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Fragments of a Rainy Season

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Album Review

It's hard to imagine John Cale on MTV, but if he appeared on Unplugged, the result probably would sound like this. Alone, Cale accompanies himself on acoustic piano and guitar, playing a retrospective set of some of his best and most accessible music. The emphasis is on his more contemplative material, such as the early Paris 1919 album, his later Words for the Dying, which features the poetry of Dylan Thomas set to music, and other notable Cale ballads. He does throw in some rock & roll fervor and some of his noisy avant-garde effects on numbers like "Guts," but for the most part this is a John Cale who, while intense, is quiet and dignified.


Born: March 9, 1942 in Garnant, Wales

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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. Terming him a forefather of punk and new wave isn't exactly accurate, either. Those investigating his work for the first time under that premise may be surprised...
Full Bio