New Velvet Underground Tribute Album Features Iggy Pop, Michael Stipe, St. Vincent, More; Hear Kurt Vile Cover “Run Run Run”
Last year, longtime Saturday Night Live music producer Hal Willner died of complications from COVID-19 at the age of 64. When he passed away, Willner had just finished working on an all-star T. Rex tribute album; that compilation, AngelHeaded Hipster: The Songs Of Marc Bolan And T. Rex, came out last year, a few months after Willner’s death. Willner was also overseeing another tribute album, one that will feature a bunch of different stars taking on the songs from the Velvet Underground’s landmark 1967 debut album The Velvet Underground & Nico. That album, now complete, will come out this fall, and it looks pretty awesome.
I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground & Nico features a finely-curated group of artists taking on every song from The Velvet Underground And Nico. The list of contributors includes Velvets contemporary Iggy Pop, who covers “European Son” with Matt Sweeney. The album will also feature Michael Stipe, Matt Berninger, St. Vincent and Thomas Bartlett, Thurston Moore with Bobby Gillespie, Sharon Van Etten with Angel Olsen, Courtney Barnett, Fontaines D.C., and others. (Stipe mentioned the tribute on Seth Meyers last year.) Below, check out the album’s tracklist and its first single, a radio-edit version of Kurt Vile & The Violators’ revved-up seven-minute take on “Run Run Run.”
Vile’s full seven-minute version of “Run Run Run” isn’t on YouTube, but it is on Spotify. Here it is:
01 Michael Stipe – “Sunday Morning”
02 Matt Berninger – “I’m Waiting For The Man”
03 Sharon Van Etten – “Femme Fatale” (Feat. Angel Olsen)
04 Andrew Bird & Lucius – “Venus In Furs”
05 Kurt Vile & The Violators – “Run Run Run”
06 St. Vincent & Thomas Bartlett – “All Tomorrow’s Parties”
07 Thurston Moore – “Heroin” (Feat. Bobby Gillespie)
08 King Princess – “There She Goes Again”
09 Courtney Barnett – “I’ll Be Your Mirror”
10 Fontaines D.C. – “The Black Angel’s Death Song”
11 Iggy Pop & Matt Sweeney – “European Son”
In a press release, Kurt Vile 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 with 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.
I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground & Nico is out 9/24 on Verve.