Verve Records Have announced I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground and Nico on September 24 with tracks from Iggy Pop & Matt Sweeney, St. Vincent & Thomas Bartlett, Sharon Van Etten (with additional vocals by Angel Olsen). The record’s debut track, a version of “Run Run Run” by Kurt Vile & The Violators was recently released and now available to stream
I’ll Be Your Mirror was overseen and executive produced by Hal Willner, Lou Reed’s dear friend and producer who passed away last year. Willner was a master of the tribute album, with each project he worked on extending the magnitude of the artist or work under consideration. In particular, he very much viewed himself as a primary curator of Reed’s legacy, and the care and love he felt for his friend’s work is evident in every note on I’ll Be Your Mirror. Fittingly – and sadly – it is the last album he worked on.
The release of I’ll Be Your Mirror marks the kickoff of a robust campaign of Velvet Underground activity in 2021. The tribute album was conceived in 2017 at the same time as Todd Haynes signed on to direct The Velvet Underground, the highly anticipated Apple Original film that just premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival to rave reviews and marks Haynes’ first foray into the documentary space. Apple Original Films and Polygram Entertainment present The Velvet Underground, in association with Federal Films, a Motto Films and Killer Films production. The Velvet Underground will make its global debut in theaters and on Apple TV+ worldwide on October 15, alongside a soundtrack curated by Randall Poster and Todd Haynes via Republic/UMe.
The 1967 release of The Velvet Underground & Nico, the Velvet Underground’s debut album with its iconic Andy Warhol-designed peel-off banana cover, was a seminal event, kicking off a process of aesthetic infiltration that continues to this day. The record single-handedly redefined the boundaries of what rock & roll could achieve and express, inventing the very notion of alternative rock and laying the blueprint for punk, grunge and every rebellious underground gesture to follow.
Kurt Vile & The Violators’ guitar-charged “Run Run Run” provides a reminder that they were often also a torrid rock & roll band. Kurt Vile, who recently signed with Verve, says: “I literally covered “Run Run Run” when I was a kid. In my late teens with my band at the time. So it was pretty cosmic, let’s say. There is a direct connection to certain indie bands and beyond w/ the Velvets. That’s why the Velvets are a classic. You know it can have doo-wop in there and things like that, but it can also have this jagged noisy thing, and it immediately let me feel like I could do anything. The possibilities are endless. You’re completely free. Unapologetic and effortless.”
Jamie Krents, head of Verve Records says, “The VU are a fundamental part of Verve’s history, and their fearless approach and musical integrity continue to inspire all of us at the label. We were so lucky to partner with the late Hal Willner to pay tribute to the band’s iconic first album. It’s an absolute honor to have every one of these artists on a Verve recording and we hope this album finds a welcome place in the record collections of VU fans new and old.”
To celebrate the release, Verve Records will donate to Amnesty International USA, a global grassroots organization of millions dedicated to demanding human rights for all people. Velvet Underground founder Lou Reed was an active support of Amnesty International USA.
I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground and Nico
1. Sunday Morning – Michael Stipe (3:50)
2. I’m Waiting For The Man – Matt Berninger (3:44)
3. Femme Fatale – Sharon Van Etten (w/ Angel Olsen on backing vocals) (4:43)
4. Venus In Furs – Andrew Bird & Lucius (6:55)
5. Run Run Run – Kurt Vile & The Violators (6:59)
6. All Tomorrow’s Parties – St. Vincent & Thomas Bartlett (4:52)
7. Heroin – Thurston Moore feat. Bobby Gillespie (7:24)
8. There She Goes Again – King Princess (3:29)
9. I’ll Be Your Mirror – Courtney Barnett (2:27)
10. The Black Angel’s Death Song – Fontaines D.C. (3:12)
11. European Son – Iggy Pop & Matt Sweeney (7:45)
Pre-order I’ll Be Your Mirror HERE