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The Academy In Peril

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Though John Cale is best known as the noisy provocateur from The Velvet Underground, his career has featured a variety of styles and approaches. His classical training was often used to assault rock 'n' roll, but he also enjoyed piecing together more sedate compositions. The Academy in Peril is a look into Cale's classical background. Yet should anyone think Cale's taking himself too seriously here, there's "Legs Larry at Television Centre," where he can be heard directing the song's string quartet in the role of an uptight TV man. "King Harry," as the only song with actual words, comments on a dying King Henry VIII in whispers. Elsewhere, there's a gorgeous serenity to the solo piano pieces, the title track, and the greatly dramatic "Brahms." Had he written lyrics, "Days of Steam" would've rolled out as a tune perfect for a conventional Cale solo album. The self-explanatory "3 Orchestral Pieces" features Cale working with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. 


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...
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The Academy In Peril, John Cale
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