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Nico – These Days

Nico – These Days (1967)
Mp3 / RS

This is a great song – and version thereof – that has undergone significant re-assessment in the past few years, all thanks to it’s prefect placement in a perfect movie back in 2001!

Yes, all thanks to supreme director Wes Anderson and his sublime the Royal Tenenbaums.

Wes Anderson is a genius at meshing scenes and songs together beautifully.

There’s a beautiful scene in the sublime the Royal Tenenbaums, when Ritchie Tenenbaum returns home after a long period at sea and is being met at the port by his loved one – and half-sister! – Margot, when this magnificent Nico track meshed perfectly with the scenario, the cinematography and the acting.
Even better than this great Nico scene though, was the suicide scene where Ritchie first shaves off his beard and then slits his wrist with the blade, to the sounds of the late great Elliot Smith’s “Needle in the Hay”. That segment itself is the greatest music video ever created!

Catch The Royal Tenenbaums – DVD and Soundtrack – and other Wes Anderson stuff here;
The track was written by Jackson Browne and first appeared on Nico’s great Chelsea Girl LP back in 1967. Strangely, neither Nico nor Browne are said to have been happy with the recording from the 1967 sessions! I am though! So are many others!

Jackson Browne now plays the Nico arrangement of the song at his shows, so he must’ve changed his viewpoint too!

The song has, since then, been recorded by numerous artists – including Gregg Allman and Browne himself – in many different musical styles.

The song has lasted for decades as a classic of introspection.

What’s most remarkable though is the fact that Browne was only 16 years old when he wrote it!

In the mid-to-late 1960s Browne was a precocious songwriter who was pitching his material to various artists and publishing houses. On January 7, 1967 he made some demo recordings for Nina Music Publishing at Jaycino Studio in New York City. Included in these demos was ” I’ve Been Out Walking”, the earliest manifestation of “These Days”. Yet the song was even older than that; Browne would later say he wrote it when he was sixteen years old, meaning in 1964 or 1965.

Nico was the first to record “These Days” for release, on her October 1967 album Chelsea Girl. Here there was an odd mix of production elements: a fairly fast, almost upbeat fingerpicking electric-sounding-acoustic guitar – part of its time – by Browne (suggested by Andy Warhol), combined with strings and flutes (added after the fact by producer Tom Wilson, without Nico’s knowledge) combined with the sad, near-desperate tone of the lyrics, all wrapped around Nico’s mannered, icy Teutonic vocals.

While Nico never achieved much commercial visibility, her work caught the attention of other musicians and songwriters. And although Browne was still several years from getting his own recording contract, his wise-beyond-his-years talent was quickly recognized by other performers looking for material.

Of Browne’s catalogue during this period, “These Days,” along with his “Shadow Dream Song,” were regarded as his gems. Thus “These Days” was recorded in 1968 by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band on their album Rare Junk, by Tom Rush on his 1970 album Tom Rush, by Kenny Loggins’ first band, Gator Creek, around the same time, and by Iain Matthews on his 1973 album Valley Hi.

The song has, since the Royal Tenenbaums, been the subject of much critical re-assessment and has suddenly become one of Browne’s best known songs.

In 2006, Pitchfork Media placed the Nico version of “These Days” at number 31 in The 200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s !

I’ve been out walking
I don’t do too much talking these days
These Days
These days I seem to think a lot about the things that I forgot to do
And all the times I had the chance to

I’ve stopped my rambling
I don’t do too much gambling these days
These days
These days I seem to think about how all the changes came about my way
And I wonder if I’d see another highway

I’ve had a lover
I don’t I’d risk another these days
These days
And if I seem to be afraid to live the life that I have made and sob
Its just that I’ve been losing so long

I’ve stopped my dreaming
I don’t do too much scheming these days
These Days
These days I sit in cornerstones and count the time in quarter tones to ten
Please don’t confront me with my failures
I had not forgotten them

From: lilbranda

You can DL this track here;
These Days_Nico.mp3

You can DL the LP via this post;
nico -chelsea girl

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August 28, 2008 Posted by | Jackson Browne, Music_Alternative, Nico, OTHER_CINEMA, Wes Anderson, _MUSIC, _POETRY, _VIDEO | Leave a comment