Rainy Day - I'll Be Your Mirror (The Velvet Underground Cover)





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Published on Sep 18, 2011

From '' Rainy Day ''
Label: Llama Records -- 4996, Enigma Records -- E 1024
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1984


A1 I'll Keep It With Mine
Guitar, Tambourine -- David Roback
Violin -- Will Glenn
Vocals -- Susanna Hoffs
Written-By -- Bob Dylan

A2 John Riley
Guitar [Acoustic 12-string] -- Matthew Piucci
Guitar, Vocals -- David Roback
Written-By -- Bob Gibson, Ricky Neff
Drums -- Dennis Duck
Vocals, Bass -- Michael Quercio
Violin, Vocals -- Will Glenn

A3 Flying On The Ground Is Wrong
Guitar -- David Roback
Vocals -- Kendra Smith, Susanna Hoffs
Written-By -- Neil Young

A4 Sloop John B.
Guitar -- David Roback
Vocals, Bass, Percussion -- Michael Quercio
Drums -- Dennis Duck
Keyboards -- Ethan James

A5 Soon Be Home
Tambourine -- Spock
Bass, Drums -- Michael Quercio
Vocals -- Susanna Hoffs, Vicki Peterson
Vocals, Guitar -- David Roback
Written-By -- Pete Townshend

B1 Holocaust
Piano [Backwards] -- Ethan James
Written-By -- Alex Chilton
Guitar -- David Roback
Vocals -- Kendra Smith
Cello, Violin -- Will Glenn
Piano -- Steven Roback

B2 On The Way Home
Vocals, Guitar -- David Roback
Written-By -- N. YoungNeil Young

B3 I'll Be Your Mirror
Vocals, Guitar -- Susanna Hoffs
Written-By -- Lou Reed
Vocals -- Kendra Smith
Guitar, Bass, Tambourine -- David Roback

B4 Rainy Day, Dream Away
Bass, Keyboards -- Ethan James
Written-By -- Jimi Hendrix
Guitar -- Karl Precoda
Percussion -- David Roback
Vocals -- Michael Quercio
Drums -- Dennis Duck

Artwork By -- Kendra Smith
Engineer -- Ethan James
Mastered By -- Eddy Schreyer
Producer -- David Roback


"I'll Be Your Mirror" is a song by The Velvet Underground.
It appeared on their 1967 debut album The Velvet Underground & Nico.
It also surfaced as a single a year earlier with "All Tomorrow's Parties" in 1966.

Lou Reed wrote the song for Nico, who provides lead vocals.
Inspiration for the song apparently came about after Nico approached Reed after a show in 1965 saying, "Oh Lou, I'll be your mirror."
The song is a favorite of Reed's and The Velvet Underground & Nico engineer, Norman Dolph.


"I'll Be Your Mirror" was the most difficult for Nico to record, as the band wanted her to provide slender, delicate vocals for the song, yet she would sing louder, more aggressive vocals take after take. Sterling Morrison described the ordeal in an interview:
" She kept singing "I'll Be Your Mirror" in her strident voice. Dissatisfied, we kept making her do it over and over again until she broke down and burst into tears. At that point we said, "Oh, try it just one more time and then fuck it — if it doesn't work this time, we're not going to do the song." Nico sat down and did it exactly right. "

The members of the band enjoyed her particular performance on the song so much that after she left the band in late 1967, live vocals for the song were done imitating Nico's accent.

Mentor and manager Andy Warhol suggested that the album have a built-in crack in it so the line "I'll be your mirror" would repeat infinitely on a record player until the listener moved the needle themselves, but nothing ever came of this idea.

Alternate versions

Scepter Studios, April 1966

A different mix of the song appears on the acetate cut of the Scepter Studios session, with an alternate track of more aggressive lead vocals by Nico.
She also sings "to show that you're home" at the end of the second verse rather than "so you won't be afraid".
The backing vocals that sing "reflect what you are" also are almost inaudible on this version of the song, and the guitar is louder.

Single version, July 1966

A 45 rpm single version of the song was released in July 1966 with "All Tomorrow's Parties".
The single is identical to the album cut except that it does not fade out at the end. Instead, it goes on for about five seconds ending with a guitar chord.
This version of the song later became available in 2002 on the "Deluxe Edition" of The Velvet Underground & Nico.


Massachusetts songwriter Stuart Ferguson covered this song on his 2008 album Shackles & Ties.

Clem Snide covered this song on their 2004 EP A Beautiful EP.

A cover by The Primitives (named for Cale & Reed's earlier band) appears on the CD version of their 1989 album Pure.

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