The Velvet Underground & Nico
US LP Verve V-5008/V6-5008
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Recorded at Scepter Records Studio, 254 West 54th St., New York City, NY 1966-05-00
Producer: Andy Warhol. Engineers: Norman Dolph & John Licata
Lou Reed: lead guitar, ostrich guitar [Gretsch guitar frets taken off tuned to open A], backing vocals
John Cale: electric viola, piano, a really long chain of paper clips wound between all the strings of a grand piano, with combs inside so they could rattle , bass, backing vocals
Sterling Morrison: rhythm guitar, bass
Maureen Tucker: percussion
Edited and remixed under the supervision of Tom Wilson by Gene Radice & David Greene
Original LP mastering date: 1966-10-25
Liner Notes [V/V6-5008]
The Exploding Plastic Inevitable was a show created by Andy Warhol to introduce THE VELVET UNDERGROUND & NICO. the group opened in New York and toured the United States and Canada. This was the way some critics responded:
"Suddenly the intermedia shows are all over town. The Velvet Underground performances at the Dom during the month of April provided the most violent, loudest and most dynamic exploration platform for this new art. Theirs remains the most dramatic expression of the contemporary generation. The place where its needs and desperations are most dramatically split open. At the Plastic Inevitable it is All Here and Now and the Future."
— Jonas Mekas, Village Voice
"Screeching rock 'n' roll — reminded viewers of nothing so much as Berlin in the decadent 30's."
— Los Angeles Magazine
A Three-ring psychosis that assaults the senses with the sights and sounds of the total environment syndrome ... Discordant music, throbbing cadences, pulsating tempo."
Not since the Titanic ran into that iceberg has there been such a collision as when Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable burst upon the audiences at The Trip Tuesday. For once a Happening really happened, and it took Warhol to come out from New York to show how it's done. The Velvet Underground is so far out that it makes the tremendous thumping beat of the great, groovy group which opened the program sound passé.
— Los Angeles Times
Warhol's brutal assemblage — non-stop horror show. He has indeed put together a total environment, but it is an assemblage that actually vibrates with menace, cynicism, and perversion. To experience it is to be brutalized, helpless. — you're in any kind of horror you want to imagine, from police state to mad house. Eventually the reverberations in your ears stop. But what do you do with what you still hear in your brain ? The flowers of evil are in full bloom with the Exploding Plastic Inevitable."
— Michaelo Williams, Chicago Daily News
"Shatteringly contemporary — the electronic music, loud enough to make the room and the mind vibrate in unison — Nico, the beautiful flaxen-haired girl, the noise, the lights, the film and the dances build to a screeching crescendo."
— San Francisco Chronicle
The Velvet Underground, a group whose howling, throbbing beat is amplified and extended by electronic dial-twiddling, has a sound hard to describe, even harder to duplicate, but haunting in its uniqueness. And with the Velvets come the blonde, bland, beautiful Nico, another cooler Dietrich for another cooler generation. Art has come to the discotheque and it will never be the same again."
— John Wilcock, East Village Other
"The sound is a savage series of atonal thrusts and electronic feedback. The lyrics combine Sado-Masochistic frenzy with free-association imagery. The whole sound seems to be the product of a secret marriage between Bob Dylan and The Marquis de Sade."
— Richard Goldstein, New York World Journal-Tribune
"The rock 'n roll music gets louder, the dancers get more frantic, and the lights start going on and off like crazy. And there are spotlights blinking in our eyes, and car horns beeping, and Gerard Malanga and the dancers are shaking like mad, and you don't think the noise can get any louder, and then it does, until there is one rhythmic tidal wave of sound, pressing down around you, just impure enough so you can still get the beat; the audience, all of it fused together into one magnificent moment of hysteria."
— George English, Fire Island News
Nico, astonishing — the macabre face — so beautifully resembles a momento mori, the marvelous deathlike voice coming from the lovely blond head."
— David Antim, Art News
Original Master Recordings Gold CD Track Listing:
Sunday Morning, I'm Waiting for the Man, Femme Fatale, Venus In Furs, Run Run Run, All Tomorrow's Parties, Heroin, There She Goes Again, I'll Be Your Mirror (monophonic with fade), The Black Angel's Death Song, European Son, All Tomorrow's Parties (alt. mix)