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Is Nico the John Barnes of Rock?
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Re: Is Nico the John Barnes of Rock?
May 24, 2008, 19:23
IanB wrote:
caldervalium wrote:
IanB wrote:
keith a wrote:
I was just listening to the Rebel Rebel tribute to Bowie cd that was given away with this months Uncut, when a live Nico cover of Heroes came on.

My god. It's dreadful. It makes Sandy shaw's cover of Sympathy For The Devil sound like some classic cover! Trust me, Bubblehead! ; )

Well you know to a lot of folks VU never did a thing wrong and Nico is kind of frozen in aspic as the blonde Wagnerian goddess of s&m rock and roll. Nico is also a beneficiary of 40 years of rock crit fantasies. They come on all Mark Corrigan in a "maybe she's just mad enough to shag me" kind of a way.

You just can't say she was kinda average. People swear by her genius just as others will tell you the Floyd never did anything good after Syd, that all the best Marley records were on Trojan, that Trout Mask is a work of genius, that Exile is Keef's best album and that Joy Division were more valuable than Magazine ;-) These are now accepted truisms that almost transcend analysis.

To be fair there are some really really good Nico recordings but no where near as many as the critical legacy would suggest. I would argue that she didn't make any records as good as "Broken English" or Annette Peacock's barkingly brilliant "I'm The One" but it is all in the ear of the whatsit.

I can't let this one pass. I'd say "Trout Mask Replica" was a work of genius on several levels;
1) Van Vliet wrote the words and music
2) John French transcribed/interpreted it
3) The Magic Band played it.


Never liked "Exile On Main Street" much, tho'....

I wasn't saying it is or isn'y a work of genius just that teh saying that it is a work of genius isan accepted and unchallengable critical norm. You could add Pet Sounds and Blue and Five Leaves Left and LZIV to that list. Personally I wouldn't trade TMR for Clear Spot or Bat Chain Puller but hearing the Blimp back in the 70s certainly openeed my mind.

"Genius " is an over used term nowadays, kinda like "premium" doesn't mean the best anymore. However, we would all disagree on what/who was a "genius".
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