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Classic Years
Classic Years
Genres: Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (19) - Disc #1

As the golden-haired, frog-throated chanteuse of the Velvet Underground, the German born Nico cast a decadent spell. Her cool, detached performances, in direct opposition with the feel-good hippie vibe of the 1960s, influe...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Nico
Title: Classic Years
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: Polydor / Umgd
Original Release Date: 9/15/1998
Release Date: 9/15/1998
Genres: Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
Styles: Hardcore & Punk, Experimental Music, Dance Pop, Progressive, Progressive Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 731456518527

As the golden-haired, frog-throated chanteuse of the Velvet Underground, the German born Nico cast a decadent spell. Her cool, detached performances, in direct opposition with the feel-good hippie vibe of the 1960s, influenced the punk scene of the 1970s. This collection serves as an excellent sampler of Nico's work, beginning with her first single for Rolling Stones' manager Andrew Loog Oldham's then-new Immediate label (a 1965 cover of Gordon Lightfoot's "I'm Not Sayin'") and spanning her Velvet Underground contributions and her stunning first four solo albums. Her ethereal cover of the Doors' "The End" matched with material by producer John Cale, Lou Reed, and Jackson Browne, as well as her own doomy compositions, illuminate her unusual sense of style. The silent hero here, however, is Cale, who served as the perfect collaborator, elevating Nico's worldview with his often gorgeous, always sympathetic musical backing. --Rob O'Connor

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CD Reviews

And what costume shall the poor girl wear...?
Miguel Cane | Mexico City, Mexico | 12/11/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

""An IBM computer doing an impression of Greta Garbo," this is how Andy Warhol once described the voice of his then protegé, Nico.Ever since, the range of comparisons has known no end. "Who?" some younger people may ask (and I am 25!) when hearing about her for the first time. Certainly, when one mentions Lou Reed or Warhol, a face lits up with recognition and say "oh, I see." But they don't.This compilation may well be the first to reach the mainstream in a long while, to put them in contact with one of rock and roll's most unsung heroines.Featuring such classics as "All Tomorrow's Parties" and "I'll be your mirror" (both penned by Reed), this CD tracks the first few years of Nico's career, covering her transformation from the first of the supermodels (which she was) to the mother of goth-rock.Either as a blond, eurodecadent ice maiden or a wild-eyed, hennaed vesper, the many faces of Nico surge through the songs here presented to show a dark chest of wonders.And try to keep your eyes dry and your heart free of that sweet ache of longing and loss when you listen to the beautiful, a capella version of "Nibelungen".A grand surprise."
Don't be afraid of your feelings and buy this CD!
Stephen Caratzas | Brooklyn, New York | 12/09/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Here--finally--is a terrific and long-overdue collection from one of the great icons and musical innovators: Nico. Because long before there was Madonna, Natalie Merchant, Debbie Harry and even Yoko Ono, there was Nico. Her icy, resonant vocals are still, for me, the best thing about 1967's groundbreaking album, The Velvet Underground & Nico. Gifted with a chilling vibrato, Nico delivers brilliant interpretations of some of Lou Reed's finest lyrics: "I'll be your mirror, reflect what you are, in case you don't know, I'll...." When Nico sings that second "I'll", my heart breaks, every time. Similarly, on her first single, a cover of Gordon Lightfoot's "I'm Not Saying" (produced by then-Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham), Nico sings: "I'm not saying I'll be true, but I'll try". And again, it's that one last word, "try", that puts me in touch with an overwhelming sense of sadness. The incredible longing in Nico's singing apparently reflects a void that she could never fill. Her strange life of opportunities seized and lost (rehashed in the oddly-worded liner notes), comes through loud and clear in the early music she sang and, later, the music she wrote. Early pop stylings give way to songs like the haunting "Chelsea Girls"--a collaboration with Velvets alumni Reed and John Cale. Cale would go on to produce many of Nico's subsequent recordings, and working with him, and later with Roxy Music's Brian Eno and Phil Manzanera, Nico originated and crafted an idiosyncratic brand of diva music, which often took its form in deconstructed tone poems of regret and longing. Could anyone, other than Nico, have made a song entitled "Janitor of Lunacy" so beautiful in its yearning? Could anyone else deliver a version of the Doors' "The End" that actually goes further than the original in evoking stark, flat-out fear? Doubtful.In short, if you are a sensate, feeling human being, you will be moved to your core by Nico's music, which is thoughtfully presented in this wonderful compilation. Be brave, and be good to yourself: enjoy and embrace your feelings--both good and bad--with Nico."
The one and only nico
geneseo_rick | Elko, Nevada USA | 01/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This collection of Nico's work is excellent, spanning the breadth and length of her career. The collection starts with her earliest work, upbeat folk-rock songs (tracks 1 and 2), progresses through her Velvet Underground period (tracks 3 through 5), through Chelsea Girls (tracks 6 through 9), and then through her gothic phase (tracks 10 through 19). There are a few songs that should be here that aren't, such as "Das Lied Der Deutchen" (the German National Anthem), "Mutterlein", and "The Falconer." And the longer version of "All Tomorrow's Parties" in "The Velvet Underground and Nico" (5,55 minutes versus 2,52 here) is obviously better. But still, this is a great collection for Nico fans."