Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

JOHN CALE

Prog Related • United Kingdom


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

John Cale picture
John Cale biography
John Davies Cale was born on March 9, 1942 in the industrial town of Gamant. John spoke a southern dialect of Welsh during his early childhood (his grandmother's dialect) and did not learn English until he attended school at the age of seven. In 1963 Cale moved to the U.S. so he could study composition and become involved in NYC's vibrant avant-garde music scene. Befriended by famous composers such as John Cage and Aaron Copland, it wasn't long before John was involved in projects and performances such as the first full length version of Erik Satie's 18 hour Vexations. From 63 to 65 Cale performed with LaMont Young in their ensemble Dream Syndicate, possibly one of the first groups to combine serious concert hall sensibilities with rock influenced volume and casual presentation. Their loud droning minimalism still sounds modern to this day.

In 1965 Cale helped form the Velvet Underground, one of the first rock groups to be influenced by the avant-garde and minimalism. Although VU would later settle on being a noisy garage rock band with clever song writing, when Cale was involved the band covered much more progressive and experimental territory. Cale's use of repeating minimalist figures, noise textures and droning hypnotic sounds place the early VU light years ahead of almost any rock band from that time period. To this day, Cale's early emphasis on sound and texture places him in the forefront of many musical innovations and styles from the late 70s to today.

In 1968 Cale left VU and began a lengthy solo career. At first his direction seemed split between artsy pop/rock albums such as Vintage Violence, and more attempts at concert hall composition and improvisation such as his highly successful collaboration with minimalist composer Terry Riley on their album Church of Anthrax. Finally John settled on art-rock and has only returned to serious composition for several movie scores in the 80s. Over a lengthy career Cale has produced over thirty albums and has collaborated with an all-star cast of fellow art-rockers including Robert Wyatt, Lou Reed, Phil Manzenera, Brian Eno and many others. John continues to perform and record his highly personal and emotionally moving songs and music to this day.

- Easy Money

John Cale official website

JOHN CALE MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s
No MP3/Stream available for this artist.
Collaborate with Progarchives.com, learn how to submit new MP3s.

JOHN CALE forum topics / tours, shows & news


JOHN CALE forum topics Create a topic now
JOHN CALE tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "john cale"
Post an entries now

