Irish five-piece Fontaines D.C. are among the acts who have recorded a track-by-track tribute to the Velvet Underground's legendary landmark debut album.
I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute To The Velvet Underground & Nico, which is out on Verve Records on September 24, also features Michael Stipe of R.E.M., Iggy Pop, Sharon Van Etten, Michael Stipe, St. Vincent and Thomas Bartlett and was executive produced by the late Hal Willner, a close friend of VU front man Lou Reed.
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Fontaines D.C. have covered The Black Angel’s Death Song, which is perhaps the album’s most challenging and discordant track, while Michael Stipe covers I’m Waiting For The Man and St. Vincent joins Thomas Bartlett for All Tomorrow’s Parties.
The I’ll Be Your Mirror album is just one part of a campaign of Velvet Underground activity in 2021, with Todd Haynes film The Velvet Underground due in cinemas and on Apple TV+ worldwide on October 15.
"I'll Be Your Mirror" a tribute to The Velvet Underground & Nico is out on Sept 24th. pic.twitter.com/JVGLw0DtdG— Fontaines D.C. (@fontainesdublin) July 14, 2021
The 1967 release of The Velvet Underground & Nico, with its iconic Andy Warhol-designed peel-off banana cover, is regarded as a seminal event in music history. It may not have sold well at the time, but the album took on an almost mythical quality and has proved hugely influential on rock music ever since.
Kurt Vile & The Violators’ guitar-charged take on Run Run Run has been released as a taster to the new tribute album.
"I literally covered Run Run Run when I was a kid. In my late teens with my band at the time," Vile says. "So, it was pretty cosmic, let’s say. There is a direct connection to certain indie bands and beyond with the Velvets.
"That’s why the Velvets are a classic. You know it can have doo-wop in there and things like that, but it can also have this jagged noisy thing, and it immediately let me feel like I could do anything. The possibilities are endless. You’re completely free. Unapologetic and effortless."
The full track listing of I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground & Nico is:
Sunday Morning - Michael Stipe, I’m Waiting For The Man - Matt Berninger, Femme Fatale - Sharon Van Etten (w/ Angel Olsen on backing vocals), Venus In Furs - Andrew Bird & Lucius, Run Run Run - Kurt Vile & The Violators , All Tomorrow’s Parties - St. Vincent & Thomas Bartlett, Heroin - Thurston Moore feat. Bobby Gillespie, There She Goes Again - King Princess, I’ll Be Your Mirror - Courtney Barnett, The Black Angel’s Death Song - Fontaines D.C. European Son - Iggy Pop & Matt Sweeney.