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John Davies Cale (born 9 March 1942) is a Welsh singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist probably best known as a founding member of the Music/VelvetUnderground. He's accomplished a lot more than that in his career, though, which has included numerous production credits and an extensive solo discography as well as several collaborations with other artists, including former Velvets bandmate Music/LouReed. Amongst the styles he has recorded in include modern classical, BaroquePop, FolkRock, proto-punk, ProgressiveRock, and drone. His best-known solo works are probably ''Paris 1919'' and his cover of Music/LeonardCohen's "Hallelujah", which is generally considered to have been a model for most of the other covers that followed, including Music/JeffBuckley's famous version.

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[[quoteright:325:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/john_cale.jpg]]
John Davies Cale (born 9 March 1942) is a Welsh singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist probably best known as a founding member of the Music/VelvetUnderground. He's accomplished a lot more than that in his career, though, which has included numerous production credits and an extensive solo discography as well as several collaborations with other artists, including former Velvets bandmate Music/LouReed. Amongst the styles he has recorded in include modern classical, BaroquePop, FolkRock, proto-punk, ProgressiveRock, and drone. His best-known solo works are probably ''Paris 1919'' and his cover of Music/LeonardCohen's "Hallelujah", which is generally considered to have been a model for most of the other covers that followed, including Music/JeffBuckley's famous version.


Cale's career continues to this day; he received a substantial boost when his cover of "Hallelujah" was featured in ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'' (although it is Wainwright's version that appears on the film soundtrack). He continues to produce some [[AwesomeMusic pretty awesome music]].

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Cale's career continues to this day; he received a substantial boost when his cover of "Hallelujah" was featured in ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'' (although it is Wainwright's version that appears on the film soundtrack). He continues to produce some [[AwesomeMusic [[SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic pretty awesome music]].


John Cale is a Welsh singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist probably best known as a founding member of the Music/VelvetUnderground. He's accomplished a lot more than that in his career, though, which has included numerous production credits and an extensive solo discography as well as several collaborations with other artists, including former Velvets bandmate Music/LouReed. Amongst the styles he has recorded in include modern classical, BaroquePop, FolkRock, proto-punk, ProgressiveRock, and drone. His best-known solo works are probably ''Paris 1919'' and his cover of Music/LeonardCohen's "Hallelujah", which is generally considered to have been a model for most of the other covers that followed, including Music/JeffBuckley's famous version.

to:

John Davies Cale (born 9 March 1942) is a Welsh singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist probably best known as a founding member of the Music/VelvetUnderground. He's accomplished a lot more than that in his career, though, which has included numerous production credits and an extensive solo discography as well as several collaborations with other artists, including former Velvets bandmate Music/LouReed. Amongst the styles he has recorded in include modern classical, BaroquePop, FolkRock, proto-punk, ProgressiveRock, and drone. His best-known solo works are probably ''Paris 1919'' and his cover of Music/LeonardCohen's "Hallelujah", which is generally considered to have been a model for most of the other covers that followed, including Music/JeffBuckley's famous version.


Cale's career continues to this day; he received a substantial boost when his cover of "Hallelujah" was featured in ''Film/{{Shrek}}'' (although it is Wainwright's version that appears on the film soundtrack). He continues to produce some [[AwesomeMusic pretty awesome music]].

to:

Cale's career continues to this day; he received a substantial boost when his cover of "Hallelujah" was featured in ''Film/{{Shrek}}'' ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'' (although it is Wainwright's version that appears on the film soundtrack). He continues to produce some [[AwesomeMusic pretty awesome music]].


Or we could give it all, we cou-gi-give-gi-giveitAAAAAAAALL!''\\
* CarefulWithThatAxeEugene: He's quite fond of this, especially before he sobered up.

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Or we could give it all, we cou-gi-give-gi-giveitAAAAAAAALL!''\\
cou-gi-give-gi-giveitAAAAAAAALL!''
* CarefulWithThatAxeEugene: CarefulWithThatAxe: He's quite fond of this, especially before he sobered up.


