John Cale's history runs all the way back to the near beginning of this great rock and roll phenomenon that we all so liberally enjoy. Starting with the unmatched Velvet Undergound (with Maureen Tucker, Sterling Morrison, Doug Yule and, of course, the inimitable Lou Reed), John Cale found himself a part of some extraordinary happenstance.
The time of the Velvet Underground was short. John Cale had left the band after White Light/White Heat (1968), before the stand-out releases of The Velvet Underground (1969), and the exemplary Loaded (1970). But his mark was left heavily.
After leaving the Velvet Underground, Cale gave himself to his solo career, releasing some 30 albums. Many of those albums are considered classic Cale fare, including Vintage Violence (1970), Paris 1919 (1973), and Slow Dazzle (1975). Later, he expanded his style to record the ambitious but important Words for the Dying (1989), an album that puts the words of Dylan Thomas's great "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" to a memorably beautiful orchestral piece.
In 2003, John Cale released HoboSapiens, which yielded “Zen,” a song that carries itself well with intriguing verses, hypnotic percussion, and challenging music. (You really should check that song out!) Remaining quite active in the recording studio, Cale followed that album up with the well-received blackAcetate (2005) and a short EP.
On October 1 in Europe, and October 2 in the US, the 70-year-old Cale will release his anticipated new album. Called Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood, this album will open with a Danger Mouse collaboration (“I Wanna Talk 2 U”). The album itself will yield 12 songs, and expectations are high that it will become as memorable as his other works.
“It's midnight, and our silver-tongued obsessions come at us out of the dark / Scrambling to be recognized before tearing themselves apart.”