Monday, March 23, 2009

not new music tuesdays

John Cale - Fear (1974, Island)

It must have been a shocking day in 1970 when 'the weird guy' from the Velvet Underground released his first solo album, Vintage Violence. It was a pretty damn straight-forward pop album for a guy that had worked with La Monte Young's Theatre of Eternal Music, produced both the Stooges debut and Nico's 'The Marble Index,' AND played that fucking organ on Sister Ray.

In the years between Vintage Violence and the featured album, Fear, Cale kept himself busy releasing the mostly instrumental albums Church of Anthrax (with Terry Riley) and The Academy in Peril, as well as his baroque pop 'masterpiece' Paris 1919 (I have NEVER been able to get into this record!). During this time he also managed to produce a few records, including  Nico's Desertshore and The End, the Modern Lovers demos that ended up being their first record,  and Patti Smith's Horses, among others.  

1974's Fear marked the beginning of the most focused and creative era in Cale's solo career. His trilogy of albums for Island in 1974-75 (Fear, Slow Dazzle, Helen of Troy) and his accompanying tours defined his recording/live persona for nearly the next decade. Fear finds Cale paired up with not only Phil Manzanera (Roxy Music), but also with Eno, who would become a long-time friend and collaborator.


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