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Fear [Import]

John CaleAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 9 Songs, 2009 $7.99  
Audio CD, Import, 2004 --  
Vinyl, 2008 --  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Fear Is A Man's Best Friend 3:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Buffalo Ballet 3:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Barracuda 3:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Emily 4:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Ship Of Fools 4:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Gun 8:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. The Man Who Couldn't Afford To Orgy 4:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. You Know Me More Than I Know 3:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Momamma Scuba 4:25$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 9, 2004)
  • Original Release Date: 1974
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Ume Imports
  • ASIN: B000006XCU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,015 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

The Welsh Ex-velvet Underground Man's Debut for Island Records was a Critical Fave at the Time of It's Release in 1974, as Nary a Reviewer Worth his Ears Gave it Less Than Four Stars. Cale is Supported Prominently by Roxy Music Members Phil Manzanera, Andy Mackay and Brian Eno (With Whom He Would Team Some 16 Years Later on "Wrong Way Up"), the Late Fred "Sonic" Smith and his Favorite Bird at the Time, Judy Nylon. Highlights Include the Beach Boys-esque "The Man who Couldn't Afford to Orgy" and "Ship of Fools".

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fear is my best friend. July 25, 2002
Format:Audio CD
"Fear" laid the groundwork for the diverse and highly emotional nature of the 3 "Island" records, and is the first to introduce Cale's slightly reinvented, dichotomous modus operandi of balancing beautiful, sophisticated pop and tortured rage. Here Cale dives headlong into the dark, sometimes violent emotional turmoil prevalent on all three Island records.

Before "Fear," Cale created the baroque and highly accomplished "Paris 1919," a hauntingly melodic record fusing orchestral arrangements with slightly off-kilter pop and occasional country leanings. However, "Fear's" opener, "Fear is a Man's Best Friend," makes it immediately clear that Cale is taking us down a far darker and more disturbing path than before (albeit more refined than the floor-scraping cacophony he helped create in VU). Quite deceptively, the song begins with a catchy piano riff, but gradually devolves into Cale screaming his head off and beating the snot out of his bass until someone pulls the plug. A pivotal pre-punk moment; utterly primal and kind of scary!

Throughout, Cale navigates eclectic territory with fairly consistent results. Some songs are achingly pretty, like the country-ish "Buffalo Ballet," the mesmerizing, lush "Ship of Fools," and the weak-in-the-knees "You Know More Than I Know." Others are manic, visceral rockers, like the violent classic "Gun," featuring Roxy Music's Ray Manzanera's blistering guitar. However, the blues-raunch of "Momamma Scuba" is utterly forgettable. Hilarious, winsome pop gem "Man Who Couldn't Afford to Or*y" [I can't believe Amazon made me censor that word] shows subtle shades of Brian Wilson (a big influence on Cale). Cale successfully ties most of these varied stylistic threads together with his impassioned singing, grim/sardonic lyrics, and a knack for engaging hooks.

While "Fear" may be a bit of a mixed bag, it remains an awesome record that holds up quite well over 30 years later.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album from the other talented guy from VU February 22, 2001
Format:Audio CD
This is definitely one of Cale's best albums. With help from such great musicians as Phil Manzanera and Eno (or non-musician as he likes to call himself), this album is filled with great lyrics, melodies, and production. Songs range from the hard rocking Gun (with a great Manzanera solo treated by Eno: like Roxy Music!), to the pretty ballad Emily, and songs like the powerful Fear is a Man's Best Friend and Ship of Fools lie somewhere in between. Unlike his other two album for Island that followed this album, the production is crystal clear and not overproduced, and all the songs are very strong, maybe with the exception of Momamma Scuba, which is kind of weak in my opinion. It has a similar guitar riff to his crazy cover of Heartbreak Hotel which would appear on his next album Slow Dazzle. If you can find it (I believe it's out of print), get the 2cd Island Years set because it has better sound than the import version, plus the previously-unavailble-on-cd b-side Sylvia Said is a great song, on par with the best songs on the album. If you're curious about Cale's work, start with this one. And if you are interested in his other work, get Paris 1919 (great orchestral rock), and Fragments of a Rainy Season (great solo live album; it showcases just how great a musician Cale is, esp. his piano playing skills).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comforting and unsettling July 11, 2000
Format:Audio CD
This album provides me with immense depth of experience. I sink into it. Like a backdrop to my existence. The melodies sound homely, relaxed, affable, inviting. It is not troubardour music, but the casual sound reminds one of that ambience. Yet, if you listen closely you hear that this is scary, crazy, unsettling music, ingeniously written.
I am constantly astounded by this album, the production, Cale's singing, the backing vocals, the clever melodies, the weird ideas in the background, and the overall harmony of it all. Effortlessly. This is where beauty and ugliness meet, and never before have I heard these contrasts so easily balanced. In that sense this is where beautiful "Paris 1919" and the scary "Music for a New Society" meet, if you like.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chaos from Order. March 15, 2013
Format:Audio CD
Visitors to Ess Towers - apart from being startled by the academic atmosphere - occasionally comment as to the musical appetites of the eager host ~ often with the charmingly quizzical: "Who the f*** is this ? " or "Get that s*** off !" - - preferring common drivel.
As clubbing people to death for possessing shocking taste is frowned upon by the over-pc boundaries of societal niceties in the U.K, the swami has no recourse but to strank like a toddler and comply.