JOHN CALE Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to JOHN CALE

Buy JOHN CALE Music


Fragments Of A Rainy SeasonFragments Of A Rainy Season
Domino Recording Co. 2016
Audio CD$13.99
Music For A New Society / M:FANS (2CD)Music For A New Society / M:FANS (2CD)
Domino Recording Co. 2016
Audio CD$14.63
$25.79 (used)
Shifty Adventures in Nookie WoodShifty Adventures in Nookie Wood
Domino 2012
Audio CD$7.94
$4.46 (used)
The Island YearsThe Island Years
Import
Island Records 2006
Audio CD$5.70
$5.35 (used)
Vintage ViolenceVintage Violence
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2008
Audio CD$2.47
$2.48 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Vintage Violence [Remaster] by John Cale (CD, Legacy) USD $10.98 Buy It Now
John Cale 5 Tracks CD Produced By John Cale 2003 Digipak NEW USD $6.00 Buy It Now 2h 13m
Nico Marble Index LP EX Blue vinyl John Cale Velvet Underground USD $40.00 Buy It Now 2h 19m
Slow Dazzle - John Cale 821797880138 (Vinyl Used Very Good) USD $14.92 Buy It Now 6h
John Cale - Slow Dazzle [Vinyl New] USD $16.92 Buy It Now 6h
John Cale-Music For A New Society (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $13.50 Buy It Now 6h 9m
LOU REED & JOHN CALE - Songs For Drella - 1990 Vinyl 12" LP USD $6.34 [1 bids]
6h 24m
FIRST EDITION ANDY WARHOL ART COVER JOHN CALE LP THE VELVET UNDERGROUND EX+ RARE USD $49.99 Buy It Now 8h 20m
Guts John Cale ILPS 9459 VG Vinyl Album LP Record USD $16.99 Buy It Now 8h 23m
PATTI SMITH - HORSES - 1997 ARISTA REMASTERED/EXPANDED CD JOHN CALE PRODUCTION USD $6.36 Buy It Now 8h 31m
JOHN CALE Dead Or Alive 7" VINYL Promo B/W Honi Soit (Ams8130) Small Tear On USD $6.34 Buy It Now 9h 7m
NEWSPAPER CLIPPING/ADVERT 18/6/94PGN59 4X11" JOHN CALE/BOB NEUWIRTH : LAST DAYS USD $6.36 Buy It Now 9h 25m
7/9/85PN33 ADVERT: JOHN CALE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ALBUM 4X11 USD $6.34 Buy It Now 9h 42m
JOHN CALE Ooh La La 7" VINYL B/W Magazines (Is197) Pic Sleeve UK Ze USD $6.34 Buy It Now 10h 21m
JOHN CALE Dead Or Alive 7" VINYL B/W Honi Soit (Ams8130) UK A&M USD $3.99 Buy It Now 10h 22m
JOHN CALE Ooh La La 7" VINYL B/W Magazines (Is197) Split To Top Of Pic Sleeve USD $5.33 Buy It Now 10h 26m
JOHN CALE Outta The Bag CD 1 Track Promo In Special Sleeve (Cdemdj686) UK Issue USD $8.25 Buy It Now 10h 33m
JOHN CALE Things CD 2 Track Promo In Special Card Sleeve B/W Things X USD $1.53 Buy It Now 10h 34m
JOHN CALE Perfect CD 1 Track Promo In Special Sleeve (Cdemdj672) UK Emi USD $8.25 Buy It Now 10h 34m
JOHN CALE I Wanna Talk 2 U CD 1 Track Promo With Info Stickered Card Sleeve USD $3.99 Buy It Now 10h 38m
JOHN CALE Turn The Lights On CD 1 Track Promo In Special Card Sleeve With Inner USD $2.67 Buy It Now 10h 38m
JOHN CALE Face To The Sky CD One Track Promo In Card Sleeve (Ds065Cdp) UK USD $6.34 Buy It Now 10h 38m
The Velvet Underground "Prominent Men" Import LP M/M (Lou Reed, John Cale, Nico) USD $17.69 Buy It Now 10h 55m
FINAL SALE: John Cale - Paris 1919 - Reprise Records USD $5.00 Buy It Now 11h 18m
JOHN CALE & TERRY RILEY: Church of Anthrax UK Autographed VELVET UNDERGROUND lp USD $112.50 Buy It Now 11h 42m
(EA634) John Cale, Face To The Sky - 2012 DJ CD USD $3.80 Buy It Now 13h 5m
JOHN CALE - Vintage Violence CD ** BRAND NEW : STILL SEALED ** USD $27.25 Buy It Now 13h 8m
JOHN CALE - Vintage Violence CD ** Like New / Mint ** USD $20.95 Buy It Now 13h 8m
John Cale 70s LP Slow Dazzle 1975 UK ISSUE USD $39.98 Buy It Now 13h 28m
John Cale LP Guts Very Clean 1977 Rock Psych Punk Orig! Velvet Underground USD $19.99 Buy It Now 13h 29m
JOHN CALE Shifty Adventures In Nookie Wood UK 180 gram vinyl 2-LP + MP3 UNPLAYED USD $19.05 Buy It Now 13h 36m
(EL871) John Cale, Turn The Lights On - 2005 DJ CD USD $3.79 Buy It Now 13h 53m
LOU REED JOHN CALE SONGS FOR DRELLA VU Velvet Underground LP '90 sire w/lyric !! USD $89.00 Buy It Now 15h 55m
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND 35" X 25" INCH MOSAIC TILE WALL POSTER LOU REED JOHN CALE USD $14.60 Buy It Now 19h
Kevin Ayers - John Cale - Eno - Nico ?- June 1, 1974 CD..Japan..w/OBI..PSCD-1044 USD $27.99 Buy It Now 19h 17m
John Cale & Terry Riley-Church of Anthrax (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $13.22 Buy It Now 19h 37m
4/4/81PGN30 ADVERT: JOHN CALE THE NEW ALBUM HONI SOIT & UK CONCERT 7X11 USD $8.90 Buy It Now 21h 3m
JOHN CALE Fear 180gm WHITE NUMBERED Vinyl LP 2016 (9 Tracks) NEW USD $23.96 Buy It Now 22h
Helen & Troy UK 1ST LP ( ILPS 9350 ) John Cale - 1975 USD $32.15 Buy It Now 1 day
John Cale Sabotage/Live SP004 1979 LP NM/VG+ USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1 day
JAPANESE - PROMO FLYER - FOR - JOHN CALE USD $3.80 Buy It Now 1 day
Fear John Cale Vinyl Record USD $31.71 Buy It Now 1 day
The Velvet Underground CD White Light/White Heat Lou Reed John Cale USD $7.50 Buy It Now 1 day
Velvet Underground JOHN CALE Shifty Adventures w/ DANGER MOUSE SEALED CD Nookie USD $7.99 Buy It Now 1 day
New York in the 1960s, Vol. 1: Sun Blindness Music by John Cale CD, Apr-2001 USD $30.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Chris Spedding Guitar Graffiti 1st Press 1979 DUTCH LP John Cale Roxy Music USD $12.99 Buy It Now 1 day
The Velvet Underground-VU-Magazine Album Advert + Review-1984-Lou Reed/John Cale USD $2.89 Buy It Now 1 day
