Records That Changed My Life #2

The Velvet Underground & Nico (Verve Records)

In my first blog post on this site, I covered the story of how ‘The Days of Wine & Roses’ by The Dream Syndicate was the album that literally gave me the opportunity to work in the music industry. Part 2 of this series has a loose connection and is in my Top 5 albums of all time. This album is ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’.

Arguably the greatest debut album of all time and often compared to Television’s debut album within the same conversations The Velvet Underground & Nico edges it for me for the main reason that it was released 10 years before ‘Marquee Moon’, March 1967, and still sounds ageless and relevant to this day.

No introduction is required for the band or their connection to Andy Warhol but one just needs to listen to the album in its entirety to understand how influential it was to every rock & roll album that followed it. From the emerging US garage, punk, and psych scene through to Roxy Music, David Bowie, and the UK punk and new wave movement, this album was the nucleus for them all.

Edie Sedgwick & Andy WarholNew York (1965) – Photo: Steve Shapiro

I, once again, was introduced to the album whilst I worked at Virgin Records in Portsmouth. It was always played on a regular basis and ‘Heroin’ was cranked up that little bit louder on a Saturday afternoon during peak time! It was also a record that was played a hell of a lot when I dated a girl called Maggie in our flat in Albert Road in Southsea. Maggie also introduced me to Magazine (‘Correct Use of Soap’), Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry (‘History, Mystery & Prophecy’) and the Psychedelic Furs (‘Forever Now’) and opened my eyes and ears up to a lot of music that I was just not aware of. It’s been a constant record in my lifetime and is still played on a regular basis.

As a five-piece, the blend of Lou Reed, Nico, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, and Moe Tucker shouldn’t have worked on paper but as a record, the album is flawless from start to finish.  

Watch the video, listen to the album, and read the book:


  • Our daughter Edie Nancy Cronen was named after Edie Sedgwick the ‘dancer’ for the Exploding Plastic Inevitable & actress.

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