CD Paris 1919 [John Cale] (CD 425932),
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Paris 1919 [John Cale]
1. Child's Christmas in Wales
2. Hanky Panky Nohow
3. Endless Plain of Fortune, The
6. Paris 1919
7. Graham Greene
8. Half Past France
9. Antarctica Starts Here
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 2131
Chris Thomas; Chris Thomas
Personnel includes: John Cale (vocals, piano); Lowell George (guitar); Wilton Felder (bass); Richie Hayward (drums); UCLA Student Orchestra.
Recorded at Sunwest Studios, Los Angeles, California.
Personnel: John Cale (guitar, viola, keyboards); Lowell George (guitar); Richie Hayward (drums).
Recording information: Sunwest Studios, LA, CA.
Photographer: Mike Salisbury.
Arranger: John Cale.
PARIS 1919 is considered by many critics (and Cale fans) to be his best. Released in 1973, 1919 was recorded in Los Angeles with members of Little Feat, Wilton Felder and the UCLA Orchestra, and stands as one of the best "rock/classical" fusions, mainly because Cale (who is a classically-trained musician) avoids the heavy-handed pomp and pretensions that besiege so much "art-rock." He also manages to maintain the qualities of tunefulness and whimsy.
His lyrics are absurdist/Dadaist-style poetry and word play, sung in a plaintive, unaffected, almost choirboy style. The songs have a longing, haunted feel to them-"Half Past France" is a perfect distillation of the musings that often accompany late-night travel. Throughout, the usual rock instrumentation is colored and caressed by exquisite pedal steel guitar, French horn, harmonium and strings. Cale remembers to rock out, too: "Macbeth" is a dense, driving, Move-styled take on the Shakespeare play, complete with raving, keening slide guitar and thundering drums. PARIS 1919 stands as one of the "lost" classic rock albums of the 1970s.
Q (p.124) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[A]rtful and smooth California rock, which particularly in its ballads...exudes a woozy warmth."
Q (1/94, p.108) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...its melancholic melodies and enigmatic, wintry lyrics make this undoubtedly his best work...."
Uncut (11/03, p.106) - "The easiest point of entry into Cale's world, and the first great album of Cale's post-Velvets career..."
The Wire (6/00, pp.36-7) - "...Excellent chamber pop....Cale's 1st masterpiece, it is one of the very few records anywhere to integrate orchestra and rock instruments so fully that you can't see the join..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.120) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he piano-and-vocal mix of the title track is sure to please anyone seduced by the stripped-down Cale of 1992's live FRAGMENTS IF A RAINY SEASON."
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