Posts Tagged ‘Nico’

Nico Heroine - Manchester Library Theatre 1980 - TB6041C - 0889397108106 - FL.jpg

The former Velvet Underground’s chanteuse Nico performing at the Manchester Library Theatre in 1983. An incredible collection of some her most haunting songs is included here in this 14 track-acoustic album. From the stirring a cappella version of “All Tomorrow’s Parties”, to some of the pieces included in Nico’s gem “Camera Obscura”, the album is a journey into her distinctive profound vocals, the enchanting voice and her impenetrable lyrics.

Includes the bonus track “Reich Der Traume”, released for the first time on vinyl. Presented on clear vinyl, here are some great recordings from Nico’s 1983 performance . Featured are acoustic renditions of some of her most haunting songs,

Nico had spent the best part of the 1980s living in Manchester – yet another unexpected footnote in the story of her life, “Manchester, during that period of the late 70s, early 80s, had a great music scene. After 1981’s ‘Drama of Exile’, Nico found herself in this rather unexpected city of Manchester and remained there for the best part of a decade. Initially paired up with a local promoter (who replied: “who’s he?” when asked to put her on), Nico soon found herself managed by this man, Alan Wise. Basing herself in Manchester during the 1980s may seem a bizarre choice for someone who has a history attached to the elegance of 1950s Paris or the bohemian boom of 1960s and ’70s New York but Young feels the city was something she could relate to. “Nico liked Manchester. It was a dark gothic city and was in a state of semi-dereliction at the time; empty Victorian warehouses, factories closing down. She said it reminded her of Berlin, the ruined city of her youth.”

James Young, who became the piano player in Nico’s band between 1981-86 and wrote a memoir about his time with her (Songs They Never Play on the Radio), recalls his first unexpected encounter with her, saying: “Out of nowhere there was this German lady on my doorstep with an old friend, Alan Wise. Before I knew it, Nico was taking over my flat. First she colonised the bathroom and once she’d ‘freshened up’ she took over the kitchen, as she wanted to make lentil soup. She carried a bag of dried lentils with her, like a nomad.”

At Manchester Library Theatre in a room thick with cigarette and marijuana smoke, a set that was “beautiful, powerful and dark.” Ignoring the heckles for Velvet Underground tracks such as ‘Heroin’, Nico played a request of ‘Frozen Warnings’,

It’s not totally clear when or where Nico was born. The late German singer, model and actor had a complicated relationship with the truth, even when it pertained to the details of her own life – she was most likely born in Cologne in 1938, but there’s a chance it could have been Budapest in 1943.

Since her death in 1988 (after suffering a heart attack while cycling on holiday in Ibiza), Nico has been immortalised as a troubled muse. To date, her work has mainly been examined in relation to the men by whom she was surrounded – the Velvet Underground, Andy Warhol and Alain Delon. Nico, born Christa Päffgen, is widely known for modelling for Chanel, appearing in Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita and singing on the Velvet Underground’s debut album. Less well known, however, is her work as a solo musician.

1. My Heart Is Empty
2. Procession
3. All Tomorrow’s Parties
4. Valley Of The Kings
5. The Sphinx
6. We’ve Got The Gold
7. Mutterlein
8. Innocent And Vain

1. Afraid
2. Frozen Warnings
3. Fearfully
4. Tananore
5. Femme Fatale
6. Reich Der Traume

TIGER BAY is a label specialised in luxury and limited edition releases on vinyl. Focusing on progressive, experimental, psychedelic and jazz-rock, TIGER BAY’s releases include both out-of-print reissues and rare or unreleased material works by artists that contribute to expanding these genres through the years. TIGER BAY works closely with artists and labels to realise high-quality licensed vinyl, with re-mastered sound, and finely designed artworks.

Nico Heroine - Manchester Library Theatre 1980 - TB6041C - 0889397108106 - BL.jpg

Before she became the Teutonic ice queen chanteuse of the Velvet Underground, Nico, via her then boyfriend Rolling Stone Brian Jones, was introduced to Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham and signed to his Immediate Records label, where a young Jimmy Page was employed as house producer, session musician and A&R scout. (Page’s brief career as a session musician saw him adding his distinctive guitar sounds to recordings by The Who, The Kinks, PJ Proby, Lulu, Jackie DeShannon, Van Morrison and Them, Burt Bacharach, French singer Johnny Hallyday, Marianne Faithfull, Vashti Bunyan, Donovan and many others. It’s amusing to think of Jimmy Page being a part of Petula Clark’s “Downtown” single, but there he was. There are several CD compilations of Page’s early session work, probably the best is Hip Young Guitar Slinger.)

