The Velvet Underground (album)
The Velvet Underground is the self-titled third studio album by American rock band the Velvet Underground. Released in March 1969, it was their first record with Doug Yule, a replacement for John Cale. Recorded in 1968 at TTG Studios in Hollywood, the album's sound—consisting of ballads and straightforward rock songs—marked a notable shift in style from the band's previous recordings. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked the album number 314 in their list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Lou Reed, the band's principal songwriter, said of the album: "I didn't think we should make another White Light/White Heat. I thought it would be a terrible mistake, I believed that. I thought. Otherwise, we would become this one-dimensional thing, that had to be avoided at all costs." Drummer Moe Tucker said, "I was pleased with the direction we were going and with the new calmness in the group, thinking about a good future, hoping people would smarten up and some record company would take us on and do us justice."
Doug Yule said. The sessions were constructive and happy and creative, everybody was working together."The Velvet Underground was the band's first album for MGM Records, its first two albums having been issued on Verve, an MGM subsidiary. The strong Andy Warhol influence is diminished, with the most notable ties to the Factory being the cover and back photographs taken by Warholite Billy Name, the opening track "Candy Says" about Warhol superstar Candy Darling; the song was sung by Yule at Reed's insistence. The LP sleeve was designed by Dick Smith a staff artist at MGM/Verve, with Billy Name's photo of the band sitting sedately on a couch at Andy Warhol's Factory. "The Murder Mystery" included all four band members' voices. During the verses, Lou Reed and guitarist Sterling Morrison recite different verses of poetry with the voices positioned to the left and right. For the choruses, Maureen Tucker and Doug Yule sing different lyrics and melodies at the same time separated left and right; the album's closing song, "After Hours", has a rare solo lead vocal by Moe Tucker, again requested by Reed as he felt the sweet, innocent quality of her voice fit the song's mood better than his own.
The album was produced by the band themselves, issued in two different stereo mixes. The more distributed mix is the one done by MGM/Verve staff engineer Val Valentin; the other mix was done by Lou Reed, boosting his vocals and guitar solos, while reducing the level of other instruments. This version was dubbed the "Closet Mix" by Sterling Morrison, because it sounded to him as if it had been recorded in a closet; the most dramatic difference is that the two versions use an different performance of "Some Kinda Love", taken from the same recording sessions. The restraint and subtlety of the album was a significant departure from the direct abrasiveness of White Light/White Heat. Music critic Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune characterized it as folk rock, Rolling Stone magazine's Troy Carpenter said that it focused on mellow, melodic rock. According to music journalist Steve Taylor, The Velvet Underground is a pop album because of its more accessible songs and "has been called Lou Reed with a backing band due to the emphasis placed on songs rather than experimental sound work."Apart from the forceful rockers "What Goes On" and "Beginning to See the Light", the album contains reflective, melodic songs that are about various forms of love, such as "Pale Blue Eyes", "Some Kinda Love", "Jesus", "I'm Set Free" and "That's the Story of My Life".
Reed and Morrison's twin-guitar playing became the band's most prominent sound, the album had spare arrangements that lacked distortion. The only song that exhibited the band's avant-garde roots is "The Murder Mystery", which incorporated a raga rhythm, murmuring organ, overlapping spoken-word passages, lilting counterpoint vocals. Reviewing for The Village Voice in 1969, Robert Christgau viewed it as the band's best album and found it tuneful, well written, exceptionally sung, despite "another bummer experiment" in "The Murder Mystery" and some questionable stereo recording. Lester Bangs, writing in Rolling Stone magazine, felt that it is not on-par with White Light/White Heat and has missteps with "The Murder Mystery" and "Pale Blue Eyes", but said that its combination of powerfully expressive music and profoundly sentimental lyrics will persuade the band's detractors into believing they can "write and play any kind of music they want to with equal brilliance." In his ballot for Jazz & Pop magazine's annual critics poll, Christgau ranked it as the sixth best album of the year.
