Chris Connelly “Union Square West”
Alternative music legend Chris Connelly presents ‘Union Square West’, a welcome teaser of his new album ‘Eulogy to Christa: A Tribute to the Music & Mystique of Nico’, a colossal offering released by Shipwrecked Industries in the USA and Easy Action in the UK. This 20-track collection pays tribute to Nico – iconic muse of The Velvet Underground and one of the most unique, tragic and misunderstood female artists in the history of music.
This video was made by Chris himself, recreating Lou Reed’s screen test by Andy Warhol. Connelly notes, “Warhol’s FACTORY was located at UNION SQUARE WEST between 67 and 68. This song celebrates the arrival of NICO at the factory and her profound effect on the artists and characters therein”.
Connelly also recently shared the video for ‘Femme Fatale’ created by Iain W. Mutch / Walkerandwilliam in Scotland. Earlier singles include ‘Eulogy to Lenny Bruce’, heralded by some as Connelly’s finest vocal performance, and ‘Ripcord, Ripcord’, which Connelly penned about Nico’s rape by a military officer and the trauma of being in the rubble of post-war Berlin, both casting a shadow over the rest of her volatile life, creating the haunted spirit of Nico.
‘Eulogy to Christa’ is a labour of love, empathy, sadness, acting and channeling, along with Chris’s adoration of the dark corner of rock inhabited by the Velvets and their peers. Now based in Chicago, this album from the Scottish counter-culture icon sees Connelly purposefully adopt the personas of Nico, Lou Reed and John Cale – even Andy Warhol makes a cameo!
In four decades of making music, since his days with Fini Tribe in Edinburgh, Chris Connelly has over 20 solo releases and frequently collaborates with other musicians, including notable projects like Ministry, The Revolting Cocks and Pigface. He has also published four books (poetry, autobiographical and fictional narrative).
Initially planned as an album of 10 Nico covers, Connelly ended up writing additional compositions spanning her life, from her first Jimmy Page-composed single, The Velvet Underground years and her intense and unique solo recordings until her death. Connelly follows her from Berlin to New York via Paris, Ibiza, and Rome, then back through Paris, London, Edinburgh, Manchester and up to her tragic and needless death in Ibiza.
On this album, Connelly worked with producer and long-time collaborator Chris Bruce, who is a band member of Meshell Ndegeocello and also worked with Seal, Aaron Neville, Bob Dylan, The Waterboys, My Brightest Diamond, Cheryl Crow and Sam Phillips.
The album was, in part, inspired by the book ‘You Are Beautiful and Your Are Alone’ by Jennifer Otter Bickerdicke, who contributed to album liner notes, noting “This is a record to be played at full blast, all the way through, as a commemoration not just to Nico the person, the musician, but to art for art’s sake, for making something because it is important and needs to be done – an idea that is as rare and precious as Nico herself.”
The ‘Eulogy to Christa’ LP is out now digitally, available via Bandcamp, as well as Apple Music and Amazon. The CD version will be released on December 5.