The Velvet Underground & Nico

The Velvet Underground Nico The Velvet Underground and Nico has influenced the sound of bands than any other album And remarkably it still sounds as fresh and challenging today as it did upon its release in In this book J

  • Title: The Velvet Underground & Nico
  • Author: Joe Harvard
  • ISBN: 9780826415509
  • Page: 461
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Velvet Underground and Nico has influenced the sound of bands than any other album And remarkably, it still sounds as fresh and challenging today as it did upon its release in 1967 In this book, Joe Harvard covers everything from Lou Reed s lyrical genius to John Cale s groundbreaking instrumentation, and from the creative input of Andy Warhol to the fine detailThe Velvet Underground and Nico has influenced the sound of bands than any other album And remarkably, it still sounds as fresh and challenging today as it did upon its release in 1967 In this book, Joe Harvard covers everything from Lou Reed s lyrical genius to John Cale s groundbreaking instrumentation, and from the creative input of Andy Warhol to the fine details of the recording process With input from co producer Norman Dolph and Velvets fan Jonathan Richman, Harvard documents the creation of a record which in the eyes of many has never been matched.EXCERPTIn 1966, some studios, like Abbey Road, had technicians in white lab coats, and even the less formal studios usually had actual engineering graduates behind the consoles Studios were still about science than art Clients who dared make technical suggestions were treated with bemusement, derision, or hostility The Velvets were a young band under constant critical attack, and the pressure to conform in order to gain acceptance must have been tremendous Most bands of that era compromised with their record companies, through wholesale revamping of their image from wardrobe to musical style, changing or omitting lyrics, creating drastically edited versions for radio airplay, or eliminating songs entirely from their sets and records With Andy Warhol in the band s corner, such threats were minimized.

    163 Comment

    • Paul Bryant says:

      Joe Harvard:The miniscule tattoo I got in 1979 caused a family furor, with dark rumblings about bikers and convicts; when my niece recently acquired skin art that would impress most Yakuza and bring a smile to the lips of a Maori headhunter, nary a peep was uttered. American culture moves so fast it's more a verb than a noun.Well, that's good stuff and this cute li'l book makes a pretty good job of accounting for one of the great albums of our time, released in the year of the summer of love and [...]

    • Paul Austin says:

      Author Joe Harvard is a musician himself; he’s also perfected his studio tan by spending the better part of three decades producing and engineering at various recording studios, including Boston’s storied Fort Apache, which he founded. Prominent on Harvard’s website is a photo of him at some bar gig or other, buck naked except for a Flying V guitar. Is this really the kind of person you want penning a Velvet Underground book, given the Velvets erudition — a band influenced more by John C [...]

    • Drew says:

      So hey, this book was really good. It has thus far been my opinion that the books in this series that stay away from straightforward writing about the album they're dealing with are more memorable and enjoyable, but this book turns that opinion on its head. And by the way, that's not to say that I haven't enjoyed the more straightforward installments that I've read--in fact, I thought Andrew Hultkrans's take on Love's "Forever Changes" was damned good. But Harvard's "Velvet Underground And Nico" [...]

    • Jon says:

      I do like The Velvet Underground. But this is the first book I've read about them and I thought it a nice place to start. I'm fairly familiar with the band's history and thought this book did a good job talking about the historical context of the album and all those popular stories surrounding the band and this album, while also giving some good thoughts, insights, and analysis that made the band and the album seem that much more interesting.This was an easy, quick read that I breezed through in [...]

    • Patrick McCoy says:

      The Velvet Underground and Nico edition of Continuum’s 33 1/3 series of books on record albums by Joe Harvard has some good information about the album, it seems pieced together from several other sources and doesn’t have the authority of some of the other selections I have read. It has been suggested that booklet that came with the Peel Slowly 5 disc VU Box set has as much information and while that is not true, it is not as comprehensive as Frank Bruno’s impressive book on Elvis Costello [...]