JOHN CALE ~ WORDS FOR THE DYING ~ CASSETTE TAPE ~ VELVET UNDERGROUND USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1 day
HoboSapiens by John Cale (Digital DownLoad, Oct-2003, Parlophone (UK)) USD $22.99 Buy It Now 1 day
27/10/90 Pgn21 Advert: Brian Eno & John Cale wrong Way Up Land Records 15x5 USD $8.88 Buy It Now 1 day
(EB318) John Cale, Face To The Sky - 2012 DJ CD USD $3.79 Buy It Now 1 day
The Academy in Peril by John Cale (CD, Oct-1993, Reprise) USD $0.99 [1 bids]
1 day
Fragments of a Rainy Season by John Cale (CD, Sep-1992, Hannibal Records) USD $0.99 [1 bids]
1 day
Paris 1919 by John Cale (CD, Oct-1993, Reprise) USD $0.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Academy in Peril [Remastered] [Limited Edition] [Slipcase] by John Cale (CD,... USD $13.41 Buy It Now 1 day
John Cale "Ready For War"/"Rosegarden Funeral of Sores 45rpm Velvet Underground USD $9.00 [0 bids]
1 day
Slow Dazzle 0042284606929 by John Cale, CD, BRAND NEW FREE P&H USD $10.04 Buy It Now 1 day
Patti Smith HARD NIPPLES (1975/76 LIVE-12" PS) KBD/JOHN CALE velvet underground USD $60.00 [0 bids]
USD $78.00 Buy It Now
1 day
BRIAN ENO & JOHN CALE - WRONG WAY UP - RARE 1990 CD - FREE SHIPPING!! USD $11.68 Buy It Now 1 day
John Cale (Velvet Underground) 1975 Agency Press Release USD $12.71 Buy It Now 1 day
JOHN CALE / NASTY POP press clipping 1975 14X14cm (22/11/75) USD $7.61 Buy It Now 1 day
JOHN CALE press clipping 1977 (3/9/77) 15X20cm USD $7.61 Buy It Now 1 day
Wrong Way Up [Bonus Tracks] by John Cale/Brian Eno (CD, Aug-2005, Hannibal Recor USD $29.99 [0 bids]
2 days
18/4/81PN27 ARTICLE & PICTURE(S) JOHN CALE & PAUL RAMBALI USD $8.26 Buy It Now 2 days
John Cale-Shifty Adventures In Nookie Wood (UK IMPORT) VINYL NEW USD $21.93 Buy It Now 2 days
John Cale-Extra Playful Ep (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $8.77 Buy It Now 2 days
Neil Young_John Cale_MAGAZINE CLIPPINGS CUTTINGS_ships from AUSTRALIA! bs1 USD $8.19 Buy It Now 2 days
ROCK KEVIN AYERS JOHN CALE ENO NICO & THE SOPORIFICS APRIL 1, 1974 LP NEAR MINT USD $35.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Patti Smith Horses CD Album 1996 Digital Remaster John Cale Gloria My Generation USD $7.61 Buy It Now 2 days
? John Cale - Animal Justice-EP (UK)(ex-Velvet Undergrd USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2 days
John Cale "Mercenaries (Ready For War)" IRS 9008 7" 45 w/ P/S USD $4.95 [0 bids]
2 days
John Cale Terry Riley Church Of Anthrax LP First pressing US Columbia Promo VG USD $12.95 [0 bids]
2 days
LP JOHN CALE GUTS ORIGINAL 1977 island ilps9459 OOP VU velvet underground rare! USD $25.00 Buy It Now 2 days
JOHN CALE 10x8 inch lab-printed glossy photo P/2905 USD $5.08 Buy It Now 2 days
LESTER BANGS Let it blurt Robert Quine John Cale Jay Dee Daugherty 1979 USD $84.99 Buy It Now 2 days
John Cale - Close Watch - An Introduction To (CD 1999) USD $8.88 Buy It Now 2 days
JOHN CALE - SEDUCING - 2 CDs +Booklet - RHINO USD $4.50 [0 bids]
USD $12.99 Buy It Now
2 days
TAX FREE TAXFREE  John Cale WALLY TAX RARE 1971 US Psych lp Polydor 24-4053 EX USD $9.99 [1 bids]
2 days
Lou Reed John Cale Songs For Drella Cassette Tape - Rock Music USD $7.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Church Of Anthrax John Cale & Terry Riley Audio CD USD $15.70 Buy It Now 2 days
JOHN CALE HONI SOIT VINYL LP RECORD RARE 80S AUSSIE PRESS VELVET UNDERGOUND USD $14.88 [0 bids]
2 days
John Cale - Guts LP Mint- ILPS 9459 Island Stereo 1977 UK Vinyl Record USD $50.00 Buy It Now 2 days
BRIAN ENO:II-Vocal Box-John Cale/David Byrne/Phil Collins/Robert Fripp/Wyatt-OOP USD $67.50 Buy It Now 2 days
Things John Cale UK CD single (CD5 / 5") CDEM629 EMI 2003 USD $9.52 Buy It Now 2 days
John Cale-Vintage Violence (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $6.75 Buy It Now 2 days
KEVIN AYERS AND FRIENDS (eno, nico, john cale & mike oldfield) JUNE 1, 1974 CD USD $2.53 [0 bids]
2 days
Conflict & Catalysis, John Cale CD USD $19.07 Buy It Now 3 days
John Cale - Slow Dazzle NEW CD USD $13.13 Buy It Now 3 days
John Cale & Terry Riley - Church Of Anthrax NEW CD USD $13.13 Buy It Now 3 days
John Cale paris s'eveille suivi d'autres JAPAN CD VICP-5146 USD $18.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Louise Feron John Cale 1991 CD s/t self titled Louise Féron USD $18.99 Buy It Now 3 days
VELVET UNDERGROUND POSTCARDS & STICKERS SET. Lou Reed, John Cale, Andy Warhol. USD $5.07 Buy It Now 3 days
John Cale Extra Playful Transitions sealed USD $10.16 [0 bids]
3 days
UNCUT THE PLAYLIST JULY 2006 15 TRACKS FEAT. JOHN CALE-BILLY BRAGG-SCRITTI POLIT USD $3.99 Buy It Now 3 days
PIXIES NICK CAVE REM JOHN CALE I'm Your Fan ISRAEL HEBREW Leonard Cohen CASSETTE USD $22.99 Buy It Now 3 days
JOHN CALE - THINGS (2 TRK PROMO CD SINGLE) (REF C9) USD $6.34 Buy It Now 3 days
Lou Reed John Cale & Nico Le Bataclan '72 Picture Disk Velvet Underground NM USD $119.95 Buy It Now 3 days
SIOUXSIE and the Banshees O baby USA PROMO DJ CD Single 1995 Sioux USD $33.24 Buy It Now 3 days
JOHN CALE PARIS 1919 RARE U.K PRESSING MATRIX A2/B1 1973 EX/EX USD $68.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Troublemakers 2Lp Set Sex Pistols / John Cale / Modern Lovers / Nico USD $3.99 [1 bids]
3 days