Things of great beauty alarm people - especially now. Pop music needs to be ugly, manipulative and last barely a week for anyone to pay it the most minimal of neccessary heed. Today's 'kids' are not going to be playing Peter Andre or Black Eyed Peas in 30 years time, so where is today's 'Closer,' 'Blood on the Tracks,' or 'Into the Music' ? The cliche: "I didn't like it at first, but after a few plays, I really do.." is becoming steadily redundant for the simple reason that you don't get the time to. The slow-burner has (deliberately) all but become extinct.
'Fear' is such a slow-burner; it is very much kin to Peter Hamill's excellent 'Patience' album. Initially, the songs appear dirge-like, distended, sluggish even; but after three listens things begin to drop forcefully into place. It's a wonderful realisation; like all the great pleasures in life: women, alcohol, caffeine, drugs and automobiles - you try a few out before you land the one that suits you. 'Fear' is just the same. It stands to a wonderful kind of sense. A warm beauty; a welcoming, homely sense of style. Cale sweeps from one lugubrious show-stopper to the next, affording 'Fear' the kind of disdainful "oh, that little thing.." off-handedness that all great art possesses to a large degree.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My personal favorite John Cale album
Sleeping in the mid-day sun. Sleeping in the mid-day sun. This album is perfection, and so very hard to find. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Chris Lee
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Rock
I owned this album years ago and sold it. Recently a friend mentioned it was one of her favorites, and while listening to it I rediscovered my own appreciation for it. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Stephe DK
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing album, but STAY AWAY from the Vinyl Lovers pressing!
As any Cale fan knows, Fear is one of his many masterworks, but regarding the recent Vinyl Lovers reissue, stay the hell away from it. It sounds worse than any cd version. Read more
Published on February 8, 2012 by C. Murphy
5.0 out of 5 stars Towering genius
There are at least 3 masterpieces on this album of dark rock and twisted humor. The title track is a brooding rock ballad with tempo shifts and vivid imagery, one of the most... Read more
Published on October 31, 2008 by Pieter Uys
4.0 out of 5 stars A NAGGING FEAR
Varied as it is, Cale's work has always presented a confusing amalgam to my ears. "The Academy in Peril" is a rare accomplishment and ranks as one of the best of its time. Read more
Published on June 4, 2007 by Hank Napkin
5.0 out of 5 stars Cale at his Best!
Fear was the first of 3 great albums John Cale released on Island Records during 1974-75. The album was also his follow-up to his much acclaimed "Paris 1919" 1973 album. Read more
Published on January 2, 2006 by Morten Vindberg
3.0 out of 5 stars Uneven but good album, on "The Island Years" set.
This is a good record, but its of marginal value with "The Island Years", which has Cale's entire output from his time on Island and (at least as I write this) is comparably priced... Read more
Published on March 31, 2005 by Michael Stack
4.0 out of 5 stars Great heights of brilliance
There are at least 3 masterpieces on this album of dark rock and clever humour. The title track is a brooding rock ballad with tempo variations and poetic lyrics, one of the most... Read more
Published on March 15, 2005 by Pieter Uys
4.0 out of 5 stars Scattershot brilliance
There are few musicians around today as accomplished as John Cale. From his early avant drone experiments to the manic organ, viola and bass work with the seminal Velvet... Read more
Published on December 17, 2002 by "yabbee"
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best
This album is one of John Cale's best. If you are a John Cale fan this one is a must for your collection
Published on November 10, 2002
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