Fear (John Cale album)

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Studio album by John Cale
Released 1 October 1974
Recorded Sound Techniques & Olympic Studios, London, 1974
Genre Rock
Length 40:48
Label Island
Producer John Cale
John Cale chronology
June 1, 1974
Slow Dazzle
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]
Robert Christgau A− [2]

Fear is a 1974 album by John Cale. It was the first of three albums for Island Records, all of which were released in a period of just over a year. During this time Cale was also producing records for other artists, working on albums such as Horses by Patti Smith, one of the most influential of all protopunk records.

In addition to his lead vocals on Fear, Cale also played keyboards, guitars, viola, violin and bass, and was joined by Richard Thompson, Roxy Music's Brian Eno and Phil Manzanera, and other artists signed to Island.

"Gun" features an unusual two-man guitar solo from Manzanera and Eno, with the latter using a synthesizer to process the former's guitar playing in real-time.[3]

Keith Morris was responsible for the photography.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by John Cale

Original 1974 release[edit]

Side A

  1. "Fear is a Man's Best Friend" (3:53)
  2. "Buffalo Ballet" (3:29)
  3. "Barracuda" (3:48)
  4. "Emily" (4:23)
  5. "Ship of Fools" (4:38)

Side B

  1. "Gun" (8:05)
  2. "The Man Who Couldn't Afford to Orgy" (4:35)
  3. "You Know More Than I Know" (3:35)
  4. "Momamma Scuba" (4:24)

Bonus track 1996 remaster[edit]

The album was remastered in 1996 as part of the 2CD release The Island Years, containing also Slow Dazzle and Helen Of Troy. It contained the following bonus track:

  • "Sylvia Said" (remix) (4:09)


"The Man Who Couldn't Afford To Orgy" b/w "Sylvia Said" 7" UK 1974.


  • John Cale - bass guitar, guitar, keyboards, viola, lead vocals, production, writing, cover
  • Phil Manzanera - guitar, slide guitar on "Momamma Scuba", executive producer
  • Fred Smith - drums
  • Eno - synthesizer, effects, executive producer
  • Archie Leggatt - bass
  • Michael Desmarais - drums on "Momamma Scuba"and "Fear"
  • Richard Thompson - slide guitar on "Momamma Scuba"
  • Bryn Haworth - slide guitar on "Momamma Scuba"
  • Brian Turrington - bass on "Momamma Scuba"
  • Irene Chanter - background vocals
  • Doreen Chanter - background vocals
  • Liza Strike - background vocals, girl's choir
  • Judy Nylon - lead vocals on "The Man Who Couldn't Afford to Orgy"
  • John Wood - engineering, mixing
  • Keith Morris - photography


  1. ^ Raggett, Ned. Fear (John Cale album) at AllMusic
  2. ^ Robert Christgau review
  3. ^ Mitchell, Tim (2003). Sedition and Alchemy: A Biography of John Cale. London: Peter Owen. p. 92. ISBN 0 7206 11326.