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Nico desertshore.jpg
Studio album by
Released20 December 1970
StudioSound Techniques Ltd., London, England; except "Le Petit Chevalier", at Studios Davout, Paris, France
ProducerJohn Cale, Joe Boyd
Nico chronology
The Marble Index
The End...

Desertshore is the fourth studio album by German musician Nico. It was released in December 1970 on the Reprise label.


Desertshore was co-produced by John Cale and Joe Boyd. Unlike its predecessor The Marble Index it incorporates elements from Western traditional pop.[1]

"Janitor of Lunacy" was composed as a tribute to her friend Brian Jones who died the previous year.[2]

The back and front covers feature stills from the film La cicatrice intérieure by Philippe Garrel which starred Nico, Garrel and her son Ari Boulogne. A few of the songs from the album were included on the film's soundtrack.[3]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideC[4]
The New Rolling Stone Album Guide[5]
Tiny Mix Tapes[6]

Like The Marble Index Desertshore obtained a small cult following upon its release but was overlooked by most large publications and the public in general. However it has received mainstream praise from critics in subsequent years with AllMusic and The New Rolling Stone Album Guide in particular providing a strong and positive reception. Tiny Mix Tapes rated Desertshore five out of five. The Village Voice was less favorable—giving the album a C rating.

"All That Is My Own" was selected by Morrissey for inclusion on his Under the Influence compilation.[7]

"Le petit chevalier" was covered live by Bjork during her Post Tour in 1996 and also by Bat for Lashes in 2007 at the Glastonbury festival.[8] It was prominently sampled by Abu Lahab on his 2013 album Of Heliotaxis and Cosmic Knifing. "Janitor of Lunacy" was covered by Austrian artist Soap&Skin and included in her 2008 debut EP.[9]

X-TG cover[edit]

Industrial music pioneers Throbbing Gristle entered the studio to record a reinterpretation of Desertshore in 2007. The product of this studio session which was made open-to-the public was The Desertshore Installation, a record of the entirety of the 3-day, 12-hour-long session. The plan had been to edit the three days of recordings and craft a finished album from it but the group was not satisfied with the sessions. Peter Christopherson continued working on it in Bangkok with Danny Hyde until his death in November 2010.

Hyde passed the remaining work to Throbbing Gristle members Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti to complete, which they did with the help of several guest vocalists including Marc Almond, Sasha Grey, Blixa Bargeld and Antony Hegarty. Desertshore/The Final Report was released on 26 November 2012 under the name X-TG The Album. It debuted live at AV Festival on 17 March 2012, performed by Carter and Tutti. It was accompanied by a screening of Philippe Garrel’s La cicatrice intérieure, "for which Desertshore was soundtrack and inspiration".[10]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Nico.

Side A
1."Janitor of Lunacy"4:01
2."The Falconer"5:39
3."My Only Child"3:27
4."Le petit chevalier"1:12
Side B
8."All That Is My Own"3:28



  1. ^ a b c Deming, Mark. "Desertshore – Nico : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  2. ^ "This site has not yet been published".
  3. ^ Hogan, Peter (2007). The Rough Guide to the Velvet Underground. London: Rough Guides. p. 72. ISBN 978-1843535881.
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: N". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 8, 2019 – via
  5. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian David, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 585–586. ISBN 978-0743201698. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
  6. ^ Frowny, Guy. "Nico - Desertshore". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  7. ^ Brown, Lee (2011). Meetings with Morrissey. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-1847729873.
  8. ^ "Bat For Lashes Glastonbury 2007 BBC". youtube. June 2007. Archived from the original on 2021-12-22. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  9. ^ "Soap&Skin – Untitled". Retrieved 14 May 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "Wishful Thinking: In Remembrance of Peter Christopherson ‹ Events & Exhibitions ‹ 2012 ‹ Programme ‹ AV Festival". Retrieved 3 February 2013.

External links[edit]