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The Velvet Underground & Nico (180 Gram Vinyl)

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Vinyl, June 27, 2008
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The Velvet Underground's debut album, 1967's The Velvet Underground & Nico, is among the most important and influential ever made--and every new generation, as the Sex Pistols, David Bowie, R.E.M. and Sonic Youth have previously, rediscovers it. With the now two-CD, digitally remastered The Velvet Underground & Nico (Deluxe Edition) (Polydor/UME), released March 5, 2002, yet ... Read more in Amazon's Velvet Underground Store

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Product Details

  • Vinyl (June 27, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: 4 Men With Beards
  • ASIN: B0015NORBO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (368 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,094 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Sunday Morning
2. I'm Waiting For The Man
3. Femme Fatale
4. Venus In Furs
5. Run Run Run
6. All Tomorrow's Parties
7. Heroin
8. There She Goes Again
9. I'll Be Your Mirror
10. Black Angel's Death Song
11. European Son

Editorial Reviews

Quite possibly the most influential rock album and great debuts of all time, despite its initial lackluster sales. The Velvet Underground & Nico has, in the 40+ years since its 1967 release, influenced the significant works in almost every sub-genre of rock from glam to punk to new wave to industrial noise to twee to indie rock. From the gentle pop opener of Sunday Morning to the dissonance of closer European Son, with stops at garage rock, R&B, and mellow love songs in between, The Velvet Underground & Nico is an all-time classic whose influence and power still can not be denied. Deluxe 180 gram vinyl with gatefold jacket.

Customer Reviews

This has to be one of the best debut albums ever!
scott redman
All I will say is that this album is just cool, you feel cool listening to it.
E. Frampton
The Velvet Underground and Nico is an incredible, amazing album.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

161 of 182 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Ferguson-Maltzman on July 27, 2005
Format: Audio CD
In all honesty, I must confess that I didn't much like this album when I first heard it. For years I had heard about the legendary group but hadn't actually listened to their music. I had heard only Velvet Underground clichés, like, "one of the most influential bands of all-time," "genius," "avant-garde masterpiece," and so on.

So I decided to give the Velvet Underground a try but was not initially impressed. I think the reason why I was not initially blown away by this album has to do with what I am used to and expectations. As a kid coming of age in the 90s, I am used to instant gratification albums with excellent production--these get straight to the point. When I heard The Velvet Underground and Nico (1967), my initial thoughts were, "This is boring and the production stinks." I really didn't "get it" at first. But as a younger listener not familiar with the Velvet Underground, I discovered that this is an album that takes time and a few listens to really appreciate. For me, experiencing this album was like having a few Alabama Slammers. At first, you think, "What's the big deal?" However, once it hits you, it hits you. Once I finally "got it," I found that this album is quite deserving of all the praise it has received.

Throughout their career, The Velvet Underground underwent many different personnel changes. It was their debut, however, that saw the band with its strongest lineup: the poetic Lou Reed, with his dry flat Dylan-like delivery; John Cale, the most artistic and musically gifted of the bunch; lead guitarist, Sterling Morrison, an underrated and underappreciated founder; Maureen Tucker, whose drumming on "Heroin" is indispensable; and finally Nico; the German-born actress/singer who was installed in the band by producer Andy Warhol.
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149 of 169 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 10, 2002
Format: Audio CD
The Velvet Underground was little known during its lifetime; now, more than thirty years after the band collapsed, it has a world-wide following--but the band's music still tends to divide listeners. You either get it or you don't. For those who DO get it, this recording, with its Andy Warhol-designed "Peel Slowly and See" cover, is a must-have.
Both Lou Reed and Nico possessed flat sounding voices, and John Cale compensated for this by down-tuning his various stringed instruments--and then the band as a whole down-tuned to Cale's pitch. This creates a slightly off-kilter, droning tone... and the result is a strangely hypnotic, frequently dark, and often unnerving sound that swirls around the songs' street-tough lyrics. At worst, it is at least interesting; at best, it is completely original. Several of the cuts have a distinct pop inflection, but the band subverts them; "Femme Fatale" has a mocking tone, and both "Sunday Morning" and "I'll Be Your Mirror" have a decidedly paranoid quality. But the cuts for which this album is most famous are about as far removed from pop as you can get: the strange exotic stutter of "All Tomorrow's Parties;" the pitch black and street scary tone of "Heroin" and "I'm Waiting For My Man;" and the whip-like accompaniment on the S&M-oriented "Venus In Furs"--all of them frequently imitated but seldom equaled. The most extreme edge of the band is captured in such selections as "The Black Angel's Death Song," a piece so far out that The Velvet Underground were actually fired from a bar gig for playing it one time too many for the management's liking.
If your taste in music runs to bouncy dance music, pop standards, or even what passes for experimental among the top 40--you might want to give The Velvet Underground a miss.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By hyperbolium on August 4, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Of the many impressive facets of the Velvet Underground's debut, perhaps the most impressive of all is how completely undated it sounds. While those who followed in the VU's footsteps often sounded retro -- often purposefully so -- this gritty, thirty-five year-old creation seems not to have aged a day.

Polydor's latest double-disc reissue collects both the mono and stereo mixes of the original album, digitally remastered, and adds contemporaneous singles and a quintet of VU-powered tracks from Nico's subsequent "Chelsea Girl" album. The package is enveloped in a foldout digipack (with or without peelable banana artwork), with a thick booklet that includes newly penned liner notes from Dave Thompson, photos, song lyrics and recording credits.

Of particular interest to U.S. buyers is the mono album mix, previously available only outside the U.S. This is the band's vision of the album, later remixed into stereo by MGM staff producer (and, at the time, Simon & Garfunkel producer) Tom Wilson. The mono version is tougher, and in the opinion of the band's label at the time, too limiting for American audiences (both for its intensity, and for the US's burgeoning interest in stereo). The difference in atmosphere is a terrific lesson in how mixing affects an album, and how visceral mono recordings can be.

The bonus tracks include five sides waxed by Nico with the original lineup of the Velvet Underground for her solo debut. Recorded in April 1967, they followed the band's original recording dates by exactly a year (the VU debut, recorded in April 1966, did not see release until March of the following year).
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Topic From this Discussion
180 Gram Vinyl!??
180 Gram is not better, or worse. It really depends on when the original material was recorded. An album from the 60's or 70's will almost always sound better on the original vinyl (from that era) simply because the source tapes were "new" and not worn down. Fast forward to 2000's... Read More
Mar 22, 2013 by Snowdog |  See all 8 posts
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