* {{Angrish}}: "Leaving It Up To You" is a smooth (if slightly menacing) midtempo rock song up until the end of the second verse, and then it all starts to get... weird.
-->''And it's sordid how life goes on when I could take you apart\\
And if you give me half a chance, I'd do it NOW!\\
...I'd do it NOW! RIGHT NOW, YA FASCIST!\\
I know we can all feel safe - [[UsefulNotes/CharlesManson like Sharon Tate]]!\\
Or we could give it all, we cou-gi-give-gi-giveitAAAAAAAALL!''\\
* CarefulWithThatAxeEugene: He's quite fond of this, especially before he sobered up.
* ContinuityNod: "Fear Is A Man's Best Friend" opens with a line nodding back to ''Music/TheVelvetUndergroundAndNico''
-->''Standing, waiting for a man to show...''



* DarkReprise: "I Keep a Close Watch", from ''Helen of Troy'', gets one of these on ''Music for a New Society''.

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* CoverVersion: His version of "[[Music/LeonardCohen Hallelujah]]" pretty much [[CoveredUp inspired]] every subsequent version. His [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6cU9opuO74 take]] on "[[Music/ElvisPresley Heartbreak Hotel]]"... didn't, though Cale has jokingly said that Elvis probably died from hearing it.
* DarkReprise: "I Keep a Close Watch", from ''Helen of Troy'', gets one of these on ''Music for a New Society''.Society'', which in itself gets one with the release of ''M:FANS''.
-->'''John Cale:''' During the making of M:FANS, I found myself loathing each and every character written about in those original recording sessions (...) What was once sorrow, was now a form of rage. A fertile ground for exorcism of things gone wrong and the realization they are unchangeable. From sadness came the strength of fire!!!



* EverythingIsAnInstrument: On "Gun," Music/BrianEno plays [[Music/RoxyMusic Phil Manzanera]]. That is, Phil Manzanera takes a guitar solo, which is fed into Eno's keyboard, so Eno is sampling him in real time. On the same album, Eno is simply credited as playing "[[PersonAsVerb Eno]]" rather than any specific instrument.



* LiteraryAllusionTitle: ''Paris 1919'' is full of these, with "Child's Christmas in Wales" (named after a Creator/DylanThomas work), "Graham Greene", "Macbeth", and the outtake "Burned Out Affair", which seems to be a mixture of two of Greene's works (''Literature/TheEndOfTheAffair'' and ''A Burnt-Out Case''). The album title itself is a Historical Allusion Title, being a reference to the conference that produced the Treaty of Versailles (which, due to its imposition of unilateral war reparations on Germany, is generally considered to have led to the rise of the Third Reich). Cale called it "an example of the nicest ways of saying something ugly". Several of Cale's other song and album titles also allude to historical events, mythology, or literature ("Ides of March", ''Helen of Troy'', "Gideon's Bible", "Charlemagne", "Creator/JohnMilton", list goes on).

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* LiteralMetaphor: The chorus of "Guts" isn't about someone being a coward; the character has literally been "blown all over the living room floor" with a shotgun.
-->''Guts, guts, got no guts! And stitches don't help at all!''
* LiteraryAllusionTitle: ''Paris 1919'' is full of these, with "Child's Christmas in Wales" (named after a Creator/DylanThomas work), "Graham Greene", "Macbeth", and the outtake "Burned Out Affair", which seems to be a mixture of two of Greene's works (''Literature/TheEndOfTheAffair'' and ''A Burnt-Out Case''). The album title itself is a Historical Allusion Title, being a reference to the conference that produced the Treaty of Versailles (which, due to its imposition of unilateral war reparations on Germany, is generally considered to have led to the rise of the Third Reich). Cale called it "an example of the nicest ways of saying something ugly". Several of Cale's other song songs and album titles also allude to historical events, mythology, or literature ("Ides of March", ''Helen of Troy'', "Gideon's Bible", "Charlemagne", "Creator/JohnMilton", list goes on).on).
* LyricalDissonance: All over the place.



* PrecisionFStrike: "Guts" opens with one.
-->''The bugger in the short sleeves fucked my wife!''



* UpdatedRerelease: The 2006 reissue of ''Paris 1919'' adds 12 bonus tracks, more than doubling the length of the album. The outtake "Burned Out Affair" is added, as is at least one additional version of every song on the original album ("Macbeth" and the title track get two).

