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The Island Years Box set, Double CD

4.7 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

Price: £6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Frequently Bought Together

  • The Island Years
  • +
  • Paris 1919
  • +
  • Vintage Violence
Total price: £16.06
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Product details

  • Audio CD (30 Aug. 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Box set, Double CD
  • Label: Universal / Island
  • ASIN: B000001E9K
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,568 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Just because an artist is great, does not mean the artist will sell a lot of records. Mr Cale (along with Mr Thompson et al) is one of Britain's geatest musical treasures. For almost 40 years now, he has consistently proven himself a highly inventive, original and visionary composer of pop songs and avant-garde instrumental works. He is unique and remarkably at 63, still producing stunning music. I went to see him play this year and although, sadly isn't nearly as manic as he once was (climbing under his keyboard for song or screaming like a lunatic!) seeing and hearing the statesman (for me a first) was still a powerful and wonderful experience. He genuinely appears to be one of the few artists that does not believe in pandering to his audience. It's his world and we can take it or leave it. It's easy to feel dissapointed that such an enduring artist is playing to appoximately 400 people per town and that his records (if ever they were not cult and lacked media attention) are selling mostly to harcore fans only now.

It doesn't matter.

John Cale, like all great artists transcends record sales and popularity polls. We are lucky to be able to enjoy such music from a genuine talent. Celebrate the man.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If there is one good thing to be said about CD's, this-John Cale's Island anthology- should be exhibit A. All 3 of his Island albums plus a couple of extra tracks, in glorious sound, in a neat 2 CD package. It is among the most invigorating rock'n roll recorded in the 70's, a decade not exactly short of musical contenders. Cale's music in his Island years, to my ears, outstrips them all- yes, even his old buddy Lou Reed's work. Now this might seen like an outlandish claim, but listen to the music again, with the volume turned up loud. Some Dirty A-- Rock n' Roll !
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Format: Audio CD
Lou Reed is far and away the most famous of the former members of The Velvet Underground, a situation that is grossly unfair to at least one of his fellow band members. John Cale has assembled a body of work that should have guaranteed him fame and fortune, but while he has received much critical acclaim, he remains criminally under-appreciated by the wider public.

In the first half of the '70s, he recorded 5 albums that are absolute classics: "Paris 1919", "Vintage Violence", and his 3 Island records ("Fear", "Slow Dazzle" and "Helen of Troy"). This 2CD anthology collects the whole of those Island albums (along with a handful of other tracks recorded at the same time) and shows a musical genius at the height of his powers.

Imagine a compilation including "Hunky Dory", "Ziggy Stardust" and "Aladdin Sane", or "Here Come the Warm Jets", "Taking Tiger Mountain" and "Another Green World". That's how great this music is: it is original, intelligent music of the highest calibre.

Actually, the Eno comparison is apt, as the man himself collaborates with Cale throughout this set. Phil Manzanera is there as well, but the result sounds nothing like Roxy Music. There's a hint of Eno's early solo work (which is exactly contemporaneous with these recordings), but nevertheless the three albums are very much Cale's.

Don't let the fame fool you: buy this anthology and discover the real musical talent behind The Velvet Underground.
1 Comment 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Aug. 2001
Format: Audio CD
This brilliant collection contains John Cale's most accessible work, including some his most melodic songs like The Man Who Couldn't Afford To Orgy, Mr Wilson (tribute to Brian W), Ski Patrol (which reminds me of the John Berryman poem, "Song Of The Tortured Girl"), I Keep A Close Watch, Leaving It Up To You, Coral Moon, and also his most menacing: Fear, Gun, Guts, Heartbreak Hotel and the power trio of Dirty-ass Rock 'n Roll, Darling I Need You and Rollaroll, the high point of the "Slow Dazzle" album.
Of course, Cale is my favourite musician of all time and I'm saying this from the perspective of a mainstream rock fan. I also love his more experimental work, including his collaborations with Brian Eno, Bob Neuwirth and Lou Reed, and of course his earlier stuff like Paris 1919. One can see how artists like Patti Smith and others were influenced by Cale's vision.
So, not only is this the best entry point for those wishing to investigate the work of this genius, it is also handy to have those three seminal Island albums together in one place. For completists, I also recommend his anthology "Seducing Down The Door," with the warning that it only contains Dirty-Ass Rock 'n Roll without the other two of the "power trio" mentioned above.
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By A Customer on 26 Jun. 2000
Format: Audio CD
I bought this at the same time as "Seducing Down The Door" because I wanted THOSE 3 TRACKS from Slow Dazzle in sequence: Dirtyass Rock 'n Roll, Darling I Need You & Rollaroll. I think his Island period produced his most accessible work --tracks that should have made it Top 5 on the charts are: Fear, Gun, Man Who Couldn't Afford To Orgy, Ski Patrol, My Maria, Mr Wilson, Taking It All Away and Those 3! . New tracks I hadn't heard before are all good: You & Me, Coral Moon, Mary Lou, Bamboo Floor. Buy this one and buy "seducing Down The Door" too -- only about 7 tracks are duplicated.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
dont know why but i struggle with john cale.have bought many of his albums and i always seem to find them hit and miss.this is exactly the same .some i love and some i dont.sorry.
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