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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chaos from Order.
Visitors to Ess Towers - apart from being startled by the academic atmosphere - occasionally comment as to the musical appetites of the eager host, often with the charmingly quizzical: "Who the f*** is this ? " or "Get that s*** off !" - - preferring common drivel.
As clubbing people to death for possessing shocking taste is frowned upon by the over-pc boundaries of...
Published on 15 Mar. 2013 by Paul Ess.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Music is a 5 - But this Release is a 1
I won't comment on the music. This album - and the other three in this series of releases - were recorded in the 70's and have stood the test of time. For me they're essential, and I've owned each of them on CD two times before (making this the third).

I did however want to give a heads up about this specific release. On the face of it this looks like a...
Published 23 months ago by Vaughan


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Music is a 5 - But this Release is a 1, 31 May 2013
This review is from: Fear (Audio CD)
I won't comment on the music. This album - and the other three in this series of releases - were recorded in the 70's and have stood the test of time. For me they're essential, and I've owned each of them on CD two times before (making this the third).

I did however want to give a heads up about this specific release. On the face of it this looks like a Japanese Mini LP release. When you consider they have the audacity to claim they are "audiophile" releases, you have to wonder what could possibly go wrong. Well, quite a lot actually.

My first problem was not insurmountable - the sleeves themselves. These are rather cheap and nasty, with glue residue inside which prevents the discs going in properly unless they're placed just so. Japanese style then, but not the quality.

The second problem is by far the most significant - these releases (yes, all of them) are tinny, shrill, and thin. I happen to be listening on an audiophile system (Linn) and let me tell you, there's nothing "audiophile" about them. They are by far the worse these have sounded on CD. Do yourself a favor and get the vastly superior The Island Years which has a) Better sound; and b) an actual booklet with useful information in it (not to mention a couple bonus tracks!)

Avoid these new reissues. I've been burned, but you needn't be.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chaos from Order., 15 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Fear (Audio CD)
Visitors to Ess Towers - apart from being startled by the academic atmosphere - occasionally comment as to the musical appetites of the eager host, often with the charmingly quizzical: "Who the f*** is this ? " or "Get that s*** off !" - - preferring common drivel.
As clubbing people to death for possessing shocking taste is frowned upon by the over-pc boundaries of societal niceties in the U.K, the swami has no recourse but to strank like a toddler and comply.

Things of great beauty alarm people - especially now. Pop music needs to be ugly, manipulative and last barely a week for anyone to pay it the most minimal of neccessary heed. Today's 'kids' are not going to be playing Peter Andre or Black Eyed Peas in 30 years time, so where is today's 'Closer,' 'Blood on the Tracks,' or 'Into the Music' ? The cliche: "I didn't like it at first, but after a few plays, I really do.." is becoming steadily redundant for the simple reason that no-one gets the time to. The slow-burner has (deliberately) all but become extinct.
'Fear' is such a slow-burner; it is very much kin to Peter Hamill's excellent 'Patience' album. Initially, the songs appear dirge-like, distended, sluggish even; but after three listens things begin to drop forcefully into place. It's a wonderful realisation; like all the great pleasures in life: women, alcohol, caffeine, drugs and automobiles - you try a few out before you land the one that suits you. 'Fear' is just the same. It stands to a wonderful kind of sense. A warm beauty; a welcoming, homely sense of style. Cale sweeps from one lugubrious show-stopper to the next, affording 'Fear' the kind of disdainful "oh, that little thing.." off-handedness that all great art possesses to a large degree. A worryingly simple song such as 'Buffalo Ballet' can stay with you for days, yet you get the impression that he spent 20 minutes writing it.

People don't realise how subversive a pretty little ditty can be - otherwise consumed by other creators that announce their worthy intentions with bang and clang - 'Fear' is SO subtle it almost fails to register. Despite the beauty (or maybe because of it ! ), Cale is ruthless. An assassin of themes; a killer of concepts; a bullet in the gullet of the hippy/glam/disco/pre-punk culture that bore his album. You can taste his sour brilliance and feel it's nip.
It'll never go out of style because it's never been in.

'Fear' is marvelous; an enterprise of standing and colossal ingenuity. You can't always rely on pedigree (see Lou Reed's poorer later stuff) and eventually it becomes plain old unjustified diety-worship (see Bono, Bowie, Clapton, McCartney et al; people who've only to wake from their comas and move their bowels once every 5 years to pulsate the masses with sycophantic adoration), so it's always a genuine joy to see greatness in it's proper setting. It deserves the sanctification; justifies every accolade; proves and maintains it's strutting peacock reputation.
It DOES make sense when you think about it - but do it now before thinking becomes obsolete.
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Fear
Fear by John Cale (Audio CD - 2013)
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