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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome expanded reissue of classic Cale album
Rhino are on pleasant form at present, reissuing the original `Nuggets', issuing those legendary Judee Sill albums, releasing the definitive Replacements' compilation, and now reissuing a remastered/expanded version of `Paris 1919', one of Cale's most popular albums. First things first, the packaging and sound is much better, it's nice to see the compact disc look like a...
Published on 2 July 2006 by Jason Parkes

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful recording quality
While this is a terrific album as far as the music is concerned, the actual disk is terrible. There is extreme distortion and fuzz overlaying the music, very noticeable, for instance, in the first 20 seconds of the second track. I have the original LP from 1973, and there's no noise on it, so it was apparently introduced in the making of the CD. I have just gotten my...
Published 16 months ago by Chris in Virginia


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome expanded reissue of classic Cale album, 2 July 2006
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Paris 1919 (Audio CD)
Rhino are on pleasant form at present, reissuing the original `Nuggets', issuing those legendary Judee Sill albums, releasing the definitive Replacements' compilation, and now reissuing a remastered/expanded version of `Paris 1919', one of Cale's most popular albums. First things first, the packaging and sound is much better, it's nice to see the compact disc look like a Reprise record, but the many bonus tracks are merely curios, like most DVD-extras. The out-take `Burned Out Affair' is rather great, but I'm not sure I'd listen to any of the other versions again - perhaps this is due to the fact `Paris 1919' is kind of perfect anyway?

Following his exit from the Velvet Underground, Cale flipped between the avant and rock worlds, frequently fusing them together - whether as arranger/uncredited producer on Nico's `The Marble Index', or as producer of The Stooges' debut, or collaborating with Terry Riley (`Church of Anthrax'), or releasing the overlooked and rather splendid `Vintage Violence' (a precursor of the material here). Recorded with a band - Cale alongside Lowell George, Wilton Felder & Richie Hayward - with the UCLA Symphony Orchestra and producer Chris Thomas, `Paris 1919' remains one of Cale's strongest albums - though I'm as enamoured with `Fear', `Helen of Troy' & `Music for a New Society'. This probably is the one, however...

It's pop music, of sorts, `Child's Christmas in Wales' has the studio nous of Steely Dan and operates in a similar plain to the Eno-era work of Roxy Music. `Half Past France' and `Paris 1919' make clear that this is one of those European albums, alongside Nico's `The Marble Index' and `Desertshore' - Cale fusing his classical/avant-classical sensibilities with some gorgeous songs. Hard to single out a track on the album - it's so perfect - one of those albums that can just be played all the way through. `Macbeth' can be seen to anticipate the `Dirty Ass Rock'N'Roll' side of his canon, but otherwise this remains fixed at some point between classical and rock and roll.

Cale has often recorded great tracks - `The Jeweller', `Gun', his definitive take on Cohen's `Hallelujah' (ripped off by Jeff Buckley), `Riverbank', `Cable Hogue', `Mr Wilson', `Mercenaries (Ready for War!)' etc, I would have said his work is often well served by compilations like `The Island Years' and `Seducing Down the Door', if not the fantastic live solo recording `Fragments of a Rainy Season.' But `Paris 1919' needs to be owned too - a classic album given a thoughtful reissue.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cale's definitive songwriter album, 3 Dec 2004
By 
This review is from: Paris 1919 (Audio CD)
John Cale had a already become a man of indefinable talents long before the release of Paris 1919, yet for me his best work inside or outside the Velvet Underground can be found in this album, part of his peak songwriting period (which includes the darker textures of Fear). The beauty of his lyricism is haunting. Cale's literacy is very much an undervalued weapon and becomes striking in the albums fulcrum and title track, a sly critique of the high authority of the church. The tracks have a historical quality which resonate with wit and cunningly smooth balladeering. The arrangements are exceptional and easy on the ear, making this an essential touchstone for newcomers.
One obvious point after repeated listens is the curious lack of widespread praise in comparison to the notably patchy nature of Lou Reed's catalogue. Reed, of course, made several worthy albums in Transformer and the underrated Berlin, but nothing comparable in coherence or lasting quality to Cale.
Cale's best songs are here, anyone having sampled his collections or other albums would be pushed to disagree (though his work with Eno and his production roles are key for further investigation). 'Hanky Panky' and 'Andalucia' have a majestic warmth, while 'Half past France' is a reflective masterstroke. The understated touch of the later tracks cannot be mirrored in my understatement for this album. It is a definitive british recording.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great album with so so extras, 4 July 2006
By 
russell clarke "stipesdoppleganger" (halifax, west yorks) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Paris 1919 (Audio CD)
Mention the name John Cale in casual conversation and there is a risk you will be discussing the pervasive influence of the Velvet Underground on contemporary music till you eyelids wither from boredom. That or you will be regaled on how "Music For A New Society" is a bleak masterpiece. Or just as likely the other person will look at you like you have suddenly acquired a badger sprouting from your left nostril and enquire "John who?"

