October 24, 2007

"Sunday Morning"

Wikipedia entry:

"Sunday Morning" is a song by The Velvet Underground. It is the opening track on their 1967 debut album The Velvet Underground and Nico. It was also released as a single in 1966 with "Femme Fatale."

The Velvet Underground and Nico in 1966, clockwise from left to right: Nico, Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison, John Cale, Maureen Tucker

In late 1966, "Sunday Morning" was the final song to be recorded for The Velvet Underground and Nico. It was requested by Tom Wilson, who thought the album needed another song with lead vocals by Nico with the potential to be a successful single. The song was written with Nico's voice in mind by Lou Reed and John Cale on, in fact, a Sunday morning. Before being recorded, the band performed it live with Nico singing lead.

Wilson brought the band into a New York City recording studio in November. At the last minute, Reed declared that he would sing lead vocals himself, which was received with great resistance from Paul Morrissey, the band's manager, who thought Reed's voice was far less marketable than Nico's. Nico would instead sing backing vocals on the song.

Aiming to create a hit for the album, "Sunday Morning" features noticeably more lush and professional production than the rest of the songs on the album. In fact, the song's inclusion on the album seems to be an afterthought—the final master tape of side one of the album shows "Sunday Morning" only penciled in before "I'm Waiting for the Man."

The song's prominent use of celesta was the idea of John Cale, who noticed the instrument in the studio and decided to use it for the song.

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