More places to buy JOHN CALE music online Buy JOHN CALE & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
JOHN CALE has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

JOHN CALE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

JOHN CALE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.34 | 15 ratings
Vintage Violence
1970
4.28 | 40 ratings
Church of Anthrax (with Terry Riley)
1971
3.48 | 14 ratings
The Academy in Peril
1972
3.24 | 36 ratings
Paris 1919
1973
3.30 | 20 ratings
Fear
1974
2.67 | 14 ratings
Slow Dazzle
1975
3.86 | 10 ratings
Helen Of Troy
1975
3.38 | 7 ratings
Honi Soit
1981
3.29 | 10 ratings
Music For A New Society
1982
4.08 | 6 ratings
Caribbean Sunset
1984
3.35 | 6 ratings
Artificial Intelligence
1985
2.29 | 9 ratings
Words For The Dying
1989
4.11 | 17 ratings
Songs For Drella (with Lou Reed)
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
23 Solo Pieces for La Naissance de L'Amour (soundtrack)
1993
4.00 | 2 ratings
Last Day On Earth (with Bob Neuwirth)
1994
4.00 | 2 ratings
N'Oublie Pas Que Tu Vas Mourir (soundtrack)
1995
0.00 | 0 ratings
Antartida (soundtrack)
1995
3.04 | 7 ratings
Walking on Locusts
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Le Vent de la Nuit (soundtrack)
1999
2.09 | 3 ratings
Inside the Dream Syndicate, Vol. 1: Day of Niagara (1965)(John Cale, Tony Conrad, La Monte Young, Angus Maclise, Marian Zazeela)
2000
5.00 | 1 ratings
Saint-Cyr (soundtrack)
2000
4.00 | 15 ratings
Hobo Sapiens
2003
3.08 | 6 ratings
Black Acetate
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Process (Original Soundtrack Recording)
2005
3.00 | 5 ratings
Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood
2012

JOHN CALE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 3 ratings
Sabotage/Live
1979
4.00 | 1 ratings
John Cale Comes Alive
1984
3.00 | 1 ratings
Even Cowgirls Get The Blues
1987
4.08 | 5 ratings
Fragments of a Rainy Season
1992
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live - Broken Hearts (Two Concerts In Germany 1984/1992)
1992
4.09 | 2 ratings
Eat / Kiss Music For The Films Of Andy Warhol
1997
3.00 | 1 ratings
Nico
1998
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Unknown (soundtrack)
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
Le Bataclan '72 (with Lou Reed and Nico)
2004
3.09 | 4 ratings
Circus Live
2007

JOHN CALE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Fragments of a Rainy Season
2004

JOHN CALE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 3 ratings
Guts
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Paris S'eveille (Soundtrack)
1992
4.05 | 3 ratings
Seducing Down The Door
1994
4.05 | 2 ratings
The Island Years
1996
4.00 | 1 ratings
Close Watch - An Introduction To John Cale
1999
4.00 | 1 ratings
Sun Blindness Music
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Inside the Dream Syndicate, Vol. 3: Stainless Steel Gamelan
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Inside the Dream Syndicate, Vol. 2: Dream Interpretation
2001

JOHN CALE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
The Man Who Couldn't Afford To...
1974
4.00 | 1 ratings
Animal Justice
1977
3.00 | 1 ratings
Mercenaries
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
I Keep A Close Watch
1983
0.00 | 0 ratings
Villa Albani
1983
0.00 | 0 ratings
Ring Of Fire / Shuffle Down To Woodbridge / Merry Christmas (Brian Eno / John Cale / House Of Freaks)
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
Spinning Away (with Brian Eno)
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
More Fragments
1992
5.00 | 1 ratings
5 Tracks
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Turn The Lights On
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Perfect
2005

JOHN CALE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Church of Anthrax (with Terry Riley) by CALE, JOHN album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.28 | 40 ratings

BUY
Church of Anthrax (with Terry Riley)
John Cale Prog Related

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars In 1969 John McClure, the leader of CBS Masterworks, had a revolutionary idea to bring together these two figures from New York's avantgarde circles to make an album. The Welsh John Cale had naturally been in Velvet Underground, and Terry Riley had released his highly influential albums In C and A Rainbow in Curved Air that are connected to the minimalistic movement. The improvisation- based collaboration worked well until all of a sudden, during the mixing, Riley felt his ideas weren't taken seriously enough and bitterly walked out of the unfinished project. Before the album was finally released in 1971, Cale had already released his debut Vintage Violence.

The end result is however closer to the mentioned Riley works than anything Cale has ever since done as a solo artist. According to Cale he dug out the funk hidden in Riley's hypnotic patterns of organ and soprano saxophone. Whatever, this unique fusion of minimalism, experimental rock and free jazz is not as hard to digest as one could expect. There are three longer tracks between nearly eight and eleven minutes - my favourite is probably the title track - plus two short ones. The other of them, 'The Soul of Patrick Lee', is written by Cale only and features the vocals of Adam Miller. It feels somewhat out of place amidst the more innovative material. The album's total running time is approximately 33 minutes only, but that doesn't prevent it being an interesting work that has fully deserved its cult status. Esoteric Recordings' re-release features a detailed essay - and this little review is translated from my article on ER's numerous recent releases. Sorry to give very little information on how I personally was impressed by this album. I guess I like it to some degree but can live very well without it too. 3½ stars rounded up for uniqueness and notable historical value.

 Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood by CALE, JOHN album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.00 | 5 ratings

BUY
Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood
John Cale Prog Related

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Flawless John Cale music!

There are albums that certainly are born under a good sign. This "Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood ", 2012, is one of those privileged efforts. Creative non stop, from start to finish, it shows a very mature, yet simple, songwriting. Simple not simplistic.

No "tour de force" or "spectacular" soloings or shoutings, no, John Cale's own aquired style is far from that kind of horseplay or market-wise strategies. He has never been and has had the guts to stay practically "underground" or un-mainstream to put it simply.

John Cale's music is closer to Rock n Roll troubadours like Bob Dylan or Lou Reed or Ray Davies than Peter Hammill or Peter Gabriel, for starters. He is highly creative, imaginative and a great lyricist, but still faraway of the "super-famous" and quiet cliched Prog music's idiosincracies. That is a fact!

A highly inspired songwriting, full of bright compositions (as opposed to its "dark" Art-cover), song by song, with astounding arrangements, energetic performances, full of subtle surprises, and a quiet playful John Cale at his best!

****4.5 "I guess not a prog-fanatic's dream, but it is still "Gold" for me!" PA stars.

 Fear by CALE, JOHN album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.30 | 20 ratings

BUY
Fear
John Cale Prog Related

Review by LinusW
Special Collaborator Italian Prog Specialist

3 stars On Fear, Cale manages to create a deft mix of singer/songwriter, piano man-type midtempo rockers and ballads and a darker, more hard-edged and weirder chaotic energy that mucks about underneath the well-groomed surface, hoping to find a way out. Unfortunately, it's kept on too tight a leash for the most part, only occasionally making the full jump out into the open, leaving it mostly just teasingly rippling the surface.

Uncluttered, basic, earnest (if at times a bit sentimentally honeyed) and often bass-propelled underlying arrangements engages in flirtations with diversions into tingly, screechy, confrontational atonality, skewed guitar fun and mischievous keyboard patterns and effects. Given enough time, a few of the songs willingly start to disintegrate and blur the picture, wheezing and wailing their way towards chaos.

With all his artsy smartness, Cale still has a tendency to embrace a sweetly nostalgic melancholia with orchestrated and choir-enriched woolliness, but the dreamy or more down-to-earth soft touches retain a refreshing clarity and never really take over on Fear. Instead, raw energy and commanding directness clear the air in pleasing and regular intervals. That makes the cushioned and simple richness of tingly, dreamy, grandiloquent pop feel less saturated.

While obviously a proficient song-smith and writer of catchy, driving and engaging melodies using the simplest of means and the minimum of trappings, the music sadly and quickly wears itself a bit thin in a drudging no-man's-land of pseudo-edgy anonymity. That's not to say it's really bad in any way, but the feelings of familiarity, comfort and absent-mindedness that creep into the listening experience for me is a clear sign of the material lacking staying power and the ability to arouse some proper long time interest. Fear feels a bit stuck in the mud: never hook-laden, catchy or melodious enough to drag you in that way and never experimental and challenging enough to reward more adventurous listeners.

But it remains a decent enough chunk of slightly gnarled, efficient and diverse art rock. In the impossible-to-hate-impossible-to-love category.

3 stars.

//LinusW

 Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood by CALE, JOHN album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.00 | 5 ratings

BUY
Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood
John Cale Prog Related

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Catching up to John Cale in the second decade of the 21st century (for me, after a long separation), we find the now seventy-year old troublemaker sporting pink highlights in his unruly mop of hair, and a hipster's mini-goatee on his graying chin. Too bad the music on his latest-to-date studio album doesn't share the same ageless spirit of rebel nonconformity.

Apparently winning an OBE (I almost wrote "earning an OBE", catching myself just in time) isn't the ideal stimulus to edgy songwriting. The backbeat on these dozen tracks is a little too basic and borderline techno for even my liberal tastes, and the melodies follow the same tired lead, providing an entirely featureless backdrop to a surprisingly underwhelming performance by Cale himself. What's missing is the passion and peril of his best work, that exhilarating sensation of clinging to a runaway freight train always about to jump its emotional rails.

With his voice pitched somewhere between the fading pipes of Bryan Ferry and David Bowie, and too often leaning hard on awkward auto-tuned crutches (in the songs "December Rain", "Mothra", and elsewhere), Cale seems to be merely going through the motions here: a sad state of affairs for the same artist who once penned a song vividly titled "Dirtyass Rock 'n' Roll". Maybe he's only trying to keep pace with current trends in commercial music, collaborating with a producer who calls himself "Danger Mouse", and titling one song in silly texting shorthand ("I Wanna Talk 2 U"). Or maybe it's all part of a belated mid-life crisis. Either way, let's hope he finds a late-life second wind and remembers how to live dangerously again.

 Honi Soit by CALE, JOHN album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.38 | 7 ratings

BUY
Honi Soit
John Cale Prog Related

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The royal coat of arms that gave the album its title (quoting fully: Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense: Evil to Those Who Think It) was a nice ironic touch for a songwriter otherwise given to such malignant obsessions. But his 1981 LP is, in my own admittedly incomplete experience, one of John Cale's more accessible efforts, a fact that hardly compromises its quality or strength. Cale had already absorbed some of the energy and attitude of Punk Rock (see his previous "Sabotage/Live" album), and the same aggressive impulses continued into these sessions, filtered somewhat through a commercial sieve of 1980s New Wave marketability.

