Vintage Violence

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Vintage Violence
Studio album by John Cale
Released 25 March 1970
Genre Rock
Length 34:25
Label Columbia
Producer John Cale, Lewis Merenstein
John Cale chronology
Stainless Gamelan
(1965-1968)
Vintage Violence
(1970)
Church of Anthrax
(1971)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau C+[2]
Rolling Stone (favorable)[3]

Vintage Violence was the first solo album from former Velvet Underground member John Cale. Produced for a mere $15,000, Cale stated in his autobiography What's Welsh for Zen? that there wasn't "much originality on that album, it's just someone teaching himself to do something". He also "thought the songs were simplistic." He pieced together a band to play on the album, and they named themselves Penguin. However, the group didn't last beyond the recording sessions.

The cover of the album features Cale with his face obscured by a glass mask over a nylon stocking, which he would later cite in his autobiography as symbolic of the content of the record: "You're not really seeing the personality."

Originally released in 1970, Vintage Violence received mostly positive reviews. Rolling Stone magazine's Ed Ward said that the album sounds "like a Byrds album produced by Phil Spector who has marinated for six years in burgundy, anise and chili peppers". Ward was also quoted in Billboard magazine as saying, "I believe that this is destined to become one of the most important albums of the past few years." [4]

The album was rereleased in remastered form in 2001.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by John Cale, except "Fairweather Friend" by Garland Jeffreys.

Original 1970 release[edit]

Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Hello, There"   2:48
2. "Gideon's Bible"   3:22
3. "Adelaide"   2:18
4. "Big White Cloud"   3:31
5. "Cleo"   2:35
6. "Please"   4:19
Side B
No. Title Length
7. "Charlemagne"   5:03
8. "Bring It On Up"   2:24
9. "Amsterdam"   3:14
10. "Ghost Story"   3:48
11. "Fairweather Friend"   2:32
Bonus tracks 2001 remaster
No. Title Length
12. "Fairweather Friend (alternate version)"   5:29
13. "Wall"   6:06

Singles[edit]

"Cleo" b/w "Fairweather Friend" 7" US 1970

"Big White Cloud" b/w "Gideon's Bible" 7" US 1970.

Personnel[edit]

Executive producer: John McClure

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Robert Christgau review
  3. ^ Rolling Stone review
  4. ^ Ward, Ed (Sept. 17, 1970). Review. Rolling Stone.