John Cale

Paris 1919 - Reprise 1973

Tracks: 1. Child's Christmas in Wales / 2. Hanky Panky Nohow / 3. The Endless Plain of Fortune / 4. Andalucia / 5. Macbeth / 6. Paris 1919 / 7. Graham Greene / 8. Half Past France / 9. Antarctica Starts Here


I must admit I was a little sceptical about this album beforehand; having heard that this was a very classical inspired album and that I might find it a little hard accessible. Therefore I was happily surpised to discover that this in essence is an album of mostly great songs - tastefully arranged and produced.

The classical thing is more or less only come forward on the title track and "Endless Plain of Fortune" - and even those two tracks are really just rock-ballads with an orchestered accompaniment - and both very strong tracks.

The rest of the songs are not very unlike the best material on "Vintage Violence" and "Fear".

The opening track "A Child's Christmas in Wales" is a gorgeous tune, greatly played and built up by Cale and his band, featuring Bill Payne, Richard Hayward and (not least) Lowell George on guitar. The melodic slide guitar really add to making this a song you wanna hear over and over again. "Half Past France" is another track in the same category is "Half Past France".

The most immediately catchy track is the acoustic "Hanky Panky Nohow".

Another outstanding acoustic track is "Andalucia" - heartbreaking lyrics and vocals.

The song where the Little Feat contribution is most obvious is the shuffle rocking "Macbeth", which unfortunately seems a little out of place, being pretty wild and noisy compared to the rest of the album.

"Graham Greene" is a quite funny song with a reggae-beat.

Overall Cale lyrics are mysterious, at times slightly dark, but usually delightfully thought-provoking.

The album was produced by Chris Thomas (Badfinger - Procol Harum) and with Cale's songs and arrangements he has been a part of creating another classic.

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