    • Dragan Nanic says:

      This book manages to capture the best thing about 33 1/3 series - inspiring reader to listen the album again exposing other interesting music and facts along the way. It also brought back memories of my high school and the very first time I heard the Velvet Underground and Nico. I liked the style - it has that raw edge that corresponds well with the actual music. However, the form (settings around the record first and description of the songs later) dulls it a bit. It would be much more effectiv [...]

    • Elliot Chalom says:

      The back cover states "In this book, Joe Harvard covers everything from Lou Reed's lyrical genius to John Cale's groundbreaking instrumentation, and from the creative input of Andy Warhol to the fine details of the recording process." That's a perfectly apt description of what this solid if unspectacular entry in the 33-1/3 canon does. Harvard gives a detailed and comprehensive "making of" the album in a short but rich 145 pages. However, despite the fact that he admittedly finds it to be one of [...]

    • Dimitri says:

      Morrison said: "It [Loaded] showed that we could have, all along, made truly commercial sounding records. We usually opted not to, because our material was incompatible with standard pop-music treatment. But people would wounder, 'Could they do it if they had to?' The answer was, 'Yes, we could.' And we did." But if what you're concerned with is whether or not a band was capable of making a truly great record, one that would remain vital and powerful, beautiful yet awe-inspiring long beyond the [...]

    • Richard says:

      This could have been better, but it was still interesting. i feel I could have written a more nuanced analysis of the album than this dude did, but there were a lot of little factoids that I'm glad to know. Like you know in "Femme Fatale" when the guys sing "She's a femme fataaaale" and they pronounce the "a" really flat and nasally? Apparently that infuriated Nico, and she wanted them to pronounce it in the correct French way, but Lou Reed insisted that they pronounce it that way. And she didn' [...]

    • Andrew Kubasek says:

      A really fun book! Granted, it contains a lot of references to demos and alternate takes that, without access to them, make it hard to fully comprehend. But the background material - especially regarding Andy Warhol's relationship to the band as "producer" and how Nico came to join the group - is especially engrossing. I also liked the mini-essays about each song from the final cut of the record.I highly recommend that anyone reading this book be very familiar with the album before even trying t [...]

    • Tosh says:

      A so-so book on one of the great albums. I am proud to say that I discovered this particular album not by myself or via a friend at school or even through the rock media of the time. It was through my Dad who had a copy of the album in his collection. In fact it took me awhile to get to even listen to this album. Maybe a year??? Nevertheless it is one of those great recordings where sounds equals great songwriting equals great performance. It's magic. It really is. This book on the other hand is [...]

    • Bayneeta says:

      When we married my ex-husband and I merged our record collections, and agreed to pass duplicates on to siblings. Turns out the only duplicates were a few Beatles albums and maybe a Dylan or two. Our musical tastes were wildly divergent. But over the years I grew to appreciate many of the albums in his collection. This was one of them. This book has more detail about tunings than I'm able to appreciate, but a chance to revisit a favorite album was much appreciated.

    • Don says:

      Just discovered the "33 1/3" series of books, where each volume takes one noteworthy & influential album and delves into it in excruciating detail - the band members, their history, the making of the album, thoughts & explanations on all of the songs, etc. It's not perfect - at times, the author's prose gets a little too full of its own cleverness - but for music geeks like myself, this is a fantastic discovery. (And I can't help but note they have a volume on Aqualung!)

    • Bill says:

      Certainly one of the best books in this series and highly recommended, whether or not you are a fan of the Velvet Underground.Written as an appreciation and highly successful in that regard. The author concentrates on the album and the making of it (primarily) and avoids the pointless trivia that surrounds that band in particular and these books in general.Certainly has given me cause to go back to some music I haven't heard in some time.

    • Tanya Taylor says:

      Joe Harvard does an incredible job of piecing together years of information about this album and the people who created it ~ his notes on the individual tracks will make old fans want to revisit the album in order to better appreciate the subtle details in each song. Can't believe I waited so long to read this gem.