The album opener "Dead or Alive" is an atypically conventional rocker: John Cale crossed with Bruce Springsteen, maybe. But it doesn't take long for the old warhorse to begin scratching his usual wounds, and with a vengeance. The lyrically twisted "Strange Times in Casablanca", with its couples "sleeping in each other's mattresses / like maggots in despair", is actually one of the album's milder psychotic detours. Even more alarming is the schizophrenic free association of "Wilson Joliet", with Cale's voice ascending relentlessly toward an apotheosis of indescribable fury.

On the punchy title track the singer improvises non-sequiturs in schoolboy French over a heavy dance-floor backbeat, and because it's John Cale one of the phrases is of course "coup d'état" (mais oui, le voilà!) And no Cale album would be complete without a pathological cover song, in this case giving the cowboy ballad "Streets of Laredo" a moody New Wave facelift, perfectly suited to its morbid tale of a dead gunslinger ("...wrapped in white linen and cold as the grave") wandering the back trails of Texas.

The sharp sound of the album was the work of ace producer Mike Thorne, best known at the time for having applied his signature audio gloss to the angular art-punk of early Wire. Thorne provided similar guidance for Cale on this collaboration, keeping the Welshman on a tighter leash than usual while still allowing him room to prowl the darker shadows of his cage. The result was one of those rare albums that made us believe the '80s might not be so bad after all...a false hope, as it turned out, but don't blame this effort.

 Guts by CALE, JOHN album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1977
5.00 | 3 ratings

BUY
Guts
John Cale Prog Related

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I'm not entirely sold on the validity of a John Cale page here at ProgArchives, but this 1977 collection has some killer music no matter how you define it. Three of the songwriter's most representative albums from his mid-'70s creative peak were distilled (or gutted, if you prefer) into a rare five-star compilation album, without an ounce of fat or fluff.

Maybe the music is Progressive in a more literal sense of the word. Most of the songs here begin in a more or less rational frame of mind, but progressively lose their already tenuous hold on anything resembling sanity. The album's title track, excerpted from the 1975 "Slow Dazzle" LP, is a good example: in less than four minutes it drags the listener through a netherworld of parrot sh!t; parrot spit; piss that missed the pot; poison souls; and the singer's urgent encouragement to "kill all you want; make sure, do it right..."

We're a long way from the Heart of the Sunrise, in other words. And that's before the jaw-dropping dementia of "Leaving It Up To You", omitted from the 1975 album "Helen of Troy", possibly due more to Cale's delivery than his lyrical content. Or the nihilistic philosophy expressed in "Fear is a Man's Best Friend" and "Gun". Or the rape of Elvis Presley in the malevolent update of "Heartbreak Hotel", sung as if by an axe-murderer approaching an ecstasy of bloodlust.

Given the extremities of subject and style, even the Prog-Related label might seem like a stretch. But you can see the connection in Cale's choice of session players: Phil Manzanera, Brian Eno, Phil Collins (back when the Genesis drummer still had musical aspirations), and ace guitarist Chris Spedding, the latter not really a Prog artiste but certainly among friends. There are far more comprehensive Cale samplers on the market, spanning a wider cross-section of his larger career. But there's a tighter focus in the limited range of this album. A great song selection, strong performances, and a scary/funny iconic cover photo make it an essential package of truly great hits, most of them below the belt.

 Mercenaries by CALE, JOHN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1980
3.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Mercenaries
John Cale Prog Related

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars On the sleeve it's advertised as "another cheap and nasty product". But this rare 45-rpm single is now something of a collector's item, and a novelty on any web site devoted to the pomp and nuance of Progressive Rock. The A-Side is an abbreviated studio alternative to the concert version of the same song opening the 1979 "Sabotage/Live" album, pitting the ex-Velvet Underground viola player against the insidious threat of Commie infiltration, from "the dirty old Belgian Congo" to ground zero Moscow.

Given a choice of allies between the combined military might of the Free World or John Cale, I'll take the guy in the hard hat playing guitar, every time. The song was the perfect vehicle for such an infamous agitator (see the "Animal Justice" EP), making an unspoken metaphoric connection between modern rock 'n' roll stardom and the life of a soldier of fortune. The singer growls and shrieks his way into the Kremlin with more raw vocal authority than PETER HAMMILL at his most unhinged, and no one can touch Cale in a reading of any lyric asking, "Are you ready for war?"

The B-Side presents a more experimental psychodrama, performed by JC alone on bass guitar and distorted electric piano, over the primitive chatter of an old rhythm box. The song was later memorably covered by the goth-rockers of Bauhaus, but the original is quintessential John Cale, with obscure stream-of-consciousness lyrics rhyming "sores" with "whores"...probably the first words that came into his fevered mind at the time.

It was later added to the "Sabotage/Live" CD, as a bonus track. But the title track is MIA, the master tapes reportedly lost, or possibly confiscated at some remote Third World border crossing. So hold on to that precious 7" disc of vinyl with the oversized hole (as I did); when played loud enough it may be your best defense against the Red Menace.

 Animal Justice by CALE, JOHN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1977
4.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Animal Justice
John Cale Prog Related

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars John Cale needed to be in the ProgArchives database like he needed "a hole in the head", quoting a lyric from the lead track off his notorious 1977 EP. Look at the cover photo; listen to the song "Chicken Shit"; and try to imagine a more unsuitable candidate for a website celebrating the finer points of Progressive Rock.

