Did I mention that I’m having a bit of a ‘rock’ revival? Ok, I’m not talking Whitesnake, but suffice it to say that the CDs on my desk today are Nico, The Teardrop Explodes, Pixies and David Bowie. And, er…Keely Smith.

Compilation - Nico: 'The Classic Years' (CD; Polygram; 1965-1974)
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I bought this compilation to replace my copy of 'Chelsea Girls', which was one of many CDs that I sacrificed when I moved to the USA in 1997. This 19-track disc has four tracks from that album, including the two I like best. It also includes perhaps the most exquisite Velvet Underground tracks: "I'll be your mirror," "Femme fatale," and "All tomorrow's parties."

As an extra bonus, there's both the A and B sides of the single Nico cut in 1965 with Andrew Loog Oldham, 'I'm not saying'. I'm rather taken with the title cut, a jaunty folk-pop song with a great chord sequence.

The final 10 tracks on the compilation are taken from her albums with John Cale, and a bit more hard-going, featuring Nico's work on the harmonium, and lots of bizarre sound effects. One of the more accessible tracks is the piano-driven 'Afraid'. I don't mean to diss the other tracks, which are undeniably powerful and intense. I just don't feel like listening to them right now.

All in all, this is a nice compilation; the inclusion of 'I'm not saying' makes it well worth having.

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