    • Patrick Fisackerly says:

      A really interesting little book that tells you pretty much everything you'd want to know about THE VELVET UNDERGROUND & NICO, one of the greatest rock albums ever made. It's as much about Lou Reed as it is about Andy Warhol and the whole Factory subculture of the '60s, and that's fine with me. A good read.

    • Chris says:

      My first 33 1/3. It was good and had a lot of stuff I didn't know, which is always great. It also had (I thought) a pretty good approach to the often dodgy rock non-fiction genre. Making sense of (often verbal) legends and rumors isn't easy and Joe Harvard did a good job of putting things in perspective.

    • Patrick Gibbs says:

      Nice conversational piece on the VU's first album, the making of, and context for the environment in which it landed. Not exactly a behind the scenes look, but more of a pulling together of the many tales relating to the making of the album. Bonus points for going to Jonathan Richman as a source.

    • Nathan says:

      I really enjoyed this read. It got away from the typical Andy Warhol shtick that you get when you read about the band. This one actually could have gone a bit farther than it did, but I like me some Joe Harvard.

    • David says:

      "If I hadn't heard rock 'n' roll on the radio, I would have had no idea there was life on this planet.""All great art looks like it was made this morning." - Norman Dolph

    • Lydia Gurevich says:

      Amazing, informative book about the greatest band of all time.

    • Alex says:

      Genius. I love the 33&1/3 series, but this one is probably my favorite, mainly because it documents the genesis of an album so dear to me. A must for any Velvet Underground fan.

    • Jacqueline Valencia says:


    • Andrew Guthrie says:

      The Velvet Underground And NicoBy Joe Harvard“I’m not a critic. I’m a musician and this is not an attempt to “explain” the Velvet Underground . . .”from the introduction to “The Velvet Underground and Nico” by Joe Harvard.If the first Velvet Underground album came out in 1966, then I was 11 years old. I was already steeped in the mid-1960s “rock revolution”, being the youngest of four kids, listening to my older siblings’ records and the AM radio. I clearly remember my sist [...]

    • Frank Jude says:

      The 331/3 series of books about influential albums offers a kind of "biography" of the albums reviewed, often including the "how it came to happen" as well as a song by song breakdown of the album. I've read several of these little paperbacks (Marquee Moon and Trout Mask Replica among my faves, and this one, by Joe Harvard meets the high standards set by those two.As Harvard points out, when we're talking about rock as it is now played, there is no argument that The Velvet Underground -- regardl [...]

    • Ryland Dinneen says:

      I would've give this a higher rating yet it would admittedly be due more to my love for this album rather than my appreciation for this book. The plus side of this book is that, for fans of the album, it offers a litany of background information on the acclaimed album, and tells a pretty comprehensive story of how the album was conceived, recorded, and the aftermath of its disastrous release and commercial performance. The downside is that, for those who don't already know the album or aren't we [...]

    • Terry says:

      Continuing a fascination

    • Ross says:

      Very good. One thing all books about Lou Reed and/or The Velvet Underground have in common, is what an absolute arseboil the man was.

    • Rojitas Oliva says:

      this stuff is in the dna of every other album i really dig: music that's immediate and makes me want to say things like 'beef' & 'dirt' but is still weird enough to be exciting. It also accidentally ended up being one of the first really formative cd's i impulsively bought after seeing it on some blogs list of the greatest albums of all time and then again on sale for six bucks. glory fades I guess far as this book goes it's got some boring bits of revisionist fact checking crap, but coupled [...]

    • Dena says:

      This was an interesting account of the impact of the Velvet Underground on both their contemporaries and must today. Think it's an interesting point of view here, the author Joe Harvard I recognized as one of the main folks behind Fort Apache studios formerly of Boston and Cambridge -- well known for indie music. I did not know he was from East Boston -- where my dad's family originates from nor that the Velvets enjoyed such a large fan base in Boston but again this was all before my time -- alt [...]

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