A fascinating backstory only underlines the non-Prog appeal of the song. Cale wrote it to mock the rent-a-punk poseurs who reacted with such outrage after the singer beheaded a chicken on stage and tossed the dismembered carcass into the crowd (the bird was already dead, by the way). It was an admittedly crass but effective act of true Punk subversion, probably aimed at showing a tough audience just how tame they actually were.

The foreground is all driving rhythms, aggressive guitars, and a more-or-less typically deranged vocal performance by Cale. But it's the hilarious background chatter that brings the song to life, transforming a tasteless piece of confrontational theatre into something closer to social satire. Would any Prog (or even Prog Related) rocker ever contemplate taking a meat cleaver to a chicken corpse, just to make a point? Very, very doubtful...

Elsewhere on the EP the song "Memphis" does to Chuck Berry what Cale had earlier done to Elvis in his adaptation of "Heartbreak Hotel", injecting a rock 'n' roll roots classic with a lethal dose of late-'70s proto-Punk rage and paranoia. But it's the nearly 8-minute B-Side (longer than the two A-Side tracks combined) that will likely capture the attention of any true Proghead: a slow, menacing ballad titled after the Henrik Ibsen protagonist "Hedda Gabbler". Even on a tighter leash than usual Cale can still work up a head of dramatic steam, and with a more imaginative drummer the song might almost have been described as symphonic.

The entire EP was appended to the "Sabotage/Live" compact disc. But as any audiophile with a working turntable can tell you, some music needs to be heard on vintage 12-inch vinyl, dust pops and scratches included.

 Paris 1919 by CALE, JOHN album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.24 | 36 ratings

BUY
Paris 1919
John Cale Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars On Paris 1919 John Cale offers up a disparate range of songs in a range of styles that collectively evoke an air of mildly wistful nostalgia but otherwise don't seem to have very much in common. Those who know him as Lou Reed's guitar sparring partner and teller of tall tales from the Velvet Underground may find the album disappointingly conventional, and indeed it seems to consciously balance Cale's art rock aspirations against a rather bland production - and whenever the two are in tension, blandness wins. Perhaps this is the right place to start with Cale if your musical diet to date has been unchallenging soft rock, but for those who are used to a little more zing in their music it's likely to be a snore-fest.
 Hobo Sapiens by CALE, JOHN album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.00 | 15 ratings

BUY
Hobo Sapiens
John Cale Prog Related

Review by ExittheLemming
Prog Reviewer

4 stars John Cale is a f**king elitist. He did not like the people he was playing for. He's Welsh, and they're all nasty bastards (Nat Finkelstein)

Notwithstanding the repugnant racist bile of a bitchy little fag photographer poisoned by the pollutants from Andy Warhol's Junkie Factory, the tracers of paranoid disdain linger, like those 'stubborn hard to shift' stains on Cale's spattered hockey goaltender's mask. (he's always been a reluctant defender, resentful of his failure to cut it as an attacker) Deep at the heart of this ubermodernist iconoclast, there is a conservative nugget of kryptonite classicism, so wherever John negotiates to at any given time, he's slumming it and it's our fault see?.

The witty title is purportedly sourced from an article Cale wrote about Bob Dylan but there is scant evidence that the latter has any particular relevance to what's on offer here. We encounter instead, the recognizable tread of the Beta Band and the mosey of a Beck, but where the nostril hemorrhaging Grand Guignol of Sabotage or protopunk of Animal Justice are absent, supplanted instead by the heavily anchored claustrophobia of hip hop, mutated electronica and that mordant glacial baritone summoning forth ghosts that are reassuringly ancient but unnervingly close. The foregoing cannot be construed as Punk's absent godfather having necessarily mellowed, it's just he's always known aggression is unsustainable and like his acrimonious divorce from a chemical reality, subject to the law of diminishing returns. (or what the EMI suits would have equated to sales boyo) Jimmy Porter's 'angry young man' does not sit comfortably on the slumped shoulders of a 61 year old inebriated mental patient who no-one dares make eye contact with on the bus.

Crotchety living legend teams up with hot young producer for major label smasheroonie? Nope (Utah Saints be praised) Our aging hero has not leapt into the sack with a noughties Edie Sedgwick and can therefore still appreciate the irony of 'drop dead gorgeous' for several more years to come. In short: JC retains his dignity and doesn't make a complete a.r.s.e of himself using dance loops, layered beats, sequencers, sampling and the types of music technology traditionally the preserve of the re-cyclist of idea and stiff of finger.

Quite what EMI had in mind when they signed Cale to their roster for his first collection of songs in eight years is anyone's guess. The artist was living and recording in his basement Greenwich Village studio during this time yet his expectant paymasters neglected to give Hobosapiens, an American release. Cale bizarrely had no US label in 2003 so only very expensive imported versions were available until the OR imprint picked up the album - the latter put a bonus track thereon which can only be played on conventional CD players if you rewind past the start of track one (I've never heard this Set Me Free freebie and I don't even know if it exists on my review copy)

Well look up the country of issue on the CD you silly little rodent

Erm..it doesn't say or I can't find it, or it's too small to read...

