John Cale, singer
Velvet Underground
birth name: John Davies Cale

John Cale

March 9, 1942, Garnant, Wales

“Even if you're improvising, the fact that beforehand you know certain things will work helps you to make those improvisations successful most of the time.” ~ John Cale

While John Cale is one of the most famous and, in his own way, influential underground rock musicians, he is also one of the hardest to pin down stylistically. Much has been made of his schooling in classical and avant-garde music, yet much of what he's recorded has been decidedly song-oriented, dovetailing close to the mainstream at times. ~ Allmusic: John Cale ~ retrieved June 18, 2013 © Allmusic

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March 9, 1974 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (2) Barbra Streisand, The Way We Were ~ #2 (4) Eddie Kendricks, Boogie Down ~ #1 (1) Terry Jacks, Seasons In The Sun


Cale's talents as a classically trained arranger and his interest in experimentalism had lent the Velvet Underground much of their mystique and musical sophistication. In addition to utilizing these elements, Cale's solo career proved that he was also a great songwriter and a mesmerizing performer - capable of both a dream-like frailty and a phobic fury that earned him the reputation as a progenitor of the late 1970s punk rock movement. ~ Musicianguide: John Cale ~ retrieved June 18, 2013 © Musicianguide

John Cale ~ Paris 1919 (1973) ~ Named one of the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die in 2008.

As a Producer or co-producer

As a Session musician, guest or band member

Nick Drake ~ Bryter Layter (1970) ~ Ranked #55 Pitchfork Top 100 Albums Of The 1970s in 2004 ~ Perhaps some of the classiest easy listening ever penned. ~ 2004 © Pitchfork

The Velvet Underground

Although the Velvet Underground never achieved great commercial success, their idiosyncratic mixture of harsh guitars and smooth melodies sung by Reed or model Nico proved enduring. The band's influence on rock, art rock and punk was memorably summed up by Brian Eno's observation that although the first Velvet Underground album may have sold only 30,000 copies in its first few years, “everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band.” ~ The Guardian: Lou Reed Obituary ~ October 27, 2013 © The Guardian

The Velvet Underground ~ Ranked #19 Rolling Stone 100 Greatest Artists in 2004 ~ “The Velvet Underground were way ahead of their time. And their music was weird. But it also made so much sense to me. I couldn't believe this wasn't the most popular music ever made. Listening to those four studio albums now is like reading a good book that takes place in a distant time.” ~ Julian Casablancas, The Strokes ~ 2004 © Rolling Stone

Velvet Underground ~ Velvet Underground (1969) ~ Ranked #316 Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time in 2012 ~ The album that turned folk music inside out. ~ 2012 © Rolling Stone

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