John Cale

Vintage Violence - CBS 1970

Tracks: 1. Hello There / 2. Gideon's Bible / 3. Adelaide / 4. Big White Cloud / 5. Cleo / 6. Please / 7. Charlemagne / 8. Bring It On Up / 9. Amsterdam / 10. Ghost Story / 11. Fairweather Friend / 12. Fairweather Friend * / 12. Wall*


John Cale first solo album, originally released in 1970, came as a pleasant surprise to many fans of Velvet Underground. After his departure from V.U. in 1968 Cale had among other things produced for Nico, and some may have expected a more radical album, but here Cale reveals himself as a brilliant songwriter capable of writing and producing in a very melodic way, and several of these songs may even have had hit-potentials. Especially the catchy "Gideon's Bible" with its Beach Boys harmonies could very well had hit the charts, given the right exposure.

Among other very memorable tracks is the great opener "Hello There", featuring Cale driving piano. The majestic "Big Cloud" is another stand-out; sound almost like a Robbie Robertson song.

There's a slight country feel to another favourite,"Please", and the haunting "Ghost Story" features lyrics that make you think of Keith Reid of Procol Harum.

This could very well be John Cale's artistically most consistent album; which obviously says quite a lot, and at any rate this is without question the first time he really proves himself as a prolific songwriter.

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