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* UpdatedRerelease: RockstarSong: "The Biggest, Loudest, Hairiest Group Of All" is a look back at being in [[Music/TheVelvetUnderground a band]] that fails to be commercially successful.
-->''We cut a record once, it [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff sold a lot in France]]...''
* SpokenWordInMusic: "A Dream", "The Jeweller"
* UpdatedRerelease:
**
The 2006 reissue of ''Paris 1919'' adds 12 bonus tracks, more than doubling the length of the album. The outtake "Burned Out Affair" is added, as is at least one additional version of every song on the original album ("Macbeth" and the title track get two).two).
** ''Music For A New Society'' was re-released in 2016 with an extra disc of re-recordings called ''M:FANS''


Cale was born in 1942 in Garnant, Carmarthenshire, UsefulNotes/{{Wales}}. After a traumatic childhood (Wiki/{{Wikipedia}} has [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cale the sordid details]]; suffice it to say that literally being unable to talk to his father until he was seven[[note]]Long story short: at his mother's insistence, he was raised speaking only Welsh, but his father spoke only English[[/note]] was the ''least'' of his problems), he studied music at Goldsmiths College, University of London, after being recognized as a potential viola virtuoso, and then moved to America, where he studied under Music/AaronCopland. He also collaborated with Music/JohnCage on the first ever full-length performance of Music/ErikSatie's "Vexations", and later worked with La Monte Young's Dream Syndicate.

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Cale was born in 1942 in Garnant, Carmarthenshire, UsefulNotes/{{Wales}}. After a traumatic childhood (Wiki/{{Wikipedia}} has [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cale the sordid details]]; suffice it to say that literally being unable to talk to his father until he was seven[[note]]Long story short: at his mother's insistence, he was raised speaking only Welsh, but Welsh; his father only spoke only English[[/note]] was the ''least'' of his problems), he studied music at Goldsmiths College, University of London, after being recognized as a potential viola virtuoso, and then moved to America, where he studied under Music/AaronCopland. He also collaborated with Music/JohnCage on the first ever full-length performance of Music/ErikSatie's "Vexations", and later worked with La Monte Young's Dream Syndicate.


* EpicRocking: Some of his songs can get quite long. In particular, three of the songs on ''The Church of Anthrax'' range from just under eight to over eleven minutes.



* LiteraryAllusionTitle: ''Paris 1919'' is full of these, with "Child's Christmas in Wales" (named after a Creator/DylanThomas work), "Graham Greene", "Macbeth", and the outtake "Burned Out Affair", which seems to be a mixture of two of Greene's works (''Literature/TheEndOfTheAffair'' and ''A Burnt-Out Case''). The album title itself is a Historical Allusion Title, being a reference to the conference that produced the Treaty of Versailles (which, due to its imposition of unilateral war reparations on Germany, is generally considered to have led to the rise of the Third Reich). Cale called it "an example of the nicest ways of saying something ugly".

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* LiteraryAllusionTitle: ''Paris 1919'' is full of these, with "Child's Christmas in Wales" (named after a Creator/DylanThomas work), "Graham Greene", "Macbeth", and the outtake "Burned Out Affair", which seems to be a mixture of two of Greene's works (''Literature/TheEndOfTheAffair'' and ''A Burnt-Out Case''). The album title itself is a Historical Allusion Title, being a reference to the conference that produced the Treaty of Versailles (which, due to its imposition of unilateral war reparations on Germany, is generally considered to have led to the rise of the Third Reich). Cale called it "an example of the nicest ways of saying something ugly". Several of Cale's other song and album titles also allude to historical events, mythology, or literature ("Ides of March", ''Helen of Troy'', "Gideon's Bible", "Charlemagne", "Creator/JohnMilton", list goes on).


* WordSalad: A LOT of his songs have this.

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* WordSalad: WordSaladLyrics: A LOT of his songs have this.


* GriefSong: "If You Were Still Around" could be this. It was originally on ''Music for a New Society'' but was remade and a music video for it was released on the anniversary of Lou Reed's death. Photos of Reed, along with Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick, Nico, and fellow VU member Sterling Morrison appear, so it's more likely just a heartwarming tribute to these people.

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* GriefSong: "If You Were Still Around" could be this. It was originally on ''Music for a New Society'' but was remade and a music video for it was released on the anniversary of Lou Reed's death. Photos of Reed, along with Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick, Nico, and fellow VU member Sterling Morrison appear, appear in the video, so it's more likely just a heartwarming tribute to these people.


