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Nico

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Biography

Nico (16 October 1938 – 18 July 1988) was a German model, actress, singer, and songwriter. She was born Christa Päffgen in Cologne, Germany.
Nico started a successful career as a model in Berlin and Paris, studied acting at Lee Strasberg’s New York Actor Studio. She then became part of the Swinging London scene, and had a short relationship with The Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones and she recorded her first record in London in 1965, the single I’m Not Saying/The Last Mile, produced by Jimmy Page, for Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham’s label Immediate Records. Thanks to Jones she met Andy Warhol in New York City and became part of Warhol’s Factory, and Warhol introduced her to the Rock band The Velvet Underground, with whom she recorded the album “The Velvet Underground & Nico”, featuring the legendary banana cover designed by Andy Warhol. The album has been named by numerous publications as one of the top 100 albums of all time, and is often considered one of history’s 10 most influential albums by critics.

Nico later recorded several solo albums, including the folksy Chelsea Girl in 1967, followed by original albums such as The Marble Index and Desertshore, which were much darker and avant garde in style. She released several more albums throughout the 1970s and 1980s, including The End…, but died in 1988 from a cerebral hemorrhage after falling from her bike in Ibiza, Spain. She is buried in Berlin, next to her mother.

Solo studio discography:
1967 - Chelsea Girl
1969 - The Marble Index
1970 - Desertshore
1974 - The End…
1981 - Drama of Exile

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  • pigeont

    Her voice would sound amazing if she were around today.

    11 Sep 2:21am Reply
  • wingsoftoast

    it's a shame that the wiki is so dominated by her brief tenure with the Velvet Underground, when, ironically, her subsequent albums far outstripped them. The two John Cale produced albums are sublime in the truest sense of the word - beautiful and terrifying.

    30 Aug 10:46pm Reply
  • wingsoftoast

    Frozen Warnings >< Sheep in Fog

    30 Aug 10:43pm Reply
  • igorgeneration

    Desertshore is her prime <3 stunning!

    29 Aug 3:02pm Reply
  • Scantily

    Nothing like Nico, but perhaps it's something for someone here.

    18 Aug 6:01am Reply
  • Nekrovoor

    +1 on MissNewOrleans

    14 Aug 1:26am Reply
  • garnite

    i highly recommend looking up the live versions of henry hudson with harmonium. so sweet and charming. i don't particularly care for this song on drama of exile, but the live versions are something special. truly one of her best songs and melodies.

    14 Aug 1:18am Reply
  • MissNewOrleans

    There's no mention of her role in the Fellini film La Dolce Vita, I'm just saying.

    11 Aug 5:29am Reply
  • werlave

    She was clearly ahead of her time.

    1 Aug 7:44pm Reply
  • ralphieparker

    There's definitely truth to the 'Chelsea Girl as jumping off point' idea. I discovered it only about a year ago and was immediately taken by the solemn beauty, and a year on it's quite possibly my favourite record, flutes and all. Even with the baroque pop overlays Nico hated I still saw the bridge to The Marble Index, which certainly took a bit more listening to appreciate but I now recognize as a wonderful record in its own right. I intend to slowly proceed onward, taking the time to drink in each record to its fullest before moving on. Such a special talent Nico was. RIP and thank you so much.

    23 Jul 9:36pm Reply
  • RainyWoods

    @MarcusLMosnter That's true. I suppose it's this way with a lot of artists though. There will always be that one album or song that the majority will listen to. We can only hope that each person will eventually give her other records a listen as they were really what Nico was all about. The songs from "Chelsea Girl" have been used in various films, shows and such as well which seems to always be a strong factor in the results of the Lastfm charts. Late into her life, Nico was still performing the songs from "Chelsea Girl" live so she probably didn't hate them, just the slightly naff production of the album itself, the fact she had no control over it and wasn't listened to. I have a feeling the hatred of that album helped initiate her extraordinary downward spiral (I say that in a positive way with Nico) that led to the creation of "The Marble Index" which couldn't have been more different to her debut. So severe and unwelcoming but beautiful to those who were brave enough to listen.

    17 Jul 5:49pm Reply
  • MarcusLMosnter

    @RainyWoods It's a nice entry to those whom aren't used to the other albums' kind of music, but the sad part sometimes is that most people just recognizes CG as *Nico's Music* while she didn't liked the album, some of them even just listened to this album, it would be nice if (if there's one) a "stripped away early version" of CG was released, anyway we still have all her other wonderful albums to appreciate

    14 Jul 1:57am Reply
  • toriweldon

    imagine if she were alive and collab'd with Lana Del Rey...jk please don't bully me

    13 Jul 4:10am Reply
  • RainyWoods

    @MarcusLMosnter It is sad but then I do think it's a good entry point to her music for many. Most who go in at the deep end will leave and won't ever want to come back. "Chelsea Girl" for all it's faults has some beautiful moments, despite being an accessible record and one of which Nico herself hated. Imagine if one day the album could be rereleased with all the unnecessary flutes and stuff stripped away? It would be fitting if someone like John Cale could rerecord the record how she wanted it with drums and more guitars. She said she could live with the strings but the flutes made her cry. Poor Nico. She might not have been able to listen to the album back but it's still a beautiful recording, just the stuff that followed was in another league that no one will probably ever reach.

    12 Jul 7:24pm Reply
  • MarcusLMosnter

    It's kinda sad that Chelsea Girl, the album that Nico hated so much is her most famous and recognized one

    10 Jul 7:42pm Reply
  • SoporAeternus-

    Lindo <3

    9 Jul 8:17pm Reply
  • wiseblood-

    One of the greatest of ALL TIMES!

    12 Jun 1:34am Reply
  • Scantily

    The Marble Index is so huge! *_*

    4 Jun 7:45am Reply
  • AniRockAniMetal

    Hildegarda z Bingen XX wieku.

    29 May 11:04am Reply
  • Roope75

    Even though I like Throbbing Gristle and know how influential they are, I was a bit skeptical about their version of Desertshore. Yesterday I finally heard it and was pleasantly surprised. It's definitely worth hearing.

    22 May 7:55pm Reply
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