Search - John Cale :: Fear

John Cale
Genres: Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1

Reissue of the former Velvet Underground bassist's 1974 &first solo album for Island (and fifth overall). Guestsinclude Brian Eno on keyboards & Roxy Music guitarist PhilManzanera. The record was Cale's third solo release ...  more »


Larger Image
Listen to Samples

CD Details

All Artists: John Cale
Title: Fear
Members Wishing: 7
Total Copies: 0
Label: Ume Imports
Original Release Date: 1/1/1974
Re-Release Date: 8/9/2004
Album Type: Import
Genres: Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
Styles: Hardcore & Punk, Experimental Music, Progressive, Progressive Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 042284814928, 0042284814928, 738476652026, 766485038623


Album Description
Reissue of the former Velvet Underground bassist's 1974 &first solo album for Island (and fifth overall). Guestsinclude Brian Eno on keyboards & Roxy Music guitarist PhilManzanera. The record was Cale's third solo release tofeature a pop vocal approach. N

CD Reviews

Fear is my best friend.
Lypo Suck | Hades, United States | 07/25/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

""Fear" laid the groundwork for the diverse and highly emotional nature of the 3 "Island" records, and is the first to introduce Cale's slightly reinvented, dichotomous modus operandi of balancing beautiful, sophisticated pop and tortured rage. Here Cale dives headlong into the dark, sometimes violent emotional turmoil prevalent on all three Island records.

Before "Fear," Cale created the baroque and highly accomplished "Paris 1919," a hauntingly melodic record fusing orchestral arrangements with slightly off-kilter pop and occasional country leanings. However, "Fear's" opener, "Fear is a Man's Best Friend," makes it immediately clear that Cale is taking us down a far darker and more disturbing path than before (albeit more refined than the floor-scraping cacophony he helped create in VU). Quite deceptively, the song begins with a catchy piano riff, but gradually devolves into Cale screaming his head off and beating the snot out of his bass until someone pulls the plug. A pivotal pre-punk moment; utterly primal and kind of scary!

Throughout, Cale navigates eclectic territory with fairly consistent results. Some songs are achingly pretty, like the country-ish "Buffalo Ballet," the mesmerizing, lush "Ship of Fools," and the weak-in-the-knees "You Know More Than I Know." Others are manic, visceral rockers, like the violent classic "Gun," featuring Roxy Music's Ray Manzanera's blistering guitar. However, the blues-raunch of "Momamma Scuba" is utterly forgettable. Hilarious, winsome pop gem "Man Who Couldn't Afford to Or*y" [I can't believe Amazon made me censor that word] shows subtle shades of Brian Wilson (a big influence on Cale). Cale successfully ties most of these varied stylistic threads together with his impassioned singing, grim/sardonic lyrics, and a knack for engaging hooks.

While "Fear" may be a bit of a mixed bag, it remains an awesome record that holds up quite well over 30 years later."
One of John Cale's Best Albums
M. Scagnelli | Brandon, Florida | 04/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Fear is easily one of Cale's best solo albums. It was recorded at the height og his career. This is my favorite period of his career, which is known as the "Island Years." Every song on this album is incredible. Fear is a Man's Best Friend is one of my favorite songs by Cale. Gun probably is my favorite. Barracuda is another great song. Ship of Fools is another great song. It almost sounds like a Vintage Violence type song.It is hard to not compare John Cale's solo career to Lou Reed's. Cale is much more consistent than Reed. Reed has some really incredible albums such as Transformer, Berlin, The Blue Mask, New York, Songs For Drella (done with Cale), and his new album Ecstacy. Reed, however has some albums that aren't that good. Cale does have his so-so albums, but he has a higher rate of good albums. Fear and Paris 1919 would equal any Reed album.This album is very hard to find, so I would reccomend buying it online. I highly reccomend this album to any fan of Cale, Reed, or VU."
Great album from the other talented guy from VU
Yosuke Kitazawa | Berkeley, CA USA | 02/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is definitely one of Cale's best albums. With help from such great musicians as Phil Manzanera and Eno (or non-musician as he likes to call himself), this album is filled with great lyrics, melodies, and production. Songs range from the hard rocking Gun (with a great Manzanera solo treated by Eno: like Roxy Music!), to the pretty ballad Emily, and songs like the powerful Fear is a Man's Best Friend and Ship of Fools lie somewhere in between. Unlike his other two album for Island that followed this album, the production is crystal clear and not overproduced, and all the songs are very strong, maybe with the exception of Momamma Scuba, which is kind of weak in my opinion. It has a similar guitar riff to his crazy cover of Heartbreak Hotel which would appear on his next album Slow Dazzle. If you can find it (I believe it's out of print), get the 2cd Island Years set because it has better sound than the import version, plus the previously-unavailble-on-cd b-side Sylvia Said is a great song, on par with the best songs on the album. If you're curious about Cale's work, start with this one. And if you are interested in his other work, get Paris 1919 (great orchestral rock), and Fragments of a Rainy Season (great solo live album; it showcases just how great a musician Cale is, esp. his piano playing skills)."