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Nico – The Marble Index (1968)

Nico – The Marble Index

Avant Garde | Pop | mp3 | 320 kbps | 63 mb | covers included

Here’s where Nico, in one fell swoop, became the Godmother of Goth!

The Marble Index was Nico’s second album, a complex and challenging work which could be described as a mixture of gothic-folk, neo-classical and avant-garde, recorded and released in 1968.
Where the statue stood,
Of Newton, with his prism and silent face,
The marble index of a mind forever
Voyaging through strange seas of thought alone

– William Wordsworth

The album featured long-term associate John Cale, who had worked briefly with Nico during her stint in The Velvet Underground. They would work together again many times in subsequent years.

Cale had an extensive background in the world of the avant-garde, having worked with minimalist composer LaMonte Young, among others.

Cale and Nico here created an album that radically deviated from traditional rock music song structures. Cale said it was the first rock album to do so. He also said that The Marble Index had “made a seminal contribution to the body of modern classical music“.

Nico wrote all her own songs on this album and accompanied herself on the harmonium, which has also been referred to as an “Indian pump organ”.

The lyrics are typically dark and the subject matter far different to the cliched themes of most songs written at that time – and indeed since.

The arrangements are abstract and, musically speaking, “cold”. The effect is akin to the psychological sound experimentation of famous electronic and serial composer, Karlheinz Stockhausen.

The Marble Index has been described as a “nightmare in sound”. It has influenced a wide array of genres in contemporary independent music. Artists such as Coil, Jocelyn Pook and Dead Can Dance, as well as numerous contemporary goth bands have all cited Nico as a seminal influence.

Sail away, sail away my little boy
Let the wind fill your heart with light and joy
Sail away my little boy
Let the rain wash away your cloudy days
Sail away into a dream
Let the wind send you a fantasy
Of the ancient silver sea
Now you see that only dreams

This was the second solo album from the late, one-time, Velvet Underground chanteuse, and it’s several galaxies removed from the conservative, pleasingly orchestrated songs of her debut album from merely one year before, Chelsea Girls.

Here Nico’s Gregorian chant melodies, cryptic lyrics, and wavering harmonium combine with always sparse, consistently absorbing arrangements (courtesy of fellow Velvets exile John Cale) to create a singular work fresh from the mausoleum.

While Marble Index is occasionally tedious, give a listen particularly to “Lawns of Dawns,” “Frozen Warnings,” and “Evening of Light,” and you will feel like you are peering into Hades itself.

This is one truly creepy and morbid-sounding album, but never over-the-top to the point of silliness like, say, Diamanda Galas’ Plague Mass.

You and your friends definitely won’t be bringing this along to the Halloween party at that abandoned, decaying mansion on the dead-end road.

A radical statement, highly recommended for those who dig chamber prog (e.g. Art Zoyd and Univers Zero), and maybe also fans of the more straightforward R.I.O. Those prog fans against a lot of avantness should most likely steer clear of this one.


1. Prelude
2. Lawns Of Dawns
3. No One Is There
4. Ari’s Song
5. Facing The Wind
6. Julius Caesar (Memento Hodie)
7. Frozen Warnings
8. Evening Of Light
9. Roses In The Snow
10. Nibelungen

Here’s Nico;


April 13, 2008 - Posted by | John Cale, Music_Alternative, Nico, The Velvet Underground, _MUSIC

1 Comment »

  1. here’s nico’s 1st album

    Nico – Chelsea Girl [1967]

    Chelsea Girl is the debut solo album by Nico. It was released in October 1967 by Verve Records, also home to The Velvet Underground.

    mp3 – 192kbs – 62mb

    Side A
    The Fairest of the Seasons (Jackson Browne, Gregory Copeland) – 4:06
    These Days (Jackson Browne) – 3:30
    Little Sister (John Cale, Lou Reed) – 4:22
    Winter Song (Cale) – 3:17
    It Was a Pleasure Then (Nico, Reed, Cale) – 8:02

    Side B
    Chelsea Girls (Reed, Sterling Morrison) – 7:22
    I’ll Keep It With Mine (Bob Dylan) – 3:17
    Somewhere There’s a Feather (Browne) – 2:16
    Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams (Reed) – 5:07
    Eulogy to Lenny Bruce (Tim Hardin) – 3:45

    and a clip
    Nico sings Chelsea Girls in the Chelsea Hotel

    Comment by joe le taxi | August 5, 2008

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