* GriefSong: "If You Were Still Around" could be this. It was originally on ''Music for a New Society'' but was remade and a music video for it was released on the anniversary of Lou Reed's death. Photos of Reed, along with Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick, and fellow VU member Sterling Morrison appear, so it's more likely just a heartwarming tribute to these people.

to:

* GriefSong: "If You Were Still Around" could be this. It was originally on ''Music for a New Society'' but was remade and a music video for it was released on the anniversary of Lou Reed's death. Photos of Reed, along with Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick, Nico, and fellow VU member Sterling Morrison appear, so it's more likely just a heartwarming tribute to these people.


At the same time, Cale launched his solo career. His first released album, ''Vintage Violence'', is generally regarded as folk-pop; around the same time he also worked on a collaboration with Terry Riley, the mainly instrumental ''Church of Anthrax'', that is often categorised as ProgressiveRock or avant-garde. A number of other solo albums included ''Paris 1919'', regarded as one of the great BaroquePop albums, and a trilogy of albums for Island that is probably best represented by his disturbing cover of Music/ElvisPresley's "Heartbreak Hotel", perhaps comparable to Music/TheResidents' cover of the Music/RollingStones' "Satisfaction" in terms of how radically it reworks the original.

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At the same time, Cale launched his solo career. His first released album, ''Vintage Violence'', is generally regarded as folk-pop; around the same time he also worked on a collaboration with Terry Riley, the mainly instrumental ''Church of Anthrax'', that is often categorised as ProgressiveRock or avant-garde. A number of other solo albums included ''Paris 1919'', regarded as one of the great BaroquePop albums, and a trilogy of albums for Island that is probably best represented by his disturbing cover of Music/ElvisPresley's "Heartbreak Hotel", perhaps comparable to Music/TheResidents' cover of the Music/RollingStones' Music/TheRollingStones' "Satisfaction" in terms of how radically it reworks the original.


Cale co-founded the Velvet Underground in 1965 with Reed, Sterling Morrison, and Angus [=MacLise=] (who would leave the band after it received its first paying gig, to be replaced by Maureen Tucker). Although his writing credits with the group were minimal, Cale quickly established himself as a major element of the band's sound, playing viola, bass guitar, piano, and organ, and contributing deadpan vocals that proved integral parts of several of the band's songs, especially "The Gift". Personality conflicts with Reed resulted in his departure from the group after the recording of the band's second album, ''Music/WhiteLightWhiteHeat'', although a handful of recordings with Cale afterwards have since been released (including "Stephanie Says", "Hey Mr. Rain", "Temptation Inside Your Heart", and "Ocean").

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Cale co-founded the Velvet Underground in 1965 1964 with Reed, Sterling Morrison, and Angus [=MacLise=] (who would leave the band after it received its first paying gig, to be replaced by Maureen Tucker). Although his writing credits with the group were minimal, Cale quickly established himself as a major element of the band's sound, playing viola, bass guitar, piano, and organ, and contributing deadpan vocals that proved integral parts of several of the band's songs, especially "The Gift". Personality conflicts with Reed resulted in his departure from the group after the recording of the band's second album, ''Music/WhiteLightWhiteHeat'', although a handful of recordings with Cale afterwards have since been released (including "Stephanie Says", "Hey Mr. Rain", "Temptation Inside Your Heart", and "Ocean").


Cale co-founded the Velvet Underground in 1965 with Reed, Sterling Morrison, and Angus [=MacLise=] (who would leave the band after it received its first paying gig, to be replaced by Maureen Tucker). Although his writing credits with the group were minimal, Cale quickly established himself as a major element of the band's sound, playing viola, bass guitar, piano, and organ, and contributing deadpan vocals that proved integral parts of several of the band's songs, especially "The Gift". Personality conflicts with Reed resulted in his departure from the group after the recording of the band's second album, ''White Light/White Heat'', although a handful of recordings with Cale afterwards have since been released (including "Stephanie Says", "Hey Mr. Rain", "Temptation Inside Your Heart", and "Ocean").

to:

Cale co-founded the Velvet Underground in 1965 with Reed, Sterling Morrison, and Angus [=MacLise=] (who would leave the band after it received its first paying gig, to be replaced by Maureen Tucker). Although his writing credits with the group were minimal, Cale quickly established himself as a major element of the band's sound, playing viola, bass guitar, piano, and organ, and contributing deadpan vocals that proved integral parts of several of the band's songs, especially "The Gift". Personality conflicts with Reed resulted in his departure from the group after the recording of the band's second album, ''White Light/White Heat'', ''Music/WhiteLightWhiteHeat'', although a handful of recordings with Cale afterwards have since been released (including "Stephanie Says", "Hey Mr. Rain", "Temptation Inside Your Heart", and "Ocean").


