Beyond the BCB 130 - John Cale

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toomanyhatz
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Beyond the BCB 130 - John Cale

Postby toomanyhatz » 31 Mar 2015, 07:51

So...John Cale. The guy that got thrown out of the Velvet Underground.

In retrospect it's easy to see why. There are not a lot of people in this world Lou Reed would have felt threatened by. But a guy who could keep up with him at every level, plus had actual conservatory training? Lou must've felt very much like the Long Island accountant's son that he was when in Cale's presence.

The thing is, for all his faults (and he has undeniably made some downright unlistenable music in his time - maybe even more than Lou, which takes some doing), Cale has never proclaimed anything about himself the way Reed has. He's just done what he's done. He doesn't seem to be so concerned that you take him seriously as an artiste, maybe because he's been told for his whole life that that's what he is.

A long time ago, I compared Cale and Reed head-to-head, year-by-year, and realized (to my slight but not overwhelming surprise) that Cale actually comes out slightly ahead in how much pleasure he's given me. Mainly, I guess, 'cause he seems to do stuff to please himself. Lou, for all his streetwise swagger, always seemed more neurotic about wanting to be loved.

To sum up his career in one post is pretty tough to begin with, and it's a damned busy time for me, so here's a few video clips:











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Re: Beyond the BCB 130 - John Cale

Postby jimboo » 31 Mar 2015, 18:33

There is always something I like from every album I have heard or owned. I do not play him regularly but when I do , it does me for a few months. He is a talent.
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Re: Beyond the BCB 130 - John Cale

Postby ConnyOlivetti » 31 Mar 2015, 18:39

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Re: Beyond the BCB 130 - John Cale

Postby bigstar » 31 Mar 2015, 18:52

Only have vintage violence and Paris 1919 both are superb records.
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Re: Beyond the BCB 130 - John Cale

Postby hookfinger » 31 Mar 2015, 18:54

The 1-2 punch of Fear and Slow Dazzle knocks me out to this day!
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Re: Beyond the BCB 130 - John Cale

Postby Dor-Relip Hotels and Bathings » 31 Mar 2015, 18:59

I always come back to Paris 1919. The melodies on that record are absolutely out of this world. Reed couldn't get close to anything as moving as 'Hanky Panky Nohow'. I adore that song.

Listen to the first few seconds, please:



Over so soon! His voice is so beautiful - sonorous and yet melancholy. And the lyrics are lovely.
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Re: Beyond the BCB 130 - John Cale

Postby jimboo » 31 Mar 2015, 19:42

It's a great track and album John , no denying it.
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Re: Beyond the BCB 130 - John Cale

Postby toomanyhatz » 31 Mar 2015, 21:43

Paris 1919 is clearly 'the one', but I've really been warming to Vintage Violence lately as well. It's a pretty surprising record in terms of his reputation at the time, but I think it's dated very well. I'm not what genre it fits into. 'Art-pop' maybe? People certainly had no clue what to make of it at the time.
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Re: Beyond the BCB 130 - John Cale

Postby Dor-Relip Hotels and Bathings » 31 Mar 2015, 21:52

'Gideon's Bible' is great, isn't it? Again, his lyrics are something special. And the way the viola does those background filigrees towards the end - wonderful.
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Re: Beyond the BCB 130 - John Cale

Postby Guy E » 31 Mar 2015, 21:53

I followed his solo career from the beginning, probably following a good review of Vintage Violence in Rolling Stone. Paris 1919 was the big pay-off, but I truly loved the Island trilogy. Those albums were a godsend in the mid-70's.

I got to see him a bunch of times in NY in '76 and '77. He wasn't the masked madman anymore and the quality of his band varied sometimes, but I treasure those shows. I was at so many he would smile slightly and nod to me if we crossed paths early in the evening, but we never spoke.

I remember going to see him on a particularly brutal winter night at a bar out in Dover, NJ called The Place (where I also saw RAMONES, DEVO and assorted other combos). There was literally nobody there... a couple of Social Security-collecting drunks at the bar, me... and, that was about it. Cale passed me at the bar when I was ordering a beer and he nodded to me with arched eyebrow.

It was the strangest, multi-faceted "nod" I've ever received. It was a mixture of "thanks for supporting my efforts" and, "what in God's name is a fan of mine doing here" and, "Thanks a million... if you hadn't shown up I wouldn't be obligated to do a set tonight, but now that there's a PAYING CUSTOMER!"

By the time he came on there were a few other fans... it was a grim night all around, but he was a trooper and while it was a slightly truncated set he did "put out." It remains a very special memory.
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Re: Beyond the BCB 130 - John Cale

Postby ConnyOlivetti » 01 Apr 2015, 16:41

Really like this...at the time


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Re: Beyond the BCB 130 - John Cale

Postby Rayge » 01 Apr 2015, 17:56

jimboo wrote:There is always something I like from every album I have heard or owned. I do not play him regularly but when I do , it does me for a few months. He is a talent.

This is pretty much my take, too

Worth mentioning, if no one has already, what an excellent producer he is - or at least, he's got to blag the producers chair – not only on his own stuff and collaborations with Lou and Terry Riley, but on a few great records by others, such as Horses, The Modern Lovers, Desertshore and The Stooges – although for some reason :? no-one took him on for a second album...

I also love that he sings bass-baritone with a middle-class Welsh accent. There's not a lot of that about in this kind of music
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Re: Beyond the BCB 130 - John Cale

Postby Jeemo » 01 Apr 2015, 22:34

ConnyOlivetti wrote:Really like this...at the time


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Re: Beyond the BCB 130 - John Cale

Postby Snarfyguy » 01 Apr 2015, 23:36

Jeemo wrote:
ConnyOlivetti wrote:Really like this...at the time


Image


I got slated in the cup for picking Mercenaries from this. Cloth eared twats.

I picked "Chicken Shit" and went out in the first round this year, so Cale can fuck off!

:lol:
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Re: Beyond the BCB 130 - John Cale

Postby harvey k-tel » 02 Apr 2015, 00:09

It's a shame the studio version of 'Hedda Gabler', from the Animal Justice ep isn't available on YouTube. It's long been one of my favourites of his ever since a co-worker put it on a mix tape for me in '89. There's a later live version available, but it's all about the guitar on the recorded track - it's soooo good.
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Re: Beyond the BCB 130 - John Cale

Postby ConnyOlivetti » 02 Apr 2015, 05:49

Jeemo wrote:I got slated in the cup for picking Mercenaries from this. Cloth eared twats.


:o

Indeed! :D
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Re: Beyond the BCB 130 - John Cale

Postby Rayge » 15 Jan 2018, 19:08

bump
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Re: Beyond the BCB 130 - John Cale

Postby Walk In My Shadow » 15 Jan 2018, 19:50

I never understood the 'worth' of Velvet Underground.

That said, I still love listening to solo Cale whereas solo Reed lasted about four albums. Maybe five.

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Re: Beyond the BCB 130 - John Cale

Postby The Write Profile » 15 Jan 2018, 21:34

Some nice posts on this thread. I don't have much to add, but I guess what makes Cale's best work so rewarding is the mix of soaring melodies and vocal gruffness. Cale had a very fine voice and could use it reach surprising heights on something like "Gideon's Bible", or wrap his vocal around a melody as pretty as "Ship of Fools", but he also could pretty vicious and nasty on something like "Fear is a Man's Best Friend". As for my favourite Cale solo record, I think I'd go for the completeness of Paris 1919, but there are times when the occasionally abrasive Fear and the ambitious and varied Vintage Violence also hit the spot just as much. He also had an interesting way with a lyric, although sometimes they were impenetrable.
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