Keep It with Mine" was written by Bob Dylan, while three songs are by Jackson Browne, who contributes guitar.
After collaborating as a singer with the Velvet Underground on their debut The Velvet Underground & Nico (recorded in 1966 and released in March of the following year), Warhol superstar Nico toured with the band in Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable (EPI) multimedia roadshow. Before the EPI came to an end in 1967, Nico took up residence in a New York City coffeehouse as a solo folk chanteuse; accompanied in turn by guitarists, such as Tim Hardin, Jackson Browne, and also her Velvet Underground bandmates Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison and John Cale.
Some of the accompanists wrote songs for Nico to sing, and these form the backbone of Chelsea Girl. Browne contributed "The Fairest of the Seasons", "These Days", and "Somewhere There's a Feather", while Hardin contributed "Eulogy to Lenny Bruce". "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams" by Lou Reed was part of the earliest Velvet Underground repertoire (which did not surface as a Velvet Underground recording until it was included in the 1995 box set Peel Slowly and See ), and Reed, Cale and Morrison in various combinations contributed four more songs. Additionally, Bob Dylan gave her one of his songs to record: "I'll Keep It with Mine".
Musically, Chelsea Girl can be described as a cross between chamber folk and 1960s pop. The musical backing is relatively simple, consisting of one or two guitars or, alternatively, a keyboard instrument, played by either Browne or (a combination of) her Velvet Underground colleagues, but there are no drums or bass instruments, hence the absence of Velvets drummer Maureen Tucker, and adding to the chamber folk feel of the music are the string and flute overdubs added to the initial recordings by producer Tom Wilson and arranger Larry Fallon without involving or consulting Nico.
In retrospective 21st-century reviews, AllMusic described the album as "an unqualified masterpiece",while Trouser Press commented that the album "is sabotaged by tepid arrangements and weak production" and is "of interest mainly for its links to the band Nico had just left."
Nico was dissatisfied with the finished product. Looking back in 1981, she stated:
I still cannot listen to it, because everything I wanted for that record, they took it away. I asked for drums, they said no. I asked for more guitars, they said no. And I asked for simplicity, and they covered it in flutes! [...] They added strings and – I didn't like them, but I could live with them. But the flute! The first time I heard the album, I cried and it was all because of the flute.
Two tracks from the album – "The Fairest of the Seasons" and "These Days" – were used in Wes Anderson's 2001 film The Royal Tenenbaums . "The Fairest of the Seasons" was also used in Gus Van Sant's 2011 film Restless . "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams" is used in Andrew Dominik's 2012 film Killing Them Softly .
Christa Päffgen, known by her stage name Nico, was a German singer, songwriter, musician, model, and actress. She had roles in several films, including Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita (1960) and Andy Warhol's Chelsea Girls (1966).
The Velvet Underground & Nico is the debut album by American rock band the Velvet Underground and German singer Nico, released in March 1967 through Verve Records. It was recorded in 1966 while the band were featured on Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable tour. The album features experimental performance sensibilities and controversial lyrical topics, including drug abuse, prostitution, sadomasochism and sexual deviancy. It sold poorly and was mostly ignored by contemporary critics, but later became regarded as one of the most influential albums in the history of rock and pop music.
Peel Slowly and See is a five-disc box set of material by the Velvet Underground. It was released in September 1995 by Polydor.
Holmes Sterling Morrison Jr. was an American guitarist, best known as one of the founding members of the rock group the Velvet Underground, usually playing electric guitar, occasionally bass guitar, and singing backing vocals.
The Very Best of The Velvet Underground is a compilation album by The Velvet Underground. It was released in Europe on March 31, 2003, by Polydor, the record label that oversees the band's Universal Music Group back catalog.
Live MCMXCIII is a live album by the Velvet Underground. It was released simultaneously in single and double CD/cassette formats on October 26, 1993, by Sire Records, then DVD format on January 24, 2006. The single CD is an abridged version of the double CD edition, featuring tracks 2, 13–16, 5, 6, 9, 18, and 20–23 in that order. There are no different takes of songs across the multiple editions although the actual track times differ by a few seconds between releases.