He included it in his "Basic Record Library" of 1950s and 1960s recordings, published in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. In a review of the album's 1985 reissue, Rolling Stone's David Fricke remarked that both The Velvet Underground and its predecessor lack the diverse range of the band's 1967 debut album and the precise accessibility of Loaded. However, he felt that the album is still edifying as a tender, subtly broad song cycle whose stark production reveals the essence of Reed's more expressive songwriting. Fricke cited the "ironic pairing" of "Pale Blue Eyes" and "Jesus" as the best summary of "the hopeful warmth at the center of the Velvets' rage." Colin Larkin, writing in The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, said that the album showcased a new subtlety because of Reed's larger role in the band and that it "unveiled a pastoral approach and more subdued, retaining the chilling, disquieting aura of previous releases."In 2003
Groningen is the main municipality as well as the capital city of the eponymous province in the Netherlands. It is the largest city in the north of the Netherlands and has 230,000 inhabitants; the Groningen-Assen metropolitan area has about half a milion inhabitants. Groningen is an old city and was the regional power of the north of the Netherlands, a semi-independent city-state and member of the German Hanseatic League. Groningen is a university city, with an estimated 31,000 students at the University of Groningen, an estimated 29,000 at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences; the city was founded at the northernmost point of the Hondsrug area. The oldest document referring to Groningen's existence dates from 1040. However, the city existed long before then: the oldest archaeological traces found are believed to stem from the years 3950–3720 BC, although the first major settlement in Groningen has been traced back to the 3rd century AD. In the 13th century, when Groningen was an important trade centre, its inhabitants built a city wall to underline its authority.
The city made its dialect a common tongue. The most influential period of the city was the end of the 15th century, when the nearby province of Friesland was administered from Groningen. During these years, the Martinitoren 127 metres tall, was built; the city's independence ended in 1536, when it chose to accept Emperor Charles V, the Habsburg ruler of the other Netherlands, as its overlord. In 1594, until held by Spain, was captured by a Dutch and English force led by Maurice of Nassau. Soon afterwards the city and the province joined the Republic of the Seven United Provinces. In 1614, the University of Groningen was founded only for religious education. In the same period the city expanded and a new city wall was built; that same city wall was tested during the Third Anglo-Dutch War in 1672, when the city was attacked fiercely by the bishop of Münster, Bernhard von Galen. The city walls resisted, an event, still celebrated with music and fireworks on August 28; the city did not escape the devastation of World War II.
In particular, the main square, the Grote Markt, was destroyed in April 1945 in the Battle of Groningen. However, the Martinitoren, its church, the Goudkantoor, the city hall were not damaged; the battle lasted several days. Groningen has an oceanic temperate climate, like all of the Netherlands, although colder in winter than other major cities in the Netherlands due to its northeasterly position. Weather is influenced by the North Sea to the north-west and its prevailing north-western winds and gales. Summers are somewhat humid. Temperatures of 30 °C or higher occur sporadically. Rainy periods are common in spring and summer. Average annual precipitation is about 800 mm. Annual sunshine hours vary, but are below 1600 hours, giving much cloud cover similar to most of the Netherlands. Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, there is adequate rainfall year-round; the Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb".. Winters are cool: on average above freezing, although frosts are common during spells of easterly wind from Germany and Siberia.
