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The Marble Index CD


Price: £5.26 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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£5.26 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Frequently Bought Together

The Marble Index + Chelsea Girl + The End
Price For All Three: £16.39

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Product details

  • Audio CD (29 April 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: ATLANTIC
  • ASIN: B000005ITZ
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,005 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Prelude0:59£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Lawns Of Dawn 3:11£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. No One Is There 3:37£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Ari's Song 3:21£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Facing The Wind 4:55£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Julius Caesar (Memento Hodie) 5:02£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Frozen Warnings 4:02£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Evening Of Light 5:40£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Roses In The Snow (Previously Unreleased - 1991) 4:10£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Nibelungen (Previously Unreleased - 1991) 2:43£0.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

The former Velvet Underground chanteuse's second solo album, The Marble Index, remains capable, decades after its gestation, of reducing the most vibrant of social gatherings to a morbid silence within three tracks. The Marble Index never got played on the radio, except by disc jockeys who were tired of their work and couldn't be bothered writing the letter of resignation. Which is to say that it's hard work. Her debut solo effort, Chelsea Girl, released a couple of years earlier, had contained songs written by Jackson Browne and Lou Reed, and some occasional semblance of a tune had therefore occasionally infested Nico's trademark stentorian drone. She wrote The Marble Index herself, and while her disdain for melody and John Cale's discordant but sympathetic arrangements occasionally achieve a certain fluency, getting from one end of The Marble Index to the other remains a challenge that deters all but the boldest: the Paris-Dakar rally of pop albums. --Andrew Mueller

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Otoole on 9 Nov. 2006
Format: Audio CD
This album is without doubt one of the most sublime and haunting albums i own (and i own a lot) Many people seem unable to cope with Nico's pure deep and richly mournful voice, but i have always found it utterly spellbinding. Cale's arrangements are so inspired,that the voice and music seem to exist together in perfect union, a magical alchemy that recalls forest, ruins, evening processions. Nico's lyrics are pure poetry, cryptic and allusive. An album definitely to be listened to by candlelight. If you have never heard this, or Nico's other masterpeice 'Desertshore' you are truly missing something.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Matthew McIntyre on 15 Oct. 2007
Format: Audio CD
This has been remastered and reissued, along with the equally brilliant "Desertshore", as a 2 CD set called "The Frozen Borderline". The remastering on the new release is superior to that here, and there are bonus tracks as well. So, it's definitely worth considering getting that version instead (especially if you don't already own "Desertshore").

For completists: the versions of "Roses in the Snow" and "Nibelungen" are different on this disc from the ones on the "The Frozen Borderline". "Nibelungen" is particularly different, as here it is a short a capella version and on "The Frozen Borderline" it is longer and has instrumental backing. The version here is gorgeous but it also available on the "Classic Years" compilation and at the end of the "Nico: Dance Music" CD by John Cale and Ice Nine.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Jan. 2000
Format: Audio CD
One of the strangest and most beguiling albums of the sixties, so ahead of its time that even now it feels like we're still trying to catchup. Etherial ambiant layers of noise fold along with the deep throated, other worldly voice of Nico. It is apparent that the infamous Welshman John Cale played a big part in this album, credited for the arrangements only, but his presecence is over whelming. The opening floats in as a short instrumental, which then expands into a wheezing, chiming piece of music, the perfect background for Nico. The tone is set for the rest of the record, songs which just happen, with an intriguing lack of drive to go anywhere other than into their own world of ambient gazing. Songs which sound like their titles, 'frozen warnings' and 'evening of light' are perfect examples of this musical onamatopeism. In fact the outro of the latter, and to the album proper (excluding added bonus tracks) is one of the most startling and beautiful pieces of ambient noise mongery I know, like whistling down a cave with a haunted voice, and it is a sound that subsequent bands have based their whole sound around (comapre with the Cocteau Twins' first album, and any number of Bahaus tracks). You will never hear anything like this anywhere else, except maybe in the subsequent Nico and John Cale meetings of minds and music, but not with as much denseness as here. This album takes a long time to love, if your brave enough to take the time and take it to heart. All efforts are well worth it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Feb. 2006
Format: Audio CD
The life of Velvet Underground chanteuse/model Nico was a life of tragedy that fame couldn't soothe and drugs couldn't blot out. And beautiful "The Marble Index" is much like Nico herself was -- beautiful, vaguely gothic and laced with sadness and darkness.
The tinkly melody of "Prelude" leads up to the haunting chant of "Lawns of Dawns" and the string-led grandeur of "No One Is There." Things take a stumble with "Ari's Song," which is backed by painful whistling. But Nico got back on track with the majestic "Julius Caesar (Memento Hodie)," the frosty "Frozen Warnings," and the scintillating "Evening of Light." Two previously unreleased tracks finish it off: the melancholy "Roses in the Snow" and the a capella "Nibelungen."
Musically, Nico is best known for her work in the Velvet Underground. But after she left that band, she took on a different type of music -- not as controversial, smoother and darker, with a heavy and distinctly Germanic flavor. It could have easily been depressing, but instead it's moody and hypnotic.
Strings and harmonium form the core of this album, and it gives a vaguely medieval feel to the album -- imagine Nico playing inside a darkened cathedral. And her writing is almost as good, evocative and poetic. "Midnight winds are landing at the end of time/In the morning of my winter/When my eyes are still asleep..."
Nico's vocals are still unique to this day. Her vocals are heavily accented and sort of thick, and there isn't a lot of vocal variation either. But her voice sounds strangely rich and vibrant, especially when she sings the more heartfelt lines like "No one is there!" Her voice is especially striking in "Nibelungen," where the music is gone and she simply sings, with long pauses between verses.
The tragedies and sadness of Nico's life seep out of "The Marble Index," a gloriously dark and spellbinding collection of music. Wintry, polished, gothic, and a magnificent creation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JJKelsall on 24 Oct. 2012
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
(Before I start the review, others have mentioned, but it would be good to check out The Frozen Boarderline, which has all tracks included on this album, plus extras, as well as Nico's second masterpiece, Desertshore and extras from that also. For completists, this album is still necessary as the versions of Roses In The Snow and Nibelungan are different here than on Boarderline)

This is Nico's true debut album and while Chelsea Girl has a place in my collection, it is terribly ditzy in comparison to the deep, evocative trilogy of albums that would follow it. Each of these is thematically linked through Nico's trademark, thick, androgynous, germanic vocals and her beautiful harmonioum which when combined (even without Cale's instrumentation) calls on an ancient time and civilisation long lost in ruins. That is the feeling I get when I listen to The Marble Index, which is Nico's most acarne feeling album. In fact it is so arcane that it is almost out of time itself and still sounds as fresh and unique since it was first recorded.

Most of the songs use Nico's harmonium with extra flourishes of instrumentation by John Cale, to conjour all kinds of images into the reader. I always think of a deserted fairground when I hear Lawns of Dawns, a pleasent enough opener, though probably the weakest song on the album (Prelude notwithstanding) and when it comes to the final track, Evening Of Light, where the guitars, Cale's screeching viola and Nico's etheral vocals bring up visions of a desolate city lost in some fantastical battles. Much of Nico's songs have a dream-like quality and this is without a doubt Nico's most psychedelic album and probably one of the most effective in that category ever made.
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