Offered for sale is an early stereo pressing of the 1967 self-titled debut LP by the Velvet Underground & Nico, featuring the cover that originally included the peelable banana sticker.
Background: The 1967 debut by the Velvet Underground, The Velvet Underground & Nico, sold poorly in its initial release, and given that the record company had to make multiple changes to the already-expensive, Andy Warhol-designed cover, the album almost certainly lost money for the record company. Despite that, people, especially other musicians, managed to hear it, and today, the album is rightly regarded as one of the most influential albums in rock history.
AllMusic.com gave the album five stars, saying:
One would be hard-pressed to name a rock album whose influence has been as broad and pervasive as The Velvet Underground & Nico. While it reportedly took over a decade for the album’s sales to crack six figures, glam, punk, new wave, goth, noise, and nearly every other left-of-center rock movement owes an audible debt to this set. While The Velvet Underground had as distinctive a sound as any band, what’s most surprising about this album is its diversity….
While the significance of Nico’s contributions have been debated over the years, she meshes with the band’s outlook in that she hardly sounds like a typical rock vocalist, and if Andy Warhol’s presence as producer was primarily a matter of signing the checks, his notoriety allowed The Velvet Underground to record their material without compromise, which would have been impossible under most other circumstances. Few rock albums are as important as The Velvet Underground & Nico, and fewer still have lost so little of their power to surprise and intrigue more than 40 years after first hitting the racks.
The album drew attention for a number of reasons, including the cover art, which depicted a banana with the curious caption, “Peel slowly and see.” Most buyers peeled the sticker back to see what was underneath, and were probably disappointed to realize that what was underneath was essentially an image of a peeled banana, albeit a pink one. Finding original pressings today with the banana intact can be a chore, especially if you’re looking for a copy that isn’t a cutout.
Most of the time, the cover is badly worn, the records are badly worn, and some or most of the banana is missing. Exceptional copies of this album usually sell for upwards of $1000.
About this copy: This copy is an early stereo second issue of the 1967 LP; the torso of actor Eric Emerson has been airbrushed out of the back cover photo.
The cover is VG+, with light wear at the edges and some slight yellowing. There’s a 1″ split at the opening of the cover that has been repaired.
The banana sticker is a reproduction. The original banana sticker had been completely removed from this copy (see photo to see what it looks like without the sticker.) We’ve replaced the original sticker with a high-quality reproduction that is virtually indistinguishable from the original. (The sticker is repositionable, so you may remove it if you like, though we’re not sure why you’d want to.)
The record is VG++. It’s a very clean disc that appears to have had very little play. It does have some scuff marks on it from the paper sleeve and two faint and inaudible marks through one track. It’s close to M-, but not quite there.
Matrix numbers in the dead wax are:
v6-5008 SIDE 1 MGS558-REV.
v6–5008 SIDE 2 MGS-559
This is not the ultra-rare pressing that is missing the song, “Sunday Morning.”
While not mint, it’s an exceptionally nice example of a record that should be in everyone’s collection.
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