Consider. Years spent modelling and vamping around Europe in rubble of WWII, tail-gating auteurs leads nowhere. Cameo in Fellini's Dolce Vita fails to parlay into acting career. Strip Tease, early recording with arch French diddler et trésor national Serge Gainsbourg is passed over for Juliette Greco (voice not sufficiently breathily infantile for the old rogue); a spell with manipulator a la mod Andrew Loog Oldham fails to generate pop chart action. So....Nico washes up in New York and is taken up by Andy War-hol as next superstar and duly touted as such to the VU crew. She and Andy are briefly inseparable.
Chelsea Girl is the perfect album by a female model and man’s woman. Nine of the ten tracks present are written by ex-lovers, including the co-writes by Reed and Cale. Receptive, passive and a penetrative dependency - like her relationship with abiding paramour, the needle.
In many respects, the later Marble Index is superior precisely because the Nico voice - like the Nico harmonium - has become her own. On Chelsea Girl, narcotic monotone has yet to reach full icy austerity. Narcoleptic drone yes, but also wide-eyed melody tarted up with baroque strings, conjuring washed out moods of regret, degradation, and loss.
Chelsea Girl works close up magic. Nico's voice prominent in the mix working within set limits. Amanuensis manquée. Worlds of beauty and decay in miniature.
I'll be your mirror / reflect what you are / in case you don't know....
Oddi wrth y brawd