The Velvet Underground & Nico by Joe HarvardThe Velvet Underground and Nico has influenced the sound of more bands than any other album. And remarkably, it still sounds as fresh and challenging today as it did upon its release in 1967. In this book, Joe Harvard covers everything from Lou Reeds lyrical genius to John Cales groundbreaking instrumentation, and from the creative input of Andy Warhol to the fine details of the recording process. With input from co-producer Norman Dolph and Velvets fan Jonathan Richman, Harvard documents the creation of a record which - in the eyes of many - has never been matched.
In 1966, some studios, like Abbey Road, had technicians in white lab coats, and even the less formal studios usually had actual engineering graduates behind the consoles. Studios were still more about science than art. Clients who dared make technical suggestions were treated with bemusement, derision, or hostility. The Velvets were a young band under constant critical attack, and the pressure to conform in order to gain acceptance must have been tremendous. Most bands of that era compromised with their record companies, through wholesale revamping of their image from wardrobe to musical style, changing or omitting lyrics, creating drastically edited versions for radio airplay, or eliminating songs entirely from their sets and records. With Andy Warhol in the bands corner, such threats were minimized.
Why The Velvet Underground’s landmark debut album still resonates after 50 years
He had written legendary songs as Venus in Furs, Heroin and Waiting for the man already before The Velvet Underground was formed as a band. Lou Reed was born in and he grew up with his strict conservative jewish parents in Brooklyn during the Forties and Fifties. When he was seventeen in his parents sent him to a psychiatrist, to cure him for homosexual feelings and alarming mood swings. The psychiatrist recommended electroshock treatment at the Creedmore State Psychiatric Hospital three times a week for eight weeks. In you did not question your doctor. His parents only wanted him to be healthy and learn to behave proper.
It was recorded in while the band were featured on Andy Warhol 's Exploding Plastic Inevitable tour, which gained attention for its 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 popular music. Many subgenres of rock music and forms of alternative music were significantly informed by the album, including art rock , punk , garage , shoegazing , goth , and indie. At the instigation of their mentor and manager Andy Warhol , and his collaborator Paul Morrissey , German singer Nico was also featured; she had occasionally performed lead vocals for the band. In , as the album was being recorded, this was also the line-up for their live performances as a part of Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable. This recording session was financed by Warhol and Columbia Records ' sales executive Norman Dolph, who also acted as an engineer with John Licata.
The Velvet Underground & Nico is the debut album by American rock band the Velvet Underground, released in March by Verve Records. It was recorded in while the band were featured on Andy Warhol's.
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The walls of the old hat factory had been covered in tin foil, silver paint, and scraps of broken mirrors. Day or night, there was no telling how many people might be there, stumbling about in various states of undress and un-sobriety, sketching, sculpting, printing with silkscreens, taking photographs, and making movies. Others came for social reasons, looking to see or be seen, to meet the famous or just score drugs. Burroughs and Truman Capote, and even, occasionally, Salvador Dali. The Factory, as it was called, became a meeting place for odd and beautiful souls.
T wo albums stood out in , that turbulent year half a century ago. Between them, they changed the sound of sound. John Cale , who co-wrote the music and played viola and bass guitar, will perform songs from the album — and a few other Velvet treasures — at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, on Thursday and Friday, as anchor with his current band and a cast of guests. The album had a sonority and mood unlike any before or since: a painful beauty, a languid ennui, a timbre, oddly perhaps, both warm and metallic. To listen to it was — and still is — like having an exposed nerve stroked, sometimes softly, sometimes a little too roughly. It was produced by Andy Warhol — whose artwork also graced the album sleeve — though apparently he barely spoke.