Page produced and played on Nico’s sole 1965 single for Immediate, a cover of Canadian folkie Gordon Lightfoot’s “I’m Not Sayin’ ” which was backed by “The Last Mile,” a song composed by Page and Oldham. Jimmy Page plays a six-string in the song, while Brian Jones plays a twelve-string guitar. The single is being re-released by Charly Records in a gatefold sleeve featuring photography by Gered Mankowitz from the original recording session for Record Store Day on April 21.

A promotional film for “I’m Not Sayin’” was shot at the site of London’s West India Docks (now the considerably different looking Canary Wharf) by Peter Whitehead.

thanks dangerousminds

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By 1970, German singer Nico was best known for her roles as an Andy Warhol superstar and with The Velvet Underground  carving out her own artistic legacy, having already dramatically transitioned from the folk pop of her 1967 solo debut, Chelsea Girl, toward 1969’s avant-garde The Marble Index. The follow-up Desertshore continues down the dark path cut by the Marble Index, with Nico drawling poetically over harmonium drones while accompanied by fellow Velvets alum John Cale. The album’s second track, “The Falconer,” stands out in Nico’s discography not just for her performance but for the striking lyrics and arrangement, morphing from tenebrous to luminous and back again. Upon release, little attention was given to Nico’s trilogy of records in this era and style (The Marble Index, Desertshore, and The End), but their modern influence has proven immeasurable.

This 3 x CD Collection brings together a set of rare recordings by the Velvets, 50 plus years (for most) after they were first made and which will complete collections worldwide for the millions of fans still flying the flag for this strange collective. Everything about The Velvet Underground was astonishing. Take a female drummer with one beat (Mo Tucker), a classically trained Welshman (John Cale), a blonde German beauty who couldn’t sing (Nico), and two buddies from Syracuse University (Sterling Morrison and Lou Reed) who all came together as a band formed to promote Lou’s song ‘The Ostrich’.

Add another blonde who painted soup cans, a name derived from a novel about sado-masochism and Verve as a major label, and you arrive at the Velvet Underground, a band who rewrote the rules for music as we know it.

CD ONE features rehearsals for the band s first album, bizarrely broadcast across radio waves at the time, and which give a sense of quite how that seismic album came to be. The first disc also includes three rare live cuts recorded in NYC the same year.

CD TWO includes the group s show at La Cave in Cleveland, Ohio on 2nd October 1968, by which time John Cale had been fired from the group and had just been replaced by Doug Yule for this show.

CD THREE contains the concert given by Lou Reed, John Cale and Nico at the Bataclan nightclub in Paris on 19th January 1972, a show as legendary as the band whose name remains the starting point for all modern music.

Patti Smith Avant-Garde Nico Tribute 'Killer Road'

Patti Smith performed a unique and mysterious tribute to late singer Nico two years ago with ambient backing music from her daughter, Jesse Paris Smith, and a trio called Soundwalk Collective. It featured sounds from Nico’s own harmonium and sounds that approximate what the former Velvet Underground collaborator might have heard when she collapsed while bicycling in Ibiza in 1988, an event that preceded her death in a hospital later that day. Now Smith’s morbid homage, “Killer Road” – culled from Nico’s poetry – is getting a proper release on Soundwalk Collective’s Killer Road album, due out September 2nd.

The four-and-a-half-minute–track opens with bug-like sounds that give way to chilly, sighing atmospherics. “The killer road is waiting for you,” Smith speaks, “like a finger, pointing in the night … Who’s to blame?” She whispers, “I have come to die with you,” as new sound effects and field recordings crescendo around her.

The Smiths and the Soundwalk Collective first performed the work as part of the Crossing the Line festival at the French Institute Alliance Française in 2014. Nine tracks appear on the Killer Road LP, each containing Nico’s poetry.


Nico once recalled apprehension when thinking about her first impressions of Smith. “The first time I ever saw Patti was at Andy’s,” she said, according to Dancing Barefoot: The Patti Smith Story. “She was skinny, like a rat, but she was from New Jersey and so was Lou [Reed], so that was all right. She didn’t speak much; she just stood and watched the people. I don’t know if I even knew her name.”

She’d later go on to praise Smith: “She was a female Leonard Cohen when she moved from writing to singing, and I liked her because she was thin and strong.”

Smith later played an important role in Nico’s life, buying back the singer’s harmonium at “an obscure shop” in Paris, as Nico put it, after it had gone missing. “I was so happy and ashamed,” Nico recalled. “I said, ‘I’ll give you back the money when I get it,’ but she insisted the organ was a present … I cried.” Nico would play the harmonium again on her final album, 1985’s Camera Obscura.