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Nico sang lead on three of the album's tracks—"Femme Fatale", "All Tomorrow's Parties" and "I'll Be Your Mirror"—and back-up on "Sunday Morning".
In 1966, as the album was being recorded, this was also the line-up for their live performances as a part of Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable.
Reed, a fan of poets and authors such as Raymond Chandler, Nelson Algren, William S. at Syracuse University, Reed said in an interview that he thought joining the two (gritty subject matter and music) was "obvious".
Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and Hubert Selby, Jr., saw no reason the content in their works couldn't translate well to rock and roll music. several of the album's songs are centered on themes more typical of popular music.
In 1982, musician Brian Eno famously stated that while the album initially only sold approximately 30,000 copies, "everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band." The Velvet Underground & Nico was recorded with the first professional line-up of the Velvet Underground: Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker.In a sense, he really did produce it, because he was this umbrella that absorbed all the attacks when we weren't large enough to be attacked...and as a consequence of him being the producer, we'd just walk in and set up and do what we always did and no one would stop it because Andy was the producer."The band never again had as good a producer as Tom Wilson", Cale told an interviewer."Andy Warhol didn't do anything." He just made it possible for us to be ourselves and go right ahead with it because he was Andy Warhol.
Though the exact total cost of the project is unknown, estimates vary from $1,500 (US$11,072 in 2016 dollars Soon after recording, Dolph sent an acetate disc of the recordings to Columbia in an attempt to interest them in distributing the album, but they declined, as did Atlantic Records and Elektra Records—according to Morrison, Atlantic objected to the references to drugs in Reed's songs while Elektra disliked Cale's viola. Studios during a stay in Hollywood, one month later in May 1966.