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Circus Live (Standard 2cd/DVD Edition) [Australian Import] [CD+DVD, PAL, Import, Box set]

John Cale Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: 21.80 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Circus Live (Standard 2cd/DVD Edition) [Australian Import] + Extra Playful EP
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Product details

  • Audio CD (22 Oct 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD+DVD, PAL, Import, Box set
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B000LMQ164
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,153 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

BBC Review

Now approaching his mid-sixties, the original Welsh drone miserablist is still seemingly in the midst of his second wind as a vital artist. Or maybe it's his third or fourth!Whatever, he's on fire, and Circus proves it again. Drawn from last year's tour with his new young band it works on two levels: as a handy overview of just about each aspect of his 40 year career, and as a simply great, visceral experience.

Bravely tackling (and re-tooling) not only his own, but also some Velvets' classics, deftly mixed with gems from his last couple of albums, this is the sound of Cale enjoying himself. Beginning with the familiar, forbidden pleasures of 'Venus In Furs' (he mauls 'Femme Fatale' as well, in a spooky 21st century way), he wields his viola with aplomb, while his voice grows even more authorative with age - the cracks perfectly suiting Cale standards of yore such as "Buffalo Ballet" and 'Hanky Panky Nohow'.

But that's not to say that this is some kind of nostalgia-fest. Where possible, JC stretches the fabric of the oldies to give an added techno edge and also (you suspect) just plain mess with your head. "Gun" becomes virtually unrecognisable while again he turns in another harrowing reinvention of "Heartbreak Hotel". Detractors may point to the band's tightness as verging on muso territory (especially the astounding guitar work) but frankly, with something as life-affirming as this it's churlish to complain. Dirty-ass rock 'n' roll indeed! --Chris Jones

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Product Description

3CD 2Cd + Dvd

Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Circus Live 25 Feb 2007
Format:Audio CD
Don't hesitate. Buy this album. It is magnificent.

New to John Cale? ... this album will make you explore his previous work.

Already know his older work? ....then it gives you such different interpretations of his standards, starting with Venus in Furs.

Feel the drum onslaught hitting your senses when Pablo Picasso segues into Mary Lou. Hear Femme Fatale hypnotically blend into Rosegarden Funeral of Sores.

Listen to Heartbreak Hotel become more chillingly threatening with its less frenetic approach.

Already heard a fan's live recording of this tour? That's like listening wearing earmuffs. Play this version alongside and be in awe. The production combines the technical quality of a studio album with the freshness of a live gig. I'm catching differences on each new listen. Cale's voice will lure you into each track, then the instruments will chug you along.

To add cream on top of this jam the current band gell perfectly with him.

This is ultimately Cale AND band performing.

To paraphrase Cale when he played Wrexham;

"Dai iawn, diolch. Nos da"

Declaration of interest

This is a biased review from a 70's Cale fan who rediscovered him in `06

Tom from Wrexham
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Cale 16 July 2007
By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This wonderfully presented box set offers a real insight into the range, depth and durability of John Cale's back catalogue.

Of the Reed-Cale duo, Lou Reed has been in the limelight for a long while. Cale has not produced the blockbuster album to match Reed's Trasformer. But steadily, quietly, Cale has put together an impressive back catalogue allowing him to fill two full CDs of live tracks with more spilling over into the DVD. And still you're left wondering how so many classics were left out.

In terms of the tracks, Cale shows a clear passion for the Helen of Troy album and the little known Sabotage album. Both are mined heavily for tracks. But these live tracks aren't straight lifts. My personal favourite, Mercenaries, is no longer a rocky, screamy track. It is slow, hypnotic and menacing. Rosegarden Funeral of Sores, too, as it's never been heard before. And Femme Fatale seems to have a new beat altogether. Some of the DVD tracks are splendid, with Heartbreak Hotel delivered as a terrifying avant garde white noise track. Graveldrive - a new one on me - was pure madness. But at the same time, Cale is able to soften things down for Style It Takes and Hanky Panky Nohow.

I'm dorry Cale didn't find space for some of his 1980s material - from Music for a New Society; Caribbean Sunset and, especially, Artificial Intelligence. But then again, what would you have left out?

This is a lavish presentation - at a giveaway price right now - and will leave you wanting more. If only CDs did encores.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unfamiliar with John Cale?....Then try this. 20 Mar 2007
Format:Audio CD
As the first John Cale item i have ever owned i feel i can give a fresh perspective to this album,untainted by familiarity.First up,this is a beautifully packaged set clearly intended to showcase John Cale,and it does this easily.

Musically,you get tracks from throughout the mans career,[including a staggering Venus in Furs to open the set],as well as tracks from many of Cales solo albums right up to Black Acetate.As a newcomer,i am really impressed with the overall sound of the album,and Cale's band treat the material,with both respect and restraint,and as such the performances sound much more than just a singer and hired guns[in particular,Deantoni Parks' drumming adds a slightly funky edge to the music].

Personally,my favorite track is the subtle,and quite gorgeous,Graveldrive which you will need to seek out on the adequate bonus dvd,[a missed opportunity to provide a great visual companion to the excellent audio].Overall,Circus acts as a very useful introduction to an artist i have avoided in the past [way too much baggage!!!],and has enabled me to reassess John Cale in my own time.For this alone i am grateful for the comprehensive nature of this release.Recommended.
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