Femme Fatale (The Velvet Underground song)

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"Femme Fatale"
Sunday Morning (The Velvet Underground record).jpg
Single b/w "Sunday Morning"
Single by The Velvet Underground and Nico
from the album The Velvet Underground & Nico
  • December 1966 (1966-12) (single)
  • March 1967 (album)
Recorded April 1966
Studio Scepter,[1] New York City
Genre Pop[2]
Length 2:35
Label Verve
Songwriter(s) Lou Reed
Producer(s) Andy Warhol
The Velvet Underground and Nico singles chronology
"All Tomorrow's Parties" / "I'll Be Your Mirror"
"Femme Fatale" / "Sunday Morning"
"White Light/White Heat" / "Here She Comes Now"

"Femme Fatale" is a song by The Velvet Underground from their 1967 debut album The Velvet Underground & Nico, with lead vocals by Nico. At producer Andy Warhol's request, band frontman Lou Reed wrote the song about Warhol superstar Edie Sedgwick.[3] The song was released as a B-Side to "Sunday Morning" in December 1966. It is one of the gentler songs of the album, coming as a direct contrast to the preceding, abrasive song, "I'm Waiting for the Man".


Cover versions[edit]

Year Artist Album Label Country Notes
1974 Waïte, GenevièveGeneviève Waïte Romance Is on the Rise Phoenix Productions South Africa 2004 bonus track
1978 Big Star Third/Sister Lovers PVC US
1982 The Chefs as Skat 7" single Graduate Records UK Femme Fatale / One Fine Day
1982 Thorn, TracyTracy Thorn A Distant Shore Cherry Red UK
1984 Propaganda Outside World ZTT Germany 2002 compilation
1985 Dramarama Cinéma Vérité Question Mark Records US
1987 R.E.M. Dead Letter Office A&M US
1988 Tom Tom Club Boom Boom Chi Boom Boom Sire US
1993 Duran Duran Duran Duran Capitol (US), Parlophone/EMI UK
1995 Pansy Division Pile Up Lookout! US Queercore
1995 Yggdrasil Yggdrasil Real Harm Denmark
1997 Smiffenpoofs The Smiffenpoofs Have Left the Building Smiffenpoofs US Smith College a cappella group
2000 FourPlay String Quartet The Joy Of… Smart Pussy Australia
2000 Jazzhole Blackburst Beave Music US
2002 Ours Precious DreamWorks US
2003 Elisa Lotus Sugar Music Italy
2003 Simon, Émilie Émilie Simon Émilie Simon Barclay, Universal France Bonus disc
2003 Vitamin String Quartet The String Quartet Tribute to Velvet Underground & Nico Vitamin Records US Instrumental
2005 Niza Archivando Mis Recuerdos (1998-2004) Elefant Spain
2005 Angel Corpus Christi Louie Louie Gulcher Records US
2006 Owen At Home With Owen Polyvinyl, Hobbledehoy US
2006 Slater, AshleyAshley Slater Cellophane Plush US
2007 Carroll, JCJC Carroll The Rock Is in the Lapt0p JC Carroll UK Artist site
2009 Beef Unpiecing the Jigsaw: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground Ozit Holland
2009 Costello, ElvisElvis Costello Secret, Profane & Sugarcane Hear Music, Universal UK Bonus track
2009 Luminous Things Luminous Things Tiny Beat US
2009 Kenny Young and the Eggplants The House at Creepy Lake Cheese Things US
2009 Marshall, SusanSusan Marshall Little Red Madjack US
2010 Blacc, AloeAloe Blacc Good Things Stones Throw, Vertigo US
2010 Girl in a Coma Adventures in Coverland Blackheart US
2010 Dolly Mixture Everything and More Self-Released UK
2011 Marya, RupaRupa Marya & Ara Anderson The Velvet Underground & Nico Tribute Porto Franco US Live
2013 Bud Benderbe The Velvet Underground & Nico & Bud Benderbe Boo-Hooray Holland, US Label
2013 Hifiklub & The Legendary Tigerman Play Ghost of Nico Parallel Factory France, Portugal

In concert or non-released tracks:

  • Smashing Pumpkins side project Spirits in the Sky, on their 2009 tour.[4]
  • Samuel Windmill of The Percolaters, in an unreleased solo cover from the same session as the band's 2012 debut EP.
  • Concrete Blonde, while opening for Wall of Voodoo on their "Happy Planet" tour in Melbourne, Australia played the song in honor of Lou Reed's birthday (March 2, 1988).


  1. ^ Discogs - Scepter Records (Manhattan) profile and discography
  2. ^ A. Zak, The Velvet Underground Companion: Four Decades of Commentary (Music Sales Group, 22 Dec 2000), ISBN 0825672422, p. 78.
  3. ^ Bockris, Victor (1994). Transformer: The Lou Reed Story. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 107. ISBN 0-684-80366-6. Andy said I should write a song about Edie Sedgwick. I said 'Like what?' and he said 'Oh, don't you think she's a femme fatale, Lou?' So I wrote 'Femme Fatale' and we gave it to Nico. (Lou Reed) 
  4. ^ "Tour history - songs : Femme Fatale (Velvet Underground)". Spfc.org. Retrieved 2013-07-20.