Night-time temperatures of −10 °C or lower are not uncommon during cold winter periods. The lowest temperature recorded is −26.8 °C on February 16, 1956. Snow falls, but stays long due to warmer daytime temperatures, although white snowy days happen every winter; the municipality of Groningen has grown rapidly. In 1968 it expanded by mergers with Hoogkerk and Noorddijk, in 2019 it merged with Haren and Ten Boer. All historical data are for the original city limits, excluding Hoogkerk, Noorddijk and Ten Boer; until there were two large sugar refineries within the city boundaries. The Suiker Unie plant was outside Groningen, but it was swallowed by the expansion of the city. After a campaign to close the factory, it was shut down in 2008/2009. Before closing down, its sugar production amounted to 250,000 tonnes of beet sugar, with 250 employees; the only remaining sugar factory is CSM Vierverlaten in Hoogkerk, which produces 235,000 tonnes of beet sugar, with 283 employees. Well known companies from Groningen are publishing company Noordhoff Uitgevers, tobacco company Royal Theodorus Niemeyer, health insurance company Menzis, distillery Hooghoudt, natural gas companies GasUnie and GasTerra.
There is an increased focus on business services. In addition, the hotel and catering industry forms a significant part of the economy of Groningen; the city is nationally known as the "Metropolis of the North" and as "Martinistad" referring to the tower of the Martinitoren, named after its patron saint Martin of Tours. Although Groningen is not a large city, it does have an important role as the main urban centre of this part of the country in the fields of music and other arts and business; the large number of students living in Groningen contributes to a diverse cultural scene for a city of its size. Since 2016 Groningen is host of the International Cycling Film Festival, an annual film festival for bicycle related films, it takes place in the art house cinema of the old Roman Catholic Hospital. The most famous museum in Groningen is
Christa Päffgen, known by her stage name Nico, was a German singer, musician and actress. She had roles in several films, including Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita and Andy Warhol's Chelsea Girls. At the insistence of Warhol, she recorded vocals for three songs of the Velvet Underground's debut album The Velvet Underground & Nico. At the same time, she released Chelsea Girl. Nico's friend Jim Morrison suggested, she composed songs on a harmonium, not traditionally a rock instrument. In the 1980s, she toured extensively in USA, Australia and Japan. After a last concert in Berlin in June 1988, she went on holiday in Ibiza to rest but died after having a stroke while cycling. Nico was born Christa Päffgen in Cologne; when she was two years old, she moved with her mother and grandfather to the Spreewald forest outside of Berlin to escape the World War II bombardments of Cologne. Her father Wilhelm, born into a dynasty of Colognian master brewers, was enlisted as a soldier during the war and sustained head injuries that caused severe brain damage and ended his life in a psychiatric institution.
In 1946, Nico and her mother relocated to downtown Berlin. She attended school until the age 13, began selling lingerie in the exclusive department store KaDeWe getting modeling jobs in Berlin. At five feet ten inches and with chiseled features and pale skin, Nico rose to prominence as a fashion model as a teenager. At the age of 15, while working as a temp for the U. S. Air Force, Nico was raped by an American sergeant; the sergeant was court-martialled and Nico gave evidence for the prosecution at his trial. Nico's song "Secret Side" from the album The End... makes oblique references to the rape. Nico was discovered at 16 by the photographer Herbert Tobias while both were working at a KaDeWe fashion show in Berlin, he gave her the name Nico after her ex-boyfriend, filmmaker Nikos Papatakis, she used it for the rest of her life. She moved to Paris and began working for Vogue, Vie Nuove, Mascotte Spettacolo, Camera and other fashion magazines. At age 17, she was contracted by Coco Chanel to promote their products, but she fled to New York City and abandoned the job.
Through her travels, she learned to speak English and French. After appearing in several television advertisements, Nico got a small role in Alberto Lattuada's film La Tempesta, she appeared in Rudolph Maté's For the First Time, with Mario Lanza that year. In 1959, she was invited to the set of Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita, where she attracted the attention of the acclaimed director, who gave her a minor role in the film as herself. By this time, she was taking acting classes with Lee Strasberg. After a role in the 1961 Jean Paul Belmondo film A Man Named Rocca, she appeared as the cover model on jazz pianist Bill Evans' 1962 album, Moon Beams. After splitting her time between New York and Paris, she got the lead role in Jacques Poitrenaud's Strip-Tease, she recorded the title track, written by Serge Gainsbourg but not released until 2001, when it was included in the compilation Le Cinéma de Serge Gainsbourg. In 1962, Nico gave birth to her son, Christian Aaron "Ari" Päffgen held to have been fathered by French actor Alain Delon.
