The quirky, orchestrated folk-rock of Nico's 1968 debut album, Chelsea Girl, in no way prepared listeners for the stark, almost avant-garde flavor of her 1969 follow-up, The Marble Index. The chanteuse presented an uncompromisingly bleak, gothic soundscape on her second album. Dominated by spare harmonium and Nico's deep, brooding vocals, this album unveiled her singularly morose songwriting (her first record featured none of her compositions). Owing more to European classical and folk music than rock, it found little favor with 1969 audiences. But like the work of the Velvet Underground, it proved to be quite influential in the long run on a future generation of black-clad goth rockers.
The Marble Index Review
by Richie Unterberger