John Cale | Fragments Of A Rainy Season + Slow Dazzle | 2 LP Vinyl Bundle

  • $ 51.99

Fragments Of A Rainy Season is the first live John Cale album to feature him performing solo and “unplugged” – before that term became a mid-’90s buzzword. In contrast to the jaundiced punk truculence of Sabotage/Live (1979) or Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1986), Fragments gives us Cale at his most melodic and moving, a mellowed and certainly a soberer man in a Yamamoto jacket and a lopsided haircut running through a selection of his prettiest songs.


The album features incredible versions of 'Paris 1919,' 'Dying On The Vine,' 'Chinese Envoy,' cover versions of the Elvis classic 'Heartbreak Hotel,' his devastating treatment of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' and a suite of Dylan Thomas' works 'On A Wedding Anniversary,' 'Lie Still, Sleep Becalmed' and 'Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.'


In 1975, mad scientist and Velvet Underground alum John Cale returned to the lab to record another experiment. Slow Dazzle, his fifth solo album and second collaboration with Roxy Music’s Brian Eno and Phil Manzanera, dissects rock and avant-garde, hacks the limbs off of pop and jazz, and fuses the styles together into a limber, impassioned creation.

Back on domestic vinyl for the first time in decades, this RTI-pressed edition of Slow Dazzle is cut at Mobile Fidelity by in-house engineer Krieg Wunderlich and features stunning sonics. Quiet surfaces, faithful artwork, and the opportunity to hear Cale’s incisive fare unfold amidst wide soundstages and black backgrounds—not to mention the emotionally unsettling content within—make this Wax Cathedral LP a must for music aficionados.

Sometimes jaunty and beer-soaked, sometimes maniacally spitting into the microphone about killing his wife’s lover, sometimes despairing, sometimes sweet, Cale holds forth with schizophrenic authority. Manzanera’s sordid guitar dirges ambidextrously switch to cheerful riffs as Eno’s synthesizer rubber-bands its way through sunshine and smoke-machine fog. Chris Thomas, who recorded with the Beatles and engineered albums for Pink Floyd and the Sex Pistols, throws haunted violin and dissonant electric piano into the formula.

Whether he’s heaping neon sleaze atop earnest surf harmonies in an ode to the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson ("Mr. Wilson"), lulling you into a blurred, easy-listening trance ("Ski Patrol," "I’m Not the Loving Kind"), or growling a pre-goth era cover of Elvis’ "Heartbreak Hotel” with mascara-running intensity, Cale delivers an elastic range of artistry. Ditties like “Dirty Ass Rock ‘N’ Roll” and “Guts” place psychopath tendencies into the body of a catchy pop song, turn up the electricity, twitch, and grab.

By all means, Cale’s experiment was a success. Slow Dazzle is alive.


Track Listing 

Fragments Of A Rainy Season 

LP 1
1. On A Wedding Anniversary
2. Lie Still, Sleep Becalmed
3. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
4. Cordoba
5. Buffalo Ballet
6. A Child’s Christmas In Wales
7. Darling I Need You
8. Guts
9. Ship Of Fools
10. Leaving It Up To You
LP 2
1. The Ballad Of Cable Hogue
2. Chinese Envoy
3. Dying On The Vine
4. Fear (Is A Man’s Best Friend)
5. Heartbreak Hotel
6. Style It Takes
7. Paris 1919
8. (I Keep A) Close Watch
9. Thoughtless Kind
10. Hallelujah


Slow Dazzle

1 Mr. Wilson

2 Taking It All Away
3 Dirty-Ass Rock 'N' Roll
4 Darling I Need You
5 Rollaroll
6 Heartbreak Hotel
7 Ski Patrol
8 I'm Not the Loving Kind
9 Guts
10 The Jeweller