Slow Dazzle (album)
|Studio album by John Cale|
|Released||25 March 1975|
|Recorded||Sound Techniques, London|
|John Cale chronology|
Slow Dazzle was the fifth album and the second for Island Records by former Velvet Underground member John Cale, released in 1975. The cover photography was by Keith Morris. It is also the second consecutive album to feature both Brian Eno and Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music.
The album includes Cale's famous glam rock and avant-garde music based cover of "Heartbreak Hotel", a radically altered version of the track that's been highlighted by music critics such as Allmusic's Ned Raggett as one of the best cover songs of all time.
"Mr. Wilson" is about seminal American musician Brian Wilson; the Beach Boys founding member has been a strong influence on Cale's work over the years. The song reflects the strong, divisive personal struggles in Wilson's life. The music's tone fluctuates from paranoid and unhappy to warm and pleasant moment by moment.
"Heartbreak Hotel" is a cover of the Elvis Presley song, with fundamental elements of the track changed such the singing taking in "chilling" screams and dark synthesizer elements added to the background. The Cale version of the track has been cited by music critics such as Allmusic's Ned Raggett as one of the best cover songs ever recorded.
The track "Guts" opens with the line, "The bugger in the short sleeves fucked my wife". This refers to rock musician Kevin Ayers sleeping with Cale's wife before the concert that's captured on the June 1, 1974 album; John Cale related the details in his autobiography, with Victor Bockris, What's Welsh for Zen that was published in 1998.
"The Jeweler" is a spoken word piece under an instrumental backdrop that recalls, at least in its poetic and freeform structure, the track "The Gift" from The Velvet Underground's album White Light/White Heat. While Cale speaks in a calm, monotone like voice, the "The Jeweler" features a drone-like set of unsettling sounds that appear to build and build without reaching a conclusion. The non-vocal side of the track is somewhat reminiscent of contemporary 1970s-era horror film scoring.
Track #2 from the album "Taking It All Away", was misprinted on all Island Record CD releases of the album, as "Talking It All Away."
All tracks composed by John Cale; except where indicated
Original 1975 release
- "Mr. Wilson" (3:17)
- "Taking It All Away" (2:59)
- "Dirty-Ass Rock 'N' Roll" (4:44)
- "Darling I Need You" (3:38)
- "Rollaroll" (3:59)
- "Heartbreak Hotel" (3:14) – Mae Boren Axton, Tommy Durden, Elvis Presley
- "Ski Patrol" (2:12)
- "I'm Not The Loving Kind" (3:12)
- "Guts" (3:27)
- "The Jeweller" (5:07)
Bonus tracks 1996 remaster
- "All I Want Is You" (2:55)
- "Bamboo Floor" (3:24)
However, the last track "The Jeweller" was shortened to 4:11 on The Island Years.
No singles were released off the album.
- John Cale: piano, organ, clavinet, vocals, production, cover, writing
- Gerry Conway: drums
- Pat Donaldson: bass
- Timi Donald: drums
- Brian Eno: synthesizer
- Phil Manzanera: guitar
- Geoff Muldaur: harmony vocals on "Guts" and "Darling I Need You"
- Chris Spedding: guitar
- Chris Thomas: violin, electric piano
- John Wood: executive producer
- A. Secunda executive producer on "Heartbreak Hotel"