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End Import

4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, March 1, 1994
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Editorial Reviews

Nico's 1974 album was her third collaboration with producer and Velvet Underground co-founder John Cale. The album, highlighted by her definitive interpretation of the Doors' "The End," features substantial musical contributions from guitarist Phil Manzanera (Roxy Music), Brian Eno, John Cale and back-up vocalists Vicki and Annagh Wood. Nico is the featured lead vocalist. Tracks include "It Has Not Taken Long" and "Secret Side."
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 1, 1994)
  • Imported ed. edition
  • Original Release Date: 1974
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Universal I.S.
  • ASIN: B000001E2U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,998 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Philippe Landry on August 11, 2002
Format: Audio CD
(Disclaimer: This review may sound gothically cliched, but it's the honest to Goth truth! Just buy it and listen!)
Nico's The End was way way way WAAAAAY ahead of it's time. It sounds much like Coil's collection of "seasonally adjusted" EP's or Musick To Play In The Dark Vol's 1 & 2. John Cale's avante gardist approach to production and Brian Eno's very spooky modular synth treatments make for a very suggestive atmosphere.
"You Forgot To Answer" sounds like a cold and dark autumn night complete with dead spirits howling into oblivion(synthetiques thanks to Eno) and a very gothic piano composition; it is quite creepy and melancholic with Nico mourning into the darkness. I want to say more about this track, like how it completely conveys despair and smoldering horror, but I can't say it how I want just listen to it.
"Innocent & Vein" is disturbingly noisey: Eno tweaks the modulars into a banshee-like screech which then turns into the sound of batwings fluttering into the night. In this track Nico seems like she has finally become the "Death Angel" that many have called her, being at the front of a brooding mass of black, humming demons(the synths).
"It Has Not Taken Long" has a wonderful chorus of back-up voices providing what sounds like a chilling Christmas carol or pagan chant.
Nico's voice, subject matter and arrangements exist perfectly within this nocturnal and just opressively ominous collection of songs. She writes and composes in a very hypnotic way; two notes at the most, fluctuating back and forth to create a very dreamy and druggy texture. To sum it up(and keep me from writing and ranting endlessly about this beautiful album), this is gothic incantation and invocation personified. Pete Murphy and a dozen vampires couldn't come close to this. There is no pretense here...Nico is real!
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Format: Audio CD
Like the Old Testament monster Leviathan, forced out of the Garden of Eden and into the wilderness after the Fall, there was only one Nico. Nico, in her middle and late periods, is a figure so unprecedented and strange that a full theory of her work is presently impossible.

'The End'--a series of six original compositions, a brazen cover of Morrison's 'The End' and one of 'Das Lied Der Deutschen' is a product of Nico's late middle period. Using techniques she learned from Ornette Coleman and a lyrical style adapted from the Imagist poets, 'The End' presents the rudiments of existence boiled down to a harsh, bare essence. Its vision is one where loss, hunt and capture, submission and domination, blood sacrifice, and imprisonment are the norm; every person has a dark, unknowable heart and a hidden agenda; every moment is desperate. Time and Nature, laughing off in the distance like subtle thunder, are co-conspirators in keeping all in a state of forcible isolation and instability.

Nico, writing from a state of seeming undifferentiated consciousness, wrote primarily about liminal states, thus earlier album title 'Desertshore'; tides and shorelines are again motifs on 'The End.' Shaman-like, she dropped into the archetypal world of the unconscious, a world that had perhaps always rested comfortably behind her antisocially hip posture during the Warhol period. Certainly Nico expressed the pure, twilit, archaic language of the dream world better than almost anyone had before or has since.

Numerous stories abound about Nico, who freely admitted that she lied about herself whenever the spirit moved her. Or perhaps that was a lie--what the facts are is anyone's guess.
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Format: Audio CD
Nico's fourth album found her on her fourth label, which says what? That she was too difficult, too uncommercial, too visionary for record companies to market? Or that she was too ornery, naive or lazy to market herself effectively--if at all. As a fan, I like to think the former, but I suspect that the latter traits also contributed at least somewhat to her lack of success. But the times seem to have caught up with Nico to some degree. You see more favorable critical commentary about her now than you ever did when she was alive. Younger people now seem more aware of her music and influence than my generation was twenty-five years ago. Her fourth solo effort may well be the best introduction for the uninitiated. Each song is more haunting than the last. The lyrics are cryptic and often quite jarring ("It has not taken feast our naked eyes upon/ the open plain, the hungry beast). Occasionally, the lyrics take an awkward turn, but as her arranger, John Cale, points out in his recent book, the quality of her writing is astonishing when you consider that English was not her first language. Cale's production is as bold as ever. I consider his work with Nico to be among his best. He was able to give shape and color to her visions. This album is alternately spare ("We've Got the Gold") and lush ("It Has Not Taken Long"). Throughout, it is somber, reflective and profoundly disturbing. It's noteworthy for its Gothic treatment of the Doors "The End" and for its somber, ironic take on "Das Lied der Deutschen" (aka "Deutschland Ueber Alles") but ultimately, her own compositions are the core here. They are haunting, literally unlike anything else you've ever heard.
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