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John Cale


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Garnant, Wales (1965 – present)

John Cale, OBE (born 9 March 1942) is a Welsh musician, composer, singer-songwriter and record producer. He was a founding member of the band The Velvet Underground in early 1965. Though best known for his work in music, Cale has worked in various genres including and . Since departing from the Velvet Underground in 1968 he has released over thirty albums. Of his solo work, he is perhaps best known for his 1973 album ‘Paris 1919’ and the song of the same name, works reminiscent of film scores and tuneful music being perhaps the most accessible of his pieces.

Born on 9th March 1942 in Garnant, Wales, Cale spoke only Welsh until the age of seven, when he began to learn English at school. He went on to study viola at Goldsmiths College, University of London, where he became involved in avant garde music. He traveled to the U.S. to continue his studies, thanks to the help and influence of Aaron Copland, and met and worked with various avant-garde composers, including John Cage, while becoming fascinated with the new Anglo-American art movements.

In 1965, he co-founded the Velvet Underground with Lou Reed. Though best known for his work with the band, Cale has produced a massive body of work that ranges from tastefully arranged strings and piano over Dylan Thomas poetry to barely-suppressed, nigh-psychotic aggression set to high-energy avant-garde rock. Cale’s style is almost impossible to pin down, as almost every album contains new experiments and influences. He is also well known as the producer of such works as the debuts of The Stooges, The Modern Lovers, and Patti Smith (the critically acclaimed ‘Horses’). He also played a major role in Nico’s ‘The Marble Index’.


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  • iamholgerczukay

    @MisterJunior: I was being partially facetious, but realistically, Cale was the avant garde classical element to VUs music. He brought so much to the band, I just feel his influence over the band is heavily underrated, too much credit goes to Lou Reed, IMO.

    22 Jul 8:59pm Reply
  • IamFlood

    better than coke and speed [1]

    8 Jul 5:31am Reply
  • RussellChap

    my favourite welsh musician. he's even better than bonnie tyler

    4 May 5:09pm Reply
  • Horse_Deceased

    Anger is a man's best friend.

    16 Mar 2:16pm Reply
  • porcelain_tree

    Abba with Cale would be way better than Roxy Music with Reed.

    7 Mar 7:27pm Reply
  • MisterJunior

    @iamholgerczukay That's kind of silly. There are way too many variables involved in that equation to say that one guy is better than the other because of how the band they were once in together sounded without one of them.

    28 Dec 2014 Reply
  • MrBicile

    Ох, да ладно вам. Лу тоже неплох.

    24 Dec 2014 Reply
  • cptmudachello

    ебать пацаны я угарел по этой теме

    26 Nov 2014 Reply
  • hjbardenhagen

    His Rockpalast gigs in Germany at the Zeche Bochum 1983 and the Grugahalle Essen 1984 are streamable on Spotify.

    17 Nov 2014 Reply
  • NasalScarecrow

    RainyWoods: Have to agree. Wish it wasn't so obscure. Would love to hear some of those tracks live. Buying it on CD for less than £40 would also be nice.

    2 Oct 2014 Reply
  • Antikrun

    In the library of force!

    23 Sep 2014 Reply
  • thesundontlie

    perfect discography

    30 Aug 2014 Reply
  • RainyWoods

    "Music For A New Society" is phenomenal. I'd been wanting to hear it for a while after reading comparisons between it and his work with Nico. I can see why many consider it his masterpiece. The rerecording of "(I Keep A) Close Watch" is to the album what Nico's "Afraid" is to "Desertshore". An achingly beautiful moment, an oasis.. but then you come to realise that everything around it is beautiful as well. Just a different kind of beauty. The album would be close to that strange, impossible thing called perfection if Cale's label hadn't forced him to include "Changes Made" which although a decent song by itself, feels totally out of place here.

    7 Aug 2014 Reply
  • iamholgerczukay

    I think the Cale v. Reed argument can be summed up with Velvet Underground's albums with John Cale and the albums without. But really, music isn't a competition.

    6 Aug 2014 Reply
  • Nextdoorscream

    Really, why is there such a big gap in amount of listeners between John and Lou? This isn't fair. With all due respect to Reed, I think Cale is better.

    2 Aug 2014 Reply
  • Nekrovoor

    Sadly, I couldn't enjoy much his rock approach. However, his more experimental and instrumental efforts really were a stand-out for me. The Academy In Peril stimulates my imagination like nothing else.

    26 Jul 2014 Reply
  • wiseblood-

    Makes me want to eat some couth kale chips.

    12 Jun 2014 Reply
  • erikngn

    Таки да, в Роисси его знают наверное два с половиной человека, жаль.

    11 Jun 2014 Reply
  • The_Ambience_Ed

    You know, even Doug Yule is better than Lou Reed...

    1 Jun 2014 Reply
  • fergalmc

    better than lou reed[2]

    29 May 2014 Reply
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