Get yer eyes tested fleabag, it's probably a JJ Cale album yer looking at...jeez

What vestige of avant-garde remains in the Cale cookie-jar is strictly limited to the use of incongruity within pop music idioms e.g. layering two incompatible or contradictory beats together to arrive at an ambiguous poly-rhythm which threatens to undermine the incessant tyranny of the cyclic pulse (albeit he never actually allows this insurrection to succeed), or splicing a melodic theme prematurely into earlier 'foreign' harmonies within the same song (see Look Horizon where initial puzzling dissonance is uncloaked as the beautiful sci-fi ambiance of the closing fade - yet next time you hear the track the aforementioned frisson is somehow magically assuaged? Cale's being a clever bugger here, (you have to hear this to appreciate the phenomenon I've completely failed to describe adequately)

Long term ally Eno is referenced on the catchiest track on offer in the shape of Things re To assault Tiger Mountain when the sun comes up and we ain't exactly a million miles away from that feel here but the massive demarcation criteria being that Cale's delivery and lyrical imagery are so inimitable as to represent a tonsil textual brand. Based almost entirely on a two chord pivot that remains unaltered between verse and chorus (only Cale's masterful phrasing separates these as sections in our head) it's as spontaneously natural, laconic and effortlessly brilliant throughout as anything produced by his supposed peers Bowie and Reed. Trivia fans may source some succor that the line things to do in Denver when you're dead is NOT from the wretched Tarantino wannabe neo-noir film of the same name but the infinitely superior Warren Zevon song of the same name recorded in 1991

Having produced over 80 albums, and for some very 'difficult' artists like the Stooges, Patti Smith, Jonathan Richman, Nico, Happy Mondays and Nick Drake, it seems somewhat ironic that Cale has failed to realise for the longest time that the last person who should produce a John Cale record is John Cale. Throughout a very uneven career he has been conspicuously short of a trusted adjutant who could safely say ditch that John, it's a pile of incoherent lazy coke fuelled hippy wank. As a keen observer of the contemporary musical landscape and a big hip-hop fan, Cale would have identified Lemon Jelly's Nick Franglen as one of the 'go to guys' in the knob twiddling studio boffin stakes. The lush, clean and detailed nature of his production is distinctly at odds with the enduring grime aesthetic that still holds sway in indie/garage land reverence for all things VU related. I'm sure this must irritate Cale as he is on record as saying the lo-fi nature of the Velvets was never by design and they would have leapt at any opportunity to inhabit a higher fidelity realm.

Modus Operandi - Cale wrote all the songs in his basement studio in a matter of hours i.e. there was no premeditated baggage or relics long poured over in danger of becoming stale and he combines traditional acoustic sounds with imaginary (and maybe impossible) electronic ones. As ever, his viola is exquisitely lyrical and sparing where appropriate and utterly frenzied, diabolic and thoroughly violated at the extremities mirrored in these fantastic and disorienting audio collages. Such is the intricate layering at work here and the artificial spaces created in the sound picture, this is perhaps the antithesis of a 'performance' record but certainly does not suffer any loss of coherence as a result. The drum loops utilised for Zen are sourced from a Bernard Purdie recording (the drummer who claimed that Ringo never played a note of any Beatles records) Don't let that dissuade you as no-one is ever gonna sample anything north of Purdie's neck forever hence and the performance captured is uncannily apt for this track.

Letter from Abroad was inspired by a documentary about the Taliban in Afghanistan called 'Beneath the Veil' and Cale allegedly telephoned Bono (why, did he misdial?) for advice about the suitability of the subject matter In the light of the events of 9/11. John had misgivings about tackling such an emotive and recent tragedy but pressed ahead regardless. The creaking and rusted loop was provided by Eno but is sounds uncannily like a Beck outtake?

I had some great fun playing the instrumental portions of this album to those stubbornly pale homies at work who fancy themselves 'hip' to urban dance music and they all remarked without demur that this was 'dah bomb diggidy' - which I'm advised means 'thoroughly splendid', bordering on 'smashing' y'all.

Bicycle lets the tyres down somewhat, being but an 'intermediate' DAW tutorial in generic rawk beats underpinning a 4 note call and response nibbly morsel of negligible merit and it's the only track here that falls into the yawning trap of merely proving it would fall apart as a musical construct if removed from the rarefied sanctuary provided by Pro Tools. Anyone who has heard the excellent Fragments of a Rainy Season will be surprised that Cale is guilty of releasing a creation that fails to stand up to the litmus test of piano and vocal melody resilience. Similarly, Things X is a doomed exercise in how one sublime song with melody unaltered would sound like with completely random and unrelated chords underneath?. Answer: w.a.n.k.y. deconstructed s.h.i.t.e, which may have yielded the brilliant 'one-off' spookiness of Heartbreak Hotel but falls flat on it's concrete botoxed post modern backside here.

Twilight Zone starts like (gasp) Sinking by the Cure with its clattering dissonant shock piano chord which retreats to reveal a rather contrived structure albeit one with a redemptive hook as reward for our forbearance. It ain't bad but suffers from the very good company it rubs shoulders with.

There are loads of artists and writers referenced in Cale's output (but tellingly very few composers apart from Brian Wilson, Brahms and Rimsky Korsokov) and it seems transparent he considers himself worthy of consideration in the same breath as Picasso, Magritte, Hemingway, Burroughs, Dylan Thomas and Graham Greene. As much as I adore this contrary welsh alchemist, when pressed, I'm sure he would consider such chutzpah as all the proof that were needed for an admission that his potential went unfulfilled.

So lap this up Cale fans, as it's perhaps one of his strongest solo albums to date and its successor will have you unwittingly apeing one of the most terrifying audible artifacts in rock i.e. an inconsolable John Cale scream, being the only dignified response that the execrable Black Acetate deserves.

Thanks to easy money for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives