THE VELVET UNDERGROUND: The Velvet Underground & Nico (LP, Polydor SPELP 20, 1967)

The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground & Nico

No, no, no, I know that this isn’t the original release from 1967, it’s a Polydor reissue, but there’s no other date mentioned on the sleeve or the record. I’m just not cool enough to own one of the original copies with its peel-off banana and stuff. (Whilst I’d love to say that it’s all about the music and the packaging or particular release doesn’t matter to me, that would be an outright lie…)

What can be said about this record? Everybody in the universe must have heard it by now, surely? It’s the record that launched a thousand billion bands, that redefined the landscape of late sixties music, that brought Pop Art to the musical mainstream, that did everything a lot of music critics tell you that it did. It’s damned fine, though. I prefer White Light White Heat, but this album stands up to the test of time. The band photographs on the back are pretty great, as well. I always thought that Sterling Morrison looked the coolest. Who’d have thought that Lou Reed would grow up to become such a colossal, self-obsessed knob? Perhaps it happens to us all.

For some reason I’m now reminded of the scene in Oliver Stone’s The Doors movie where Nico ‘gets friendly’ with Jim Morrison in a lift. That was Nico in that scene, right? That was one of the only films I think I’ve been to where I saw people actually walk out of the cinema either in disgust or out of boredom. I guess they weren’t Doors fans. They will have missed Billy Idol’s excellent star turn though – more fool them.

5 thoughts on “THE VELVET UNDERGROUND: The Velvet Underground & Nico (LP, Polydor SPELP 20, 1967)

  1. If you know anyone who has a copy of the Southbank Show about the Velvet Underground, I would be forever in your debt. I used to have it on VHS but it has sadly been lost.

    I got a gatefold reissue of this album in the 1986 vinyl box set. The box is now scuffed and dirty, but the records are in reasonable shape. The copy of White Light / White Heat has the original black sleeve with the black biker (?) tattoo on it, not the reissue with the soldiers on it (see here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Light/White_Heat)

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