Delon always denied his paternity. The child was raised by Delon's mother and her husband and was adopted by them, taking their surname, Boulogne. Nico's first performances as a singer took place in December 1963 at New York's Blue Angel nightclub, where she sang standards such as "My Funny Valentine". In 1965, Nico met the Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones and recorded her first single, "I'm Not Sayin'" with the B-side "The Last Mile", produced by Jimmy Page for Andrew Loog Oldham's Immediate label. Actor Ben Carruthers introduced her to Bob Dylan in Paris that summer. In 1967 Nico recorded his song "I'll Keep It with Mine" for Chelsea Girl. Dylan had written the tune for Judy Collins in 1964, according to her own liner notes from the Geffen Records' album Judy Collins Sings Dylan. After being introduced by Brian Jones, she began working in New York with Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey on their experimental films, including Chelsea Girls, The Closet and Imitation of Christ; when Warhol began managing the Velvet Underground, a New York City quartet consisting of singer/songwriter/guitarist Lou Reed, violist/keyboardist/bassist John Cale, guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker, he proposed that the group take on Nico as a "chanteuse", an idea to which they consented reluctantly, for both personal and musical reasons.
The group became the centerpiece of Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable, a multimedia performance featuring music, lighting and dance. Nico sang lead vocals on three songs, backing vocal on "Sunday Morning", on the band's debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico. Nico's tenure with the Velvet Underground was marked by musical difficulties. Cale has written that Nico's long preparations in the dressing room and pre-performance good luck ritual would hold up a performance, which irritated Reed. Nico's partial deafness would sometimes cause her to veer off key, for which she was ridiculed by other
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain; the union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce
Atlantic Recording Corporation is an American record label founded in October 1947 by Ahmet Ertegün and Herb Abramson. Over its first 20 years of operation, Atlantic earned a reputation as one of the most important American labels, specializing in jazz, R&B, soul by Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett and Dave, Ruth Brown and Otis Redding, its position was improved by its distribution deal with Stax. In 1967, Atlantic became a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Bros.-Seven Arts, now the Warner Music Group, expanded into rock and pop music with releases by Led Zeppelin and Yes. In 2004, Atlantic and its sister label. Craig Kallman is the chairman of Atlantic. Ahmet Ertegün served as founding chairman until his death on December 14, 2006, at age 83. In 1944, brothers Nesuhi and Ahmet Ertegun remained in the United States when their mother and sister returned to Turkey after the death of their father Munir Ertegun, Turkey's first ambassador to the U. S; the brothers were fans of jazz and rhythm & blues, amassing a collection of over 15,000 78 RPM records.
Ahmet ostensibly stayed in Washington to undertake post-graduate music studies at Georgetown University but immersed himself in the Washington music scene and entered the record business, enjoying a resurgence after wartime restrictions on the shellac used in manufacture. He convinced the family dentist, Dr. Vahdi Sabit, to invest $10,000 and hired Herb Abramson, a dentistry student. Abramson had worked as a part-time A&R manager/producer for the jazz label National Records, signing Big Joe Turner and Billy Eckstine, he had no interest in its most successful musicians. In September 1947, he sold his share in Jubilee to his partner, Jerry Blaine, invested $2,500 in Atlantic. Atlantic was run by Abramson and Ertegun. Abramson's wife Miriam ran the label's publishing company, Progressive Music, did most office duties until 1949 when Atlantic hired its first employee, bookkeeper Francine Wakschal, who remained with the label for the next 49 years. Miriam gained a reputation for toughness. Staff engineer Tom Dowd recalled, "Tokyo Rose was the kindest name some people had for her" and Doc Pomus described her as "an extraordinarily vitriolic woman".
