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Music for a New Society [Import]

John Cale Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Mar 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B0000033C7
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 398,880 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Taking Your Life In Your Hands
2. Thoughtless Kind
3. Sanities
4. If You Were Still Around
5. (I Keep A) Close Watch
6. Broken Bird
7. Chinese Envoy
8. Changes Made
9. Damn Life
10. Rise, Sam And Rimsky-Korsakov
11. In The Library Of Force

Product Description

Catalogue number R2 71743 on the Rhino label with a 6 page (12 side) front insert lyric booklet and the following tracks: 1> Taking Your Life In Your Hands [4:45], 2> Thoughtless Kind [2:37], 3> Sanities [5:58], 4> If You Were Still Around [3:25], 5> (I Keep A) Close Watch [3:06], 6> Broken Bird [4:43], 7> Chinese Envoy [3:09], 8> Changes Made [3:11], 9> Damn Life [5:10], 10> Risť, Sam And Rimsky-Korsakov [2:12], 11> In The Library Of Force [5:56].

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bleak masterpiece 7 Mar 2007
Format:Audio CD
Absolutely criminal that not generally available. This is the pinnacle of Cale's musical career so far - a unique blend of desolation and beauty.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of misery. 17 Oct 2003
Format:Audio CD
Yes it's bleak. Yes it's desolute. But that is the whole point - if you're after a Saturday night party record then this isn't for you. But, it needs to be filed alongside such masterpieces as Joy Division's Closer and David Bowie's Low. It is quite simply one of the most unique albums ever made - not for everyone but absolutely unforgettable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Desperately in need of reissue. 31 Aug 2013
Format:Audio CD
Cale was clawing at his own flesh when writing and recording this. He sounds throughout like a man at the end of his tether. Which makes the moments of beauty genuinely arresting, little oasis in a desert of mental agony. A masterpiece if one that takes a lot of getting used to and a truly cathartic experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uneasy Listening... 22 Dec 2009
By Og Oggilby VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
I echo the comments of others who opine that it is criminal that this album is unavailable. 'Music For A New Society' is an extremely dark, mordant affair, a world away from his melodic days of 'Paris 1919'. Many of the songs here lack a formal verse / chorus song structure, and the music is frequently fragmentary, at times almost bitten off in chunks. However, it is never less than compelling, and with tracks such as the (re-recorded) 'I Keep A Close Watch' and 'The Chinese Envoy', there are moments of glacial grace and beauty. 'Sanities', the harrowing, narrated piece, with the menacing repeated lyrical motif, 'White with time' is genuinely scary, whilst the opening track, 'Taking Your Life In Your Hands', apparently about a murder, is similarly unsettling. There may only be one time a year when you want to listen to this, but when that occasion arises (a bit like 'Trout Mask Replica'), only 'Music For A New Society' will do.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Of This Earth 1 Mar 2011
By manicm
Format:Audio CD
Having listened to it for the first time it is simultaneously beautiful, unsettling, stark, elegiac, elegant, disturbing and ugly.

There is simply no other album like this, not least in Cale's own discography. The astounding thing about this album though is that it does not sound dated at all. Even though it was released in 1982 the production is timeless - notice his use of synthesisers - very Enoish and not cheesy at all, except perhaps for the drums on a few tracks.

And seeing that this album was released in '82, if you think about it and put the pieces together, this is very much a companion piece to Pink Floyd's The Final Cut in 1983. Both albums were uncharacteristically introspective at the time for their respective artists, and obviously world affairs were on both artists' minds like the Britain/Argentina standoff.

Albums like this are only once in a lifetime. Alas it's ironically unobtainable now.
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