Nico - The End

Title: The End...
Format: LP
Label: Island
Year: 1974

Side 1 - It Has Not Taken Long / Secret Side / You Forget To Answer / Innocent And Vain / Valley Of The Kings

Side 2 - We've Got The Gold / The End / Das Lied Der Deutschen

It Has Not Taken Long

Some seductive wintriness from Nico to hail in the new year. It Has Not Taken Long opens her fourth album The End... and was the first thing of hers I heard outside The Velvets after picking it up cheap in a long gone Altrincham record shop, swayed by the fact Eno and Cale were on it.

For a while it lived up to its title and appeared to be Nico's final album until a brief resurrection in the Eighties delivered a couple more studio LPs and a sad, untimely death. I've said it before but in 1979 she was a very good fit.

I'd heard her open for The Banshees the year before (with Spizz Oil in the middle) after hanging around behind Manchester University when I'd failed to get a student to sign me in. It was best round the back, away from the road and I remember this pump organ and that voice drifting down from the main hall muffled and then occasionally clear as they got messed around in the wind. Not ideal listening but it was free.

The End... with its all important ellipsis is still my favourite of hers not least for the two inspired covers that close side two; her former lover's ultimate goodbye song and an emotive anthem sung (in defence) with its full pre bad Germans lyric. Both equally chilling just the same.

The album was re-released last year in one of those expanded two disc versions. Extras include session versions and two of the tracks she performed on June 1, 1974 so if I see it cheap...