John Cale

Fear - Island 1974

Tracks: 1. Fear Is A Man's Best Friend / 2. Buffalo Ballet / 3. Barracuda / 4. Emily / 5. Ship Of Fools / 6. Gun / 7. The Man Who Couldn't Afford To Orgy / 8. You Know More Than I Know / 9. Momamma Scuba


Fear was the first of 3 great albums John Cale released on Island Records during 1974-75. The album was also his follow-up to his much acclaimed "Paris 1919" 1973 album. Compared to "Paris", "Fear" shows the more rocking side of Cale, but it's still the songs and melodies that Cale highlights.

The title-track starts off quietly with Cale on piano, but ends off with Cale yelling "Fear is a man's best friend". Great opener.

The soft melodic side of Cale is represented by "Buffalo Ballet", "Ship of Fools" and "You Know More Than I Know" - all outstanding songs.

It's no secret that Cale has a great admiration of the work of Brian Wilson, which clearly shows on the harmony vocal arrangement on "The Man Who Couldn't Afford to Orgy"- On his next album "Slow Dazzle", Cale wrote "Mr Wilson" about the Beach Boys leader.

Though several tracks like "Barracuda" and "Gun" feature odd solos and sounds ( brings thoughts back to his Velvet Underground days ), most songs are actually very catchy and it's an album with a great variety of styles that you can listen to again and again.

Note that the 2 CD compilation "The Island Years" features the complete "Fear" album along with his two other Island albums + plus a handful of great bonus tracks; anyway this is a great album in its own right!

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