A little belatedly, it is time to venture further up the Music Tree to a new genre. The genre we are listening to this week is Art Rock, which is used as an umbrella term for experimental Rock music and covers a vast range of sounds. Art Rock arose in the sixties, as artists began to adopt and experiment with the relatively new Rock sounds, and this week’s album was produced by a goliath of the sixties art world (and seventies, and eighties), none other than Andy Warhol. Warhol became the manager of fledgling Art Rock group The Velvet Underground in 1967, and encouraged them to work with German singer Nico to create this week’s album, The Velvet Underground & Nico.
The Velvet Underground were fiercely focussed on creating experimental music; in fact, the original drummer felt so strongly about his artistic integrity that he accused the band of selling out and left when they accepted $75 to play in a school hall! Their association with Warhol lead them to use a Warhol print as the album cover, and the cover to The Velvet Underground & Nico has become an iconic image. The original release the featured a banana sticker on the cover, which the owner was invited to ‘peel slowly, and see‘. We will be exploring Art Rock with The Velvet Underground & Nico until Sunday; happy listening!