What is beyond doubt is Cale is a great artist , and while "Music For A New Society " is a very fine album there is a very persuasive argument that his masterpiece is "Paris 1919". Released in 1973 Cale titled the album after the 1919 Paris peace conference where the burnished glitterati of the world set out its agenda and order for the 20th Century. There are nine songs spread over 31minutes encompassing powerful themes-ennui, homesickness, turmoil, and the erosion of political boundaries- to ambiguous often imponderable lyrics.

The music is stately and melodiously sumptuous, utilising plump orchestration and tense layers of keyboard. Whether it is the baroque magnificence of the title track or the lilting yet gorgeous ballad "Andalucia" the album is relentlessly brilliant. "Hanky Panky Nohow" is an esemplasitc tower of melancholic melody. "Half Past France" sounds uncannily like a track off Enos "Before And After Science" four years before it was released. "Childs Christmas In Wales "glows with layers of tender instrumentation and effulgent detail. "The Endless Plain Of Fortune" is wonderfully sombre and portentous with a lovely high register guitar counter pointing the monochromatic walls of orchestration. "Macbeth" is by contrast verging on glam rock with a stomping arrangement and juicy scowls of guitar. "Graham Greene" is a perky vaudeville misprint with it's eccentric but caustic couplets including the choice line "Welcome back to Chipping and Sodbury". Final track "Antarctica Starts Here" is sung in a stage whisper and is a repressed little song with softly stroked keyboard notes, gentle acoustics and sparse but languid bass backing.

At the risk of being controversial I would say that this expanded version is rather superfluous. The extra tracks apart from one new song -"Burned Out Affair" which is nothing to get carried away about -are all demos or inferior versions ruined by extraneous chatter. The original album is perfect as it is ....these just break the spell that Paris 1919 so effortlessly and ravishingly casts.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Baroque and roll classic, 25 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Paris 1919 (Audio CD)
Paris 1919 is John Cale's finest album, a one-stop shop embracing orchestral rock (the title track, Child's Christmas in Wales), out and out rock 'n' roll (Macbeth), cod reggae (Graham Greene) and some of the most evocative ballads ever commited to tape (Half Past France, Andalucia). Rejecting this orchestral route, and later dismissing the album as a 'Procol Harum soundalike', Cale went on to make the more biting, but equally brilliant rock albums, Fear and Slow Dazzle, but Paris 1919 is still probably the best introduction to John Cale for the uninitiated, and his regular live shows are testament to the fact that these songs don't require any embellishements to stand the test of time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Cale - Paris 1919, 19 Dec 2009
By 
Ms. M. M. L. Packwood (Wellingborough UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Paris 1919 (Audio CD)
This is such a beautiful album. John Cale has a haunting voice and its streets ahead of his work with Velvet Underground. I love Andalucia - one of my favourite songs ever. And a Child's Christmas in wales. It was a definitive album to own in the 70s. If you walked into someone's flat and they had John Cale's Paris 1919 you knew they were cool and switched on. marlene packwood
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1919, 3 May 2010
By 
M. E. Dunn "maurdunn" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Paris 1919 (Audio CD)
brilliant album full of melodic, beautiful, witty, creative stories but all touched by john cale's sharp edgy style
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have, 13 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Paris 1919 (Audio CD)
This is one of the albums that I will play over and over again and never tire of the lyrics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why can't I transfer my cd to flac???, 21 Oct 2012
By 
James Grady (Norwich, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Paris 1919 (Audio CD)
One of the great lps. I've already bought on vinyl and again as a cd. Why, when I try to convert it to a FLAC file, does it come up like it's being played with a bent needle? Is this one of those cds with something in it to prevent switching it to another device? I've successfully ripped it before as a 320 mp3.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant & melodious, 5 July 2009
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Paris 1919 (Audio CD)
This classic 1973 album has been enhanced by the addition of 11 tracks of demos and alternate takes. Paris 1919 is atypical for John Cale, being consistently tuneful and mainstream with little experimentation. Some of his most poetic lyrics are found on these elegant songs, most of which are ballads that bring to mind the music of Scott Walker at his creative peak on Boy Child 67-70. A reggae ditty and a powerful rock song ensure stylistic variety.

There is a subdued, desolate air about Child's Christmas in Wales, Hanky Panky Nohow and Half Past France while subdued, whispered vocals make Antarctica a brooding, moody track. With its impressive orchestral backing Paris 1919 is less of a rock album than most of his best later work, like for example the three Island Years albums. The exception is Macbeth, a robust, even blistering slice of up-tempo rock.

The ballad arrangements may be orchestral but the melodies are simple and appealing for the most part, as on the lovely Andalucia. The delightful title track with its edgy arrangement, birdsong and refrain of "you're a ghost, la la la" is especially striking, while the lilting reggae beat and trenchant lyrics of Graham Greene render it catchy and charming. Paris 1919 is simultaneously a very 'literary' album and Cale at his most accessible. The bonus tracks are interesting but there's nothing exceptional about any of them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic masterpiece, 13 April 2008
This review is from: Paris 1919 (Audio CD)
Even after 25 odd years, this album produced by Chris Thomas still shines as Cale's easy-listening Masterpiece.

Highly recommended!
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Paris 1919
Paris 1919 by John Cale (Audio CD - 1993)
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