Desertshore is Nico's third solo album, recorded and released in 1970. It was co-produced by John Cale and Joe Boyd. Like its predecessor The Marble Index, it is an avant-garde album with neoclassical elements.
The back and front covers feature stills from the film La cicatrice interieure by Philippe Garrel, which starred Nico, Garrel and her son Ari Boulogne. A few of the songs from the album were included on the soundtrack of the film.
Of the album, critic Todd Totale writes:
She offered her record company barely thirty-minutes of what could best be described as a Medieval dirge, two songs of which are sung in their native German while one is sung in French by Nico's own child.
... It is an understated masterpiece, a vital component to what would later become the Gothic Rock subculture.
... The record's dark light is even more potent considering how tragic Nico's life ended. Desertshore could be her most honest recording, and it provides an eerie foreshadowing of her future struggles and challenges. It's her wake music, performed nearly two decades before she passed away."
A few friends did indeed play a tape of Mütterlein, a song from the album, at Nico's funeral in Berlin in July 1988.
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Side One 1."Janitor of Lunacy" - 4:01 2."The Falconer" - 5:39 3."My Only Child" - 3:27 4."Le Petit Chevalier" - 1:12
Side Two 1."Abschied" - 3:02 2."Afraid" - 3:27 3."Mütterlein" - 4:38 4."All That is My Own" - 3:54
NICO: VOCALS, HARMONIUM
JOHN CALE: ALL OTHER INSTRUMENTS EXCEPT TRUMPET
JOHN CALE AND ADAM MILLER: HARMONY VOICES
ARI BOULOGNE: VOCALS ON "LE PETIT CHEVALIER"