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Nico

One of the most fascinating figures of rock's fringes, Nico hobnobbed, worked, and was romantically linked with an incredible assortment of the most legendary entertainers of the '60s. The paradox of her career was that she herself never attained the fame of her peers, pursuing a distinctly individualistic and uncompromising musical career that was uncommercial, but wholly admirable and influential. Nico first rose to fame as a European supermodel, also landing a bit part in Fellini's La Dolce Vita film and giving birth to a son by Alain Delon.In1965, she attracted the attention of Rolling Sto ...read more

One of the most fascinating figures of rock's fringes, Nico hobnobbed, worked, and was romantically linked with an incredible assortment of the most legendary entertainers of the '60s. The paradox of her career was that she herself never attained the fame of her peers, pursuing a distinctly individualistic and uncompromising musical career that was uncommercial, but wholly admirable and influential. Nico first rose to fame as a European supermodel, also landing a bit part in Fellini's La Dolce Vita film and giving birth to a son by Alain Delon.In1965, she attracted the attention of Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, who gave her a chance to record for his Immediate label, thought he resulting single, which also featured Brian Jones and Jimmy Page on guitars, flopped. Shortly afterward, she moved to New York, where Andy Warhol installed her as a vestigial presence and occasional lead singer for the Velvet Underground. The band never really accepted her as a bona fide member and she departed in 1967, but not before contributing unforgettable deadpan vocals to three of thesongsontheirclassic1967 debut album.

Nico embarked on a solo career, recording folk-rock-flavored songs for her debut Chelsea Girl album with assistance from Jackson Browne, Lou Reed, and John Cael. Her 1969 follow-up, The Marble Index, was a dramatic departure that unveiled herdoom-laden, gothic persona, produced by Cael and prominently featuring her deep vocals, impenetrable lyrics, and ghostly harmonium. Her subsequent'70salbumsexplored much the same territory, with assistance from Cael and influential art rockers like Eno and Phil Manzanera. Her career fell into disarray during the rest of the '70s and the '80s as she struggled with a massive drug habit and tangled personal life. She released several live albums on various labels, but the ill-planned Drama of Exile and the more successful Camera Obscure were her only coherent studio efforts until she died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Ibiza in 1988.

The original goth rocker, Nico's albums are demanding and bleak, but map a unique and starkly powerful vision that has become more influential with age. An intimate of Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, the Velvet Underground, the Stones, Jim Morrison, Iggy Pop, and others, her fascinating story is recounted in the biography Nico: The Life & Lies of an Icon by Richard Witts, published in Great Britain by Virgin books; The End by James Young is a seedy look at her drug-addled final years by a member of her touring band. « hide

Similar Bands: Dead Can Dance, The Velvet Underground, Brigitte Fontaine, Nick Drake, John Cale

LPs
Camera Obscura
1985

3.8
22 Votes
Drama of Exile
1981

3.1
20 Votes
The End...
1974

3.9
61 Votes
Desertshore
1970

4.1
119 Votes
The Marble Index
1968

3.9
119 Votes
Chelsea Girl
1967

3.7
128 Votes
EPs
The Peel Sessions
1988

2
1 Votes
Live Albums
Nico's Last Concert: "Fata Morgana"
1994

4
1 Votes
Live Heroes
1986

Do or Die!
1982

Compilations
Innocent & Vain: An Introduction To Nico
2002

Hanging Gardens
1990

3.2
11 Votes

Contributors: SharkTooth, adr, Frippertronics, carparts, rockandmetaljunkie, YankeeDudel, HumanCannonball, masada, Robert Crumb, adr, Frippertronics, Voivod,

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