Nico – CHELSEA GIRL
Cooler people than myself might prefer The Marble Index and Desertshore, but for me it’s all about Chelsea Girl. One of those albums you buy in an unlikely record store and then treat as your greatest musical treasure.
Chelsea Girl is the folk album that The Velvet Underground never recorded. It’s one of my favourite Lou Reed-related stories, how he played the acoustic version of “Venus In Furs” to John Cale back in 1965. And Cale just couldn’t concentrate as it sounded too much like Joan Baez. With Chelsea Girl, you get some vague idea of that sound. Only it’s a little brighter in places, what with Jackson Browne contributing gorgeous tunes like “These Days” and “Somewhere There’s A Feather”.
The slightly disjointed “It Was A Pleasure Then” may have seemed like a nasty splinter at first, but you warm to it, later, as you discover more of Nico’s music. What I still don’t get is why she hated the flute so much. The flute sounds intriguing, as do the lyrics of “Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams”. As does everything else on the greatest album of 1967.