There’s been loads of great press and positive reviews of the singles popping up online, and Chris has done a few interviews as well. Here’s a small sampling of some — keep up with Chris on social media for more:
RIPCORD, RIPCORD, the second single from Eulogy to Christa: A Tribute to the Music & Mystique of Nico, is out today!
The song is a powerful opener to the album, based on a pivotal event in the young life of Christa Päffgen. Chris learned of this story when reading Jennifer Otter Bickerdicke‘s biography of Nico, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND YOU ARE ALONE. “When Nico was in her mid-teens, she worked in a U.S. army office in Berlin. She was raped by an American soldier and the soldier was executed. Some have said this may not have happened. Some have gone so far as to call her a liar. This event and the trauma of being in the rubble of post-war Berlin clearly, in my opinion, helped create the haunted spirit of Nico.”
Originally planned as a 10-song tribute featuring Chris’s versions of NICO songs, at the end of the recording, Connelly decided to write a parallel album of his own compositions spanning the life of one of the most unique, tragic and misunderstood female artists in the history of music. The result is the 24-track EULOGY TO CHRISTA: A TRIBUTE TO THE MUSIC & MYSTIQUE OF NICO, to be released digitally on November 11th, 2022 and in physical form on December 2nd, 2022 — in the US by Shipwrecked Industries and in the UK by Easy Action.
Working again with producer CHRIS BRUCE, EULOGY TO CHRISTA sees Chris purposefully adopting the personas of NICO, LOU REED, and JOHN CALE – even ANDY WARHOL makes a cameo! The lead single, EULOGY TO LENNY BRUCE, was premiered on Monday, September 12th and is available on many streaming services.
The album was inspired by the brilliant book, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND YOU ARE ALONE by author JENNIFER OTTER BICKERDICKE, who contributed to the liner notes for the album. She writes, “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.”
1: Ripcord, Ripcord
2: Via Margutta
3: The Last Mile
4: Union Square West
5: Andy, Incidentally
6: Femme Fatale
7: Eulogy to Lenny Bruce
8: Oh Jim II
9: Frozen Warnings
10: I Cannot Care for You
11: The Falconer
12: The Black Rooms of Richelieu
13: Valley of the Kings
14: Reims 12/74
15: A Slow Jones in New York
16: 80s Beat Boys
17: Running Pure
18: Sixty Forty
20: Draw From It (Like a Vampire)
23: Fa Massa Calor
24: Hanging Gardens of Semiramis
Even the photos used of Nico in the album artwork have particular significance: the cover shot was taken by author ALASTAIR MACKAY from the audience at the Nite Club in Edinburgh in 1981, where a 15-year-old Chris was also in attendance. The inside photo of Nico was taken in 1982 by Chicago photography legend HOWARD GOLDBLATT.
The Nico material spans from her first Jimmy Page-composed single B-side through the Velvet Underground, to her intense and unique solo recordings up until she died. In song, Chris 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.
This 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.
To celebrate the release of EULOGY TO CHRISTA, Chris will be performing tracks from the album with the help of MATT WALKER, CAROLYN ENGELMANN, and other members of SONS OF THE SILENT AGE on Thursday, November 10, 2022 at Gman Tavern in Chicago. Tickets are on sale at http://bit.ly/ChrisConnelly_1110. An online event is also in the works.
Tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, and 23 written by Chris Connelly. All other tracks by Nico (Christa Päffgen) except “The Last Mile” by Oldham/Page, “Femme Fatale” by Lou Reed, “Eulogy to Lenny Bruce” by Tim Hardin, and “Vegas” by Nico/Quilichini.
Chris Connelly: Vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, harmonium, harmonica, keyboards, bass
Chris Bruce: Additional instruments and guitar solo on Ripcord
Sleeve design by Greg Rolfes
Cover photo of Nico taken by Alastair MacKay at Edinburgh Nite Club, August 18th, 1981
Inside photo of Nico taken by Howard Goldblatt at Tuts, Chicago 1982
Tray photo of harmonium by Jonah Rubash
Here Connelly, with his beautiful timbre and artistic candour, delivers a haunting and touching rendition of Nico’s music. Nobody performs quite like this masterful musical chameleon and here, he channels her fabulously, honouring her with depth and personability as if the tragedy explored was his own personal loss. Not surprisingly, Connelly offers impeccable delivery and smoothness, which almost nobody else could possibly get away with.
The track is now available on Bandcamp, SoundCloud, and will be coming soon to other streaming platforms.
More information on the album, including both digital and physical release formats, will be posted this week!