Gold is a two-CD compilation album by the Velvet Underground. It was released for the North American market on June 14, 2005, by Polydor, the record label that oversees the band's Universal Music Group back catalogue.
The Best of The Velvet Underground: Words and Music of Lou Reed is a compilation album by The Velvet Underground. It was released in October 1989 by Verve Records.
"Femme Fatale" is a song by American rock band the Velvet Underground from their 1967 debut album The Velvet Underground & Nico, with lead vocals by Nico.
"Heroin" is a song by the Velvet Underground, released on their 1967 debut album The Velvet Underground & Nico. Written by Lou Reed in 1964, the song, which overtly depicts heroin use and abuse, is one of the band's most celebrated compositions. Critic Mark Deming of Allmusic writes, "While 'Heroin' hardly endorses drug use, it doesn't clearly condemn it, either, which made it all the more troubling in the eyes of many listeners."
"The Black Angel's Death Song" is a song by the Velvet Underground, from their 1967 debut album The Velvet Underground & Nico. It was written by Lou Reed and John Cale. In a footnote to the lyrics, Lou Reed wrote: "The idea here was to string words together for the sheer fun of their sound, not any particular meaning."
"Lady Godiva's Operation" is a song by the Velvet Underground from their second album, White Light/White Heat (1968). The lyrics of the first half of the song, sung by John Cale, describe Lady Godiva; the lyrics of the second half, sung by Cale alternating with Lou Reed, are full of oblique, deadpan black humor and describe a botched surgical procedure. Cale plays electric viola while Sterling Morrison plays bass, an instrument that he disliked, despite his competent abilities.
"Sunday Morning" is a song by the Velvet Underground. It is the opening track on their 1967 debut album The Velvet Underground & Nico. It was also released as a single in 1966. This songs is written in the key of F major.
"All Tomorrow's Parties" is a song by the Velvet Underground and Nico, written by Lou Reed and released on the group's 1967 debut studio album, The Velvet Underground & Nico.
"I'll Be Your Mirror" is a song by the Velvet Underground and Nico. It appeared on their 1967 debut album The Velvet Underground & Nico. It also surfaced as a single a year earlier with "All Tomorrow's Parties" in 1966.
"Venus in Furs" is a song by the Velvet Underground, written by Lou Reed and originally released on the 1967 album The Velvet Underground & Nico. Inspired by the book of the same name by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, the song includes sexual themes of sadomasochism, bondage and submission.
The Velvet Underground was an American rock band formed in New York City in 1964. The original line-up consisted of singer/guitarist Lou Reed, multi-instrumentalist John Cale, guitarist Sterling Morrison, and drummer Angus MacLise. MacLise was replaced by Moe Tucker in 1965, who played on most of the band's recordings. Their integration of rock and the avant-garde achieved little commercial success during the group's existence, but they are now recognized as one of the most influential bands in rock, underground, experimental, and alternative music. The group's provocative subject matter, musical experiments, and often nihilistic attitudes also proved influential in the development of punk rock and new wave music.
The Velvet Underground and Nico: A Symphony of Sound is a 1966 American film by Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey. The film was made at The Factory. It is 67 minutes long and was filmed in 16mm black and white.
"Chelsea Girls" is the title track of Nico's 1967 debut album, Chelsea Girl. The song was written by Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison of the Velvet Underground, who Nico had collaborated with for their debut album the previous year.
Andy Warhol's Velvet Underground featuring Nico is a compilation album of the Velvet Underground released by MGM Records in 1971 that features selections from the band's first three studio albums. Originally released as a double LP, the cover artwork and inside gatefold sleeve feature imitations of Andy Warhol's paintings of Coca-Cola bottles, but are credited to other artists on the back sleeve of the album. The album was released in the UK to capitalise on the interest from Warhol's Pork.