When interviewed in 2009, she attributed her reputation to the company's chronic cash-flow shortage: "... most of the problems we had with artists were that they wanted advances, and, difficult for us... we were undercapitalized for a long time." The label's office in the Ritz Hotel in Manhattan proved too expensive, so they moved to a room in the Hotel Jefferson. In the early fifties, Atlantic moved from the Hotel Jefferson to offices at 301 West 54th St and to 356 West 56th St. Atlantic's first recordings were issued in late January 1948 and included "That Old Black Magic" by Tiny Grimes and "The Spider" by Joe Morris. In its early years, Atlantic concentrated on modern jazz although it released some country and western and spoken word recordings. Abramson produced "Magic Records", children's records with four grooves on each side, each groove containing a different story, so the story played would be determined by the groove in which the stylus happened to land. In late 1947, James Petrillo, head of the American Federation of Musicians, announced an indefinite ban on all recording activities by union musicians, this came into effect on January 1, 1948.
The union action forced Atlantic to use all its capital to cut and stockpile enough recordings to last through the ban, expected to continue for at least a year. Ertegun and Abramson spent much of the late 1940s and early 1950s scouring nightclubs in search of talent. Ertegun composed songs under the alias "A. Nugetre", including Big Joe Turner's hit "Chains of Love", recording them in booths in Times Square giving them to an arranger or session musician. Early releases included music by Sidney Bechet, Barney Bigard, The Cardinals, The Clovers, Frank Culley, The Delta Rhythm Boys, Erroll Garner, Dizzy Gillespie, Tiny Grimes, Al Hibbler, Earl Hines, Johnny Hodges, Jackie & Roy, Lead Belly, Meade Lux Lewis, Professor Longhair, Shelly Manne, Howard McGhee, Mabel Mercer, James Moody, Joe Morris, Art Pepper, Django Reinhardt, Pete Rugolo, Pee Wee Russell, Bobby Short, Sylvia Syms, Billy Taylor, Sonny Terry, Big Joe Turner, Jimmy Yancey, Sarah Vaughan, Mal Waldron, Mary Lou Williams. In early 1949, a New Orleans distributor phoned Ertegun to obtain Stick McGhee's "Drinking Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee", unavailable due to the closing of McGhee's previous label.
Ertegun knew Stick's younger brother Brownie McGhee, with whom Stick happened to be staying, so he contacted the McGhee brothers and re-recorded the song. When released in February 1949, it became Atlantic's first hit, selling 400,000 copies, reached No. 2 after spending six months on the Billboard R&B chart – although McGhee himself earned just $10 for the session. Atlantic's fortunes rose rapidly: recorded 187 songs were recorded in 1949, more than three times the amount from the previous two years, received overtures for a manufacturing and distribution deal with Columbia, which would pay Atlantic a 3% royalty on every copy sold. Ertegun asked about artists' royalties, which he paid, this surprised Columbia executives, who did not, the deal was scuttled. On the recommendation of broadcaster Willis Conover and Abramson visited Ruth Brown at the Crystal Caverns club in Washington and invited her to audition for Atlantic, she was injured in a car accident en route to New York City, but Atlantic supported her for nine months and signed her.
The Velvet Underground & Nico
The Velvet Underground & Nico is the debut album by American rock band the Velvet Underground, released in March 1967 by Verve Records. It was recorded in 1966 while the band were featured on Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable tour, which gained attention for its experimental performance sensibilities and controversial lyrical topics, including drug abuse, prostitution and sexual deviancy, it sold poorly and was ignored by contemporary critics, but became regarded as one of the most influential albums in the history of popular music. Many subgenres of rock music and forms of alternative music were informed by the album, including art rock, garage, shoegazing and indie. In 1982, musician Brian Eno stated that while the album only sold 30,000 copies, "everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band." In 2003, it ranked 13th on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time", in 2006, it was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress.
