When The Velvet Underground & Nico album was released in March 1967 on Verve Records, with its Andy Warhol-designed, peel-off banana cover, it was far from a chart-topper. In fact, as the famed quote attributed to Brian Eno famously put it, the album may not have sold many copies, “but everyone who bought it formed a band.” And its reputation as a groundbreaker has only increased over the four-and-a-half decades since its original release.
Universal Music / Polydor will celebrate the now-iconic album’s 45th anniversary on October 30, 2012, with a multi-format, worldwide release October 29th and 30th that includes stereo and mono versions remastered from the original tapes, as well as previously unreleased recordings of the band’s rehearsals in Warhol’s Factory and the subsequent rare April 1966 Scepter Studios recordings captured on acetate featuring early, alternate versions of songs later issued on The Velvet Underground & Nico.
A limited-edition, Super Deluxe six-CD box set will also feature a previously unavailable November ’66 live concert performed by the Velvets’ original, five-person lineup-Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, Moe Tucker and Nico-at the Valleydale Ballroom in Columbus, Ohio, and Nico’s Chelsea Girl, an album released in October 1967 (seven months after the Velvets’ disc) which included all the members of the band as well as a teenage folksinger named Jackson Browne. It also includes an 88-page booklet featuring a new essay by band biographer Richie Unterberger.