All Tomorrow's Parties
|"All Tomorrow's Parties"|
|Single by The Velvet Underground|
|from the album The Velvet Underground & Nico|
|B-side||"I'll Be Your Mirror"|
|Released||July 1966 (single)
March 1967 (album)
|Recorded||April 1966 at Scepter Studios in New York City|
|Genre||Experimental rock, art rock, psychedelic rock|
|Length||2:49 (single version)
6:00 (album version)
|The Velvet Underground singles chronology|
Inspiration for the song came from Reed's observation of the Warhol clique; according to Reed, the song is "a very apt description of certain people at the Factory at the time. ... I watched Andy. I watched Andy watching everybody. I would hear people say the most astonishing things, the craziest things, the funniest things, the saddest things." The song was Andy Warhol's favorite by The Velvet Underground.
The song was recorded at Scepter Studios, New York, during April 1966. It features a piano motif played by Cale (initially written as an exercise) based largely on tone clusters. It was one of the first pop songs to make use of prepared piano (a chain of paper clips were intertwined with the piano strings to change their sounds). The song also features the ostrich guitar tuning by Reed, by which all of the guitar strings were tuned to D.
Nico provides lead vocals. The song was originally recorded with only one track of her vocals; they were later double-tracked for the final album version. Most versions of the album use this version of the song, though the initial 1987 CD release uses the original mix without the double-tracking.
- Lou Reed - Ostrich fretless electric guitar
- John Cale - viola, piano
- Sterling Morrison - bass
- Maureen Tucker - bass drum, tambourine
- Nico - double-tracked lead vocals
Ludlow Street Loft, July 1965
The earliest known recorded version of "All Tomorrow's Parties" was recorded on reel to reel tape by Lou Reed, John Cale and Sterling Morrison in a New York apartment loft on Ludlow Street. With Reed on acoustic guitar, the song features a strong folk music sound—particularly in Cale and Morrison's harmony vocals—which critic David Fricke suggests demonstrates Reed's fondness for Bob Dylan. This version, released on the Peel Slowly and See box set, is composed of multiple takes, which add up to a time of 18:26.
Single version, July 1966
An edited version of the song was released in July 1966 as a single with "I'll Be Your Mirror" as a B-side. The song cuts out about half of the studio version at just under three minutes. It did not chart.
This version later became available in 2002 on the "Deluxe Edition" of The Velvet Underground & Nico.
Both Nico and Lou Reed have recorded solo versions of the song. Other artists who have covered it include Jun Togawa, Apoptygma Berzerk, the Ass Ponys, Buffalo Tom, Japan, Bauhaus, Jeff Buckley, Icehouse, Los Tres, The Method Actors, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, the Oysterband, Tom Robinson, Kikka Sirén, Simple Minds, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Rasputina, Kendra Smith, Bryan Ferry, June Tabor, Johnette Napolitano, Iron and Wine, Deerhoof, Hole, The Music Tapes, Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio and Black Tape for a Blue Girl. Les Rita Mitsouko covered the song for the Velvet Underground tribute album Les Enfants du Velvet in 1985.
The sixth track from The Velvet Underground & Nico, featuring Nico's double-tracked lead vocals. This sample contains the beginning of the third verse.
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- J. DeRogatis, Turn On Your Mind: Four Decades of Great Psychedelic Rock (Milwaukie, Michigan: Hal Leonard, 2003), ISBN 0-634-05548-8, p. 80.
- Fricke, David (1995). Peel Slowly and See liner notes, p.22
- Harvard, Joe (2007) . The Velvet Underground & Nico. 33⅓. New York, NY: Continuum International Publishing Group. pp. 107 / 109–110. ISBN 0-8264-1550-4.
- Mitchell, Tim Sedition and Alchemy : A Biography of John Cale, 2003, ISBN 0-7206-1132-6
- David Fricke, liner notes for the Peel Slowly and See box set (Polydor, 1995)
- "Apoptygma Berzerk's All Tomorrow's Parties cover of The Velvet Underground and Nico's All Tomorrow's Parties". WhoSampled.com. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- "Japan's All Tomorrow's Parties cover of The Velvet Underground and Nico's All Tomorrow's Parties". WhoSampled.com. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- Kelvin Hayes. "The Berlin Tapes review on Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- "Los Tres's All Tomorrow's Parties cover of The Velvet Underground and Nico's All Tomorrow's Parties". WhoSampled.com. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- "Full Albums: The Velvet Underground & Nico » Cover Me". Covermesongs.com. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
- MacKenzie Wilson. "Neon Lights review on Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- "O Baby, Pt. 1 review on Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- Ned Raggett. "Taxi review on Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 July 2013.