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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
20
The Island Years
Format: MP3 Download|Change
Price:£21.99


on 10 May 2015
I didnt know of John Cale, and bought this out of curiosity more than anything else. I'm glad I did, I think its wonderful, it's a collection of superb songs, all inventive and refreshing.
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on 8 February 2016
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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on 1 March 2007
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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on 7 December 2016
New artist for me no complaints
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on 9 November 2016
got the vinyl, time for the cd's to save faffing with turntable
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on 28 May 2006
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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on 14 August 2001
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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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 16 December 2016
You do feel like you're entering a different world when you listen to John Cale, whether his early masterpiece Paris 1919 {not represented here} or the slightly later Island albums such as Fear, Slow Dazzle and Helen of Troy, all of which are mined for their treasures on this magnificent compilation, including excellent booklet with photos, full track listings, and notes by Ben Edmonds.
John Davies Cale OBE never lost his Welsh accent {from just north of Swansea} which, along with his edgy and rather mournful baritone voice, gives any song he sings its unique quality. And there's hardly a dud number on this generous 36-track selection, merely one or two that are less compelling than the rest. After all, Cale has enviable form: to be able to say you were a founder member of the Velvet Underground is prestige enough, but the man's also been involved with so many interesting singers and musicians over the years, from Nico to Kevin Ayers and Eno. He has without doubt been one of the chief influences on Nick Cave, and anyone singing or playing the kind of 'out-there' music on the periphery of what we generically call rock.
John Cale, quiet catalyst, rare singer, viola maestro, offbeat songwriter, Welsh legend ~ good to have you around, Mr Cale.

Essential.
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on 26 January 2007
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.
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on 1 January 2006
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 Wilson), 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 and innovator, 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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