Skip to content

Vintage Violence – John Cale

John Cale Vintage Violence

Vintage Violence

(1970), 7.5/10
Surprisingly John Cale’s debut album owes more to the down-home pastoral feel on The Band’s first records than the primitive garage rock of his former group’s White Light, White Heat. Vintage Violence is effortlessly melodic and more formally composed than much of his other work; Cale states that he was following the lead of pop acts like The Bee Gees. Vintage Violence was recorded with the band Grinderswitch, and rehearsed and recorded within three days, a speed that’s not betrayed in the album’s tasteful and tight veneer.

The most memorable songs are the atmospheric pieces that close the album – ‘Ghost Story’ is driven by an eerie organ part, while ‘Amsterdam’ is pared down almost to an acoustic guitar strum and evocative lyrics (“She’s back from Amsterdam/And I think the journey did her well”). The pretty ‘Big White Cloud’ is arranged and conducted by Cale himself, while the opening ‘Hello There’ showcases Cale’s piano fluency. The only piece that’s remotely avant-garde is the bonus track ‘Wall’, six awesome minutes of electric viola scraping.

In contrast,most of Vintage Violence is plain gorgeous and inherently musical; it just doesn’t feel as significant as Cale’s best work, even if it’s surprisingly hooky and accessible. It showcases a light and playful side of Cale that would become submerged as his recorded oeuvre became darker and more demanding.

2 thoughts on “Vintage Violence – John Cale Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Diary of a Bassist

Musical musings of a bassist/power metal enthusiast

lyriquediscorde

home of all things music

All You Need Is The Beatles

Musical musings on all things...well...musical!

Kid Slender

Let all the children boogie

Simon & Garfunkel 'Time it was...it was'

All you need to know about their careers

REVIEW THE MUSIC

Current music reviews, classic music reviews, live music reviews. All genres, all sounds, no prejudice.

The Voice Of Unreason

Music Reviews/Gigs/Lists/Features/Video - oh my!

MyYellowFeather

Your guide to style! 💛

Old Rope

"It looked like rope, old rope"

%d bloggers like this: