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, 1968 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (3) Otis Redding, (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay ~ #2 (2) Dionne Warwick, Theme From Valley Of The Dolls ~ #1 (1) Paul Mauriat & his Orchestra, Love Is Blue (l'Amour Est Blue)


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

Lou Reed & John Cale ~ Songs For Drella (1990) ~ Ranked #19 SPIN Albums Of The Year in 1990.

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

The Velvet Underground spent the early part of their career as the musical component of Pop artist and impresario Andy Warhol's 1960s multi-media ‘happenings.’ In the following decades, however, the influence of the Velvets' sometimes druggy, sometimes aggressive sound would permeate virtually every ‘alternative’ corner of popular music, laying the seeds for punk rock and opening up new possibilities for lyricists and musicians alike. During their time together, though, the members of the Velvet Underground had to contend with hostile critics, unappreciative crowds, indifferent record companies, and playing quite literally in the shadow of Warhol's extravaganzas. ~ Musicianguide: The Velvet Underground ~ retrieved February 26, 2014 © Musicianguide

The Velvet Underground ~ Inducted in the 1996 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame ~ If ever a band was “ahead of its time,” it was the Velvet Underground. ~ 1996 © Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

The Velvet Underground ~ The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967) ~ Ranked #5 Rolling Stone 100 Greatest Debut Albums Of All Time in 2013 ~ Much of what we take for granted in rock would not exist without this New York band or its debut. ~ 2013 © Rolling Stone

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