Nico, Lou Reed & John Cale Sing the Classic Velvet Underground Song ‘Femme Fatale’ (Paris, 1972)

On Jan­u­ary 29, 1972 Lou Reed and John Cale, found­ing mem­bers of the Vel­vet Under­ground, reunit­ed with Nico, the Ger­man actress, mod­el and musi­cian who sang sev­er­al songs on the band’s debut album, for a spe­cial con­cert at le Bat­a­clan night­club in Paris.

In this scene Nico (in her “deep nar­cot­ic monot­o­ne voice,” as one writer apt­ly described it) sings one of three songs she sang on 1967’s The Vel­vet Under­ground & Nico. The song, “Femme Fatale,” was writ­ten by Reed at the request of the band’s man­ag­er, Andy Warhol. “Andy said I should write a song about Edie Sedg­wick,” Reed lat­er explained. “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.”

The Bat­a­clan con­cert was staged four years after Cale left the Vel­vet Under­ground and almost two years after Reed left. The show was record­ed for French tele­vi­sion and has been wide­ly boot­legged. Nico’s per­for­mance of “Femme Fatale” came mid­way through a 16-song set, but was placed at the end of the orig­i­nal 23-minute TV spe­cial. You can watch the com­plete spe­cial on YouTube.

via WFMU

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Andy Warhol Quits Paint­ing, Man­ages The Vel­vet Under­ground (1965)

A Sym­pho­ny of Sound (1966): Vel­vet Under­ground Impro­vis­es, Warhol Films It, Until the Cops Turn Up

Nico Sings “Chelsea Girls” in the Famous Chelsea Hotel

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