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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perflectly titled, 13 July 2012
Charles Miller "objective clarity" (Baltimore, Maryland U.S.A.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Conflict & Catalysis (Audio CD)
A very strange release. Non-essential, however, fascinating for the Cale fan. It's premise is...
'Film directors have always been lionized by their industry and by fans who made household names of Ford, Hitchcock and Spielberg. Record producers, on the other hand, have by-and-large labored in near-anonymity outside the music business and the most devoted of followers.'
...and this CD compilation is remedy. If you came across this CD, but did not know the reasoning behind it and did not have access to the most excellent booklet that comes with it, you might shrug your shoulders. I haven't lived with it long enough to give a final appraisal, but at this point, I am viewing it as a historical (and sometimes great) non-fiction audio book.

Again, the booklet (explanations) are great. Brutally honest, in many cases, quoting the artists and their harsh complaints regarding working with Cale, in a few cases going as far as to disown the album he produced for them. Conversely, others cannot praise him enough. Apparently, he was the fly in the ointment, making the musicians he worked with miserable. He would not take their suggestions and insisted they work within his parameters. As a result, the title of this CD is absolutely perfect. It's as if that was Cale's sole goal when he produced. In case you haven't gathered by now, reading the book makes this bizarre compilation 100% relevant.

Musically, and as expected, there are some duds and some truly pleasant surprises. Overall, these tracks are on the plus side of the fence. I mean how bad can a compilation be with the likes of The Stooges, Patti Smith, Nico, Modern Lovers, Brian Eno and The Velvet Underground on board? It also sheds infinite light on so much I've read over the years, especially references from What's Welsh For Zen. Ah! At long last, I can hear what all the fuss was about.

Daily play? Never! A good introduction to John Cale? No! But his very heavy hand is present on all of these tracks, as is his viola and piano playing in many cases. Therefore, it is point-blank essential for the Cale completist.
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4.0 out of 5 stars CALE AS PRODUCER, 23 Aug. 2014
HAYLING BOOK & MUSIC VENUE (follow us on Face... (26 Rails Lane Hayling Island) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Conflict & Catalysis (Audio CD)
What a fascinating cover - very unusual. And this perhaps best illustrates what lies beneath. These are all tracks produced by John Cale, accompanied by a fabulous booklet - if only all CDs paid so much attention to detail.

In truth, the songs don't always hang well together. it's lovely to have 'Venus in Furs', 'Gloria' by Patti Smith and a very early demo of the Modern Lovers, which is quite fascinating.

However, many of the tracks here are worthy of skipping over making this a 'hit and miss' selection, but it is an interesting compilation and an acknowledgement of the talents of Cale...though I must admit, I prefer to hear him singing and playing.
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Conflict & Catalysis
Conflict & Catalysis by John Cale (Audio CD - 2012)
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