The Velvet Underground & Nico was recorded with the first professional line-up of the Velvet Underground: Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker. At the instigation of their mentor and manager Andy Warhol, his collaborator Paul Morrissey, German singer Nico was featured, she sang lead on three of the album's tracks—"Femme Fatale", "All Tomorrow's Parties" and "I'll Be Your Mirror"—and back-up on "Sunday Morning". In 1966, as the album was being recorded, this was the line-up for their live performances as a part of Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable; the bulk of the songs that would become The Velvet Underground & Nico were recorded in mid-April 1966, during a four-day stint at Scepter Studios, a decrepit recording studio in Manhattan. This recording session was financed by Warhol and Columbia Records' sales executive Norman Dolph, who acted as an engineer with John Licata. Though the exact total cost of the project is unknown, estimates vary from $1,500 to $3,000. Soon after recording, Dolph sent an acetate disc of the recordings to Columbia in an attempt to interest them in distributing the album, but they declined, as did Atlantic Records and Elektra Records—according to Morrison, Atlantic objected to the references to drugs in Reed's songs, while Elektra disliked Cale's viola.
The MGM Records-owned Verve Records accepted the recordings, with the help of Verve staff producer Tom Wilson who had moved from a job at Columbia. With the affirmation of a label, three of the songs, "I'm Waiting for the Man", "Venus in Furs" and "Heroin", were re-recorded in two days at TTG Studios during a stay in Hollywood, one month in May 1966; when the record's release date was postponed, Wilson brought the band into Mayfair Recording Studios in Manhattan in November 1966, to add a final song to the track listing: the single "Sunday Morning". There is some confusion as to who produced The Velvet Underground & Nico. Although Andy Warhol was the only formally credited producer, he had little direct influence or authority over the album beyond paying for the recording sessions. In fact, several other individuals who worked on the album are mentioned as the album's technical producer. Norman Dolph and John Licata are sometimes attributed to producing the Scepter Studios sessions, considering they were responsible for recording and engineering them.
Dolph himself, says John Cale was the album's rightful creative producer, as he handled the majority of the album's musical arrangements. And yet, Cale recalled that it was Tom Wilson who produced nearly all the tracks on The Velvet Underground & Nico. "The band never again had as good a producer as Tom Wilson", Cale told an interviewer. "Andy Warhol didn't do anything." Reed said the "real producer" of the album was Tom Wilson. Reed once claimed it was MGM who made the decision to bring in Tom Wilson, while crediting Wilson's production skills on specific songs such as'Sunday Morning': "Andy absorbed all the flak. MGM said they wanted to bring in a real producer, Tom Wilson. So that’s how you got “Sunday Morning,” with all those overdubs – the viola in the back, Nico chanting, but he couldn’t undo what had been done." Sterling Morrison and Lou Reed would further cite Warhol's lack of manipulation as a legitimate means of production. Morrison described Warhol as the album's producer "in the sense of producing a film."
Reed further discussed the matter in an interview: He just made it possible for us to be ourselves and go right ahead with it because he was Andy Warhol. In a sense, he did produce it, because he was this umbrella that absorbed all the attacks when we weren't large enough to be attacked... and as a consequence of him being the producer, we'd just walk in and set up and do what we always did and no one would stop it because Andy was the producer. Of course he didn't know anything about record production—but he didn't have to, he just sat there and said "Oooh, that's fantastic," and the engineer would say, "Oh yeah! Right! It is fantastic, isn't it?" The Velvet Underground & Nico was notable for its overt descriptions of topics such as drug abuse, prostitution and masochism and sexual deviancy. "I'm Waiting for the Man" describes a man's efforts to obtain heroin, while "Venus in Furs" is a nearly literal interpretation of the 19th century novel of the same name. "Heroin" details an individual's use of the experience of feeling its effects.
Lou Reed, who wrote th