"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
Uncut NOVEMBER 2012 - by Rob Young
NICO: THE END
Weird scenes inside the ex-Velvet's goldmine
In June 1974, Nico appeared at London's Rainbow Theatre with Kevin Ayers, Brian Eno and John Cale, and performed a nine-minute version of The Doors' The End, along with her harmonium. The previous year she had recorded it as the maudlin centrepiece to her fourth solo album, originally released on Island. Cale produced and played an abundance of instruments; Brian Eno provided synths and electronic textures (including Moog noise on Innocent And Vain): an unexpected foreshadowing of his ambient experiments. And that 'shadowing' is telling: The End is almost as bleak and bleached as 1970's Desertshore, with Nico's lonely lieder backed by little more than her own yawing harmonium. We've Got The Gold is a tense, volatile compound of marimbas, glockenspiel, prowling bass and outbursts from Phil Manzanera's guitar. One false note is sounded by her deadpan take on Das Lied Der Deutschen (AKA Deutschland Über Alles) - an ambiguous and unnecessary gesture. This sullen album did indeed mark the end of Nico's 1970s music career: personal issues and drug addiction kept her refrigerated until 1981.
EXTRAS: Nico's Rainbow Theatre performance is included in the double set, alongside Peel sessions and an Old Grey Whistle Test appearance.