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Nico

One of the most fascinating figures of rock's fringes, Nico hobnobbed, worked, and was romantically linked with an incredibleassortment of the most legendary entertainers of the '60s. The paradox of her career was that she herself never attained thefame of her peers, pursuing a distinctly individualistic and uncompromising musical career that was uncommercial, but whollyadmirable and influential. Nico first rose to fame as a European supermodel, also landing a bit part in Fellini's La Dolce Vita filmand giving birth to a son by Alain Delon. In 1965, she attracted the attention of Rolling S ...read more

One of the most fascinating figures of rock's fringes, Nico hobnobbed, worked, and was romantically linked with an incredibleassortment of the most legendary entertainers of the '60s. The paradox of her career was that she herself never attained thefame of her peers, pursuing a distinctly individualistic and uncompromising musical career that was uncommercial, but whollyadmirable and influential. Nico first rose to fame as a European supermodel, also landing a bit part in Fellini's La Dolce Vita filmand giving birth to a son by Alain Delon. In 1965, she attracted the attention of Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham,who gave her a chance to record for his Immediate label, though the resulting single, which also featured Brian Jones andJimmy Page on guitars, flopped. Shortly afterward, she moved to New York, where Andy Warhol installed her as a vestigialpresence and occasional lead singer for the Velvet Underground. The band never really accepted her as a bona fide memberand she departed in 1967, but not before contributing unforgettable deadpan vocals to three of the songs on their classic1967 debut album.

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

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

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

Hanging Gardens
1990

3.2
10 Votes
Camera Obscura
1985

4
13 Votes
Drama of Exile
1981

3.3
12 Votes
The End...
1974

4
42 Votes
Desertshore
1970

4.1
80 Votes
The Marble Index
1969

3.9
74 Votes
Chelsea Girl
1967

3.7
91 Votes

Contributors: carparts, rockandmetaljunkie, YankeeDudel, HumanCannonball, masada, Robert Crumb, Voivod,

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