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As the sunny optimism of 1950s rock 'n' roll turned darker in the mid-1960s, one artist offered moody soundscapes like no other. She was Nico, and her recordings with The Velvet Underground and as a solo performer have inspired generations of musicians. From Stevie Nicks to Siouxsie Sioux, Björk to Blind Melon, a diverse group of musicians have made Nico their muse. Many were so inspired by Nico's songs that they created their own versions of her classics.
On the 25th anniversary of Nico's death, we offer a side-by-side comparison of a few of her best performances with the artists who paid homage to them.
Nico sings "Chelsea Girls"
Elliot Smith cited Nico as a major influence, covering several of her songs. His version of "Chelsea Girls" was even more stripped-down than Nico's.
Nico, along with The Velvet Underground, sings "All Tomorrow's Parties"
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are among more than two dozen artists who have covered the psychedelic classic – and they picked up the pace and made it rock.
Nico performs another Velvet Underground track – "Femme Fatale"
Duran Duran, darlings of the 1980s New Wave scene, somehow managed to make "Femme Fatale" even more shimmering and solemn than the original.
Nico sings the Jackson Browne-penned "These Days"
St. Vincent brings "These Days" into the new millennium as one of a diverse group to reinterpret the classic.
Written by Linnea Crowther