After his departure from the group, Cale quickly established himself as a formidable solo artist and producer in his own right. He produced former Velvet Underground bandmate Music/{{Nico}}'s seminal albums ''The Marble Index'', ''Desertshore'', and ''The End...'' and also contributed arrangements to the former two (Nico arranged the latter entirely on her own, according to Cale). He also produced Music/TheStooges' and Music/TheModernLovers' influential self-titled albums and Music/PattiSmith's equally influential ''Music/{{Horses}}'', and appears on Music/NickDrake's cult classic ''Bryter Layter'' and Music/BrianEno's seminal ''Another Green World''.

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After his departure from the group, Cale quickly established himself as a formidable solo artist and producer in his own right. He produced former Velvet Underground bandmate Music/{{Nico}}'s seminal albums ''The Marble Index'', ''Desertshore'', and ''The End...'' and also contributed arrangements to the former two (Nico arranged the latter entirely on her own, according to Cale). He also produced Music/TheStooges' and Music/TheModernLovers' influential self-titled albums ''[[Music/TheStoogesAlbum The Stooges]]'' and ''The Modern Lovers'' and Music/PattiSmith's equally influential ''Music/{{Horses}}'', and appears on Music/NickDrake's cult classic ''Bryter Layter'' and Music/BrianEno's seminal ''Another Green World''.



A highlight of his 1980s output is generally considered to be ''Music for a New Society'', which is a thoroughly bleak album along the lines of Reed's ''Music/{{Berlin}}'', Music/JoyDivision's ''Closer'' and the trilogy of Music/{{Nico}}'s albums Cale produced. In 1990 his collaboration with Music/BrianEno was released, ''Wrong Way Up''. It proved to be one of the most commercially successful albums of either artist as a performer. The same year, he also released his collaboration with Lou Reed, ''Songs for Drella'', a tribute to Creator/AndyWarhol, a major mentor of the Velvet Underground. 1991 saw the release of his famous cover of "Hallelujah", which notably served as the basis for nearly every cover version done afterwards (including Music/JeffBuckley and Music/RufusWainwright's (arguably, in Wainwright's case) even more famous versions).

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A highlight of his 1980s output is generally considered to be ''Music for a New Society'', which is a thoroughly bleak album along the lines of Reed's ''Music/{{Berlin}}'', Music/JoyDivision's ''Closer'' ''Music/{{Closer}}'' and the trilogy of Music/{{Nico}}'s albums Cale produced. In 1990 his collaboration with Music/BrianEno was released, ''Wrong Way Up''. It proved to be one of the most commercially successful albums of either artist as a performer. The same year, he also released his collaboration with Lou Reed, ''Songs for Drella'', a tribute to Creator/AndyWarhol, a major mentor of the Velvet Underground. 1991 saw the release of his famous cover of "Hallelujah", which notably served as the basis for nearly every cover version done afterwards (including Music/JeffBuckley and Music/RufusWainwright's (arguably, in Wainwright's case) even more famous versions).



* RedOniBlueOni: To a certain extent with Lou Reed VU turned away from the assault of White Light/White Heat to a more accessible direction under Reed's lead, and when PunkRock broke Reed was recording singer-songwritery albums and dismissing the movement while Cale jumped on the bandwagon and recorded harsh material like ''Sabotage Live''. Then again Cale also recorded the BaroquePop ''Paris 1919'' and Reed recorded the infamously abrasive ''Metal Machine Music'' so it's not like this trope completely defined their post-VU careers.

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* RedOniBlueOni: To a certain extent with Lou Reed VU turned away from the assault of White Light/White Heat ''Music/WhiteLightWhiteHeat'' to a more accessible direction under Reed's lead, and when PunkRock broke Reed was recording singer-songwritery albums and dismissing the movement while Cale jumped on the bandwagon and recorded harsh material like ''Sabotage Live''. Then again Cale also recorded the BaroquePop ''Paris 1919'' and Reed recorded the infamously abrasive ''Metal Machine Music'' ''Music/MetalMachineMusic'' so it's not like this trope completely defined their post-VU careers.

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