REVIEW

 

JOHN CALE
Peel Session, BBC 1975 [no label 1CD Torrent: 66805]
Live in London, UK, May 1 1975. Ex FM stereo. The first three tracks were included on the bootleg "Take Off Your Mask." Very short recording of 4 tracks.

An off-air recording of Cale's first (and only) BBC radio session, recorded for John Peel on May 1 1975, and broadcast a week later. Backed by Chris Spedding, Chris Thomas, Pat Donaldson and Timi Donald, Cale cuts through two songs apiece from the previous year's Fear and the forthcoming Slow Dazzle - growling takes on "Fear" and "Taking It All Away," a buoyantly Beach Boys-esque "Darling I Need," and a positively stately "You Know More Than I Know." 

The sound quality is fine, and brief snatches of host Peel's introductions give the tape a little extra period feel. But what stands out the most is a rare glimpse of Cale at his most natural and unpretentious, a baroque rocker who has still to start preaching to the converted alone. Yes, it's a short (under 20 minutes) recording. But it's a classic regardless. - Dave Thompson

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March 23, 2007