Updated: Aug 27, 2021
“The Velvet Underground & Nico” is the debut project from the American rock band and German singer released in March of 1967. The cover features an original piece by revolutionary pop artist Andy Warhol, who is also credited as the main producer of the album. While Warhol did very little beyond financing the album’s recording, Lou Reed credited Warhol’s lack of manipulation as legitimate production, similar to producing a film, as it allowed the band complete creative freedom. Warhol went on to include The Velvet Underground & Nico as a part of his Exploding Plastic Inevitable tour, a series of multimedia events also featuring screenings of Warhol’s films and the debut of many of pop art’s burgeoning creators, all collaborating as a part of Warhol’s Factory. While the album did very poorly upon release, only selling around 30,000 copies in its first five years, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Brian Eno once famously said that, “everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band.” The album was a rarity for the 60’s, discussing controversial themes such as drug abuse and deviancy. The work is frequently cited as the beginning roots of many of rock’s subsequent subgenres including garage rock, goth, and indie folk. “The Velvet Underground & Nico” has since been inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress and claims the number 13 spot on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. Hear the record that forever altered a genre and a generation of inspiring musicians by streaming the influential tracks “Sunday Morning,” “Run Run Run,” and “There She Goes Again” now on Spotify!