John Cale’s Fear Haunts the Velvet Underground Canon

Ghost Echoes dials back to 1974 to revisit the iconic solo album

Ghost Echoes - John Cale
Ghost Echoes – John Cale

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    After leaving the Velvet Underground, John Cale split his time between state-of-the-art experimental music and sweet symphonic pop. On his fourth solo album, 1974’s Fear, those two sides finally converged. In the seventh episode of Ghost Echoes, we learn how and stumble into a revelation involving Velvet Underground’s catalogue.

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    Music and Sound Notes:

    — The John Cale tracks heard here are “Hello, There” from the album Vintage Violence, the title track from The Church of Anthrax with Terry Riley, “Brahms” from The Academy in Peril, “Child’s Christmas in Wales” and the title track from Paris 1919, and “Baracudda,” “Gun,” “Fear is a Man’s Best Friend,” and “Ship of Fools” from Fear.

    — Also appearing: “Venus in Furs” and “I’m Set Free” by the Velvet Underground, and “Day of Niagara” by the Theatre of Eternal Music.

    Further reading, listening:

    — Biographical information on Cale came from this BBC documentary, Matthew Murphy’s review of Paris 1919 in Pitchfork, and Ben Edmonds’ liner notes for the CD set John Cale: The Island Years. In these times, we use what’s nearby. God, I miss the library.


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