The Velvet Underground & Nico is the debut album by American rock band the Velvet Underground and vocal collaborator Nico. It was originally released in March 1967 by Verve Records. Recorded in 1966 during Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable multimedia event tour, The Velvet Underground & Nico would gain attention for its experimental performance sensibilities, as well as the focus on controversial subject matter expressed in many of its songs including drug abuse, prostitution, sadism and masochism and sexual deviancy.
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In 1982, musician Brian Eno famously stated that while The Velvet Underground & Nico initially only sold 30,000 copies, "everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band." Though it was a commercial failure upon release and was almost completely ignored by critics at the time, the record has since become one of the most influential and critically acclaimed rock albums in history, appearing at number thirteen on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time as well as being added to the 2006 National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress.