THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD
637) John Cale — “Gideon’s Bible”
What, the Velvet Underground’s classically-trained demon’s first solo album was . . . pure pop pleasure?! Yup, and peak pleasure is “Gideon’s Bible”, though I have to admit the lyrics are fairly inscrutable.
As Brendan says, “Cale proves he’s got mad pop song skills to match his solid, driving piano stomping. No doubt some of these songs should have been hits.” (http://therisingstorm.net/john-cale-vintage-violence/) And as Syd Fablo says:
John Cale’s solo debut is shocking. One might have expected some all-out avant-rock akin to what Cale did with The Velvet Underground. Maybe some droning classical compositions . . . . [or] maybe even something like the albums he produced for The Stooges and Nico. Instead he delivered a Bee Gees Odessa, a Beach Boys Sunflower, or something along those lines at least.
John Cale – Vintage Violence
John Cale had the strongest avant-garde credentials of anyone in the Velvet Underground, but he was also the Velvet whose solo career was the least strongly defined by his work with the band, and his first solo album, Vintage Violence, certainly bears this out. While the banshee howls of Cale’s viola and the percussive stab of his keyboard parts were his signature sounds on The Velvet Underground and Nico and White Light/White Heat, Cale’s first solo album, 1970’s Vintage Violence, was a startlingly user-friendly piece of mature, intelligent pop whose great failing may have been being a shade too sophisticated for radio. Cale’s work with the Velvets was purposefully rough and aurally challenging, but Vintage Violence is buffed to a smooth, satin finish . . . . Cale has rarely sounded this well-adjusted on record, though his lyrical voice is usually a bit too cryptic to stand up to a literal interpretation of his words. If Cale wanted to clear out a separate and distinct path for his solo career, he certainly did that with Vintage Violence . . . .
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