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Nico: “It Has Not Taken Long” (The End, 1974)

Nico’s music became significantly more interesting after she left the Velvet Underground, exploring morose and experimental sounds in collaboration with VU guitarist John Cale and, on The End, electronics courtesy of Brian Eno. But unlike her reputation as a glamor model foisted upon VU by Andy Warhol, Nico revealed herself to be an auteur in the truest sense on these mesmerizing, timeless albums. Anchored by her stark and persistent harmonium, I find this arrangement disorienting with its rhythmic bells, quiet pulse, and deeply wounded vocal.

“It has not taken long
The hunters they are hiding from me
A wooden hand
A golden reed
A waiting end for them to bleed

It has not taken long
To feast our naked eye upon
The open blade
The hungry beast have found her calling
Calling help me please”