Offered for sale is a still sealed copy of the second issue of The Velvet Underground & Nico, issued in 1970 on Verve Records.
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 one that isn’t a cutout. Sealed copies, particularly of the mono edition, can sell for several thousand dollars on the rare occasions when they turn up for sale.
Despite the poor reception of the album in its initial release, Verve did reissue the album in 1970 with a printed banana on the cover. These were only in print for a short time and are actually quite rare today.
About this copy: This copy is a still sealed, stereo copy of that 1970 pressing, with the printed banana on the cover, Verve V6-5008. Aside from a small tear in the shrinkwrap, probably from someone checking to see if the banana could be peeled, this copy is in exceptionally nice condition, with tight wrap. There’s a small dent in the lower right hand corner of the cover. While this is a second issue, it is an early 1970s pressing on the original Verve label, and not a modern reissue.
A beautiful, still sealed copy of a classic album that everyone should have in their collection.
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