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Fragments of a Rainy Season

John CaleAudio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 25, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hannibal
  • ASIN: B000000624
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,409 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. A Child's Christmas In Wales
2. Dying On The Vine
3. Cordoba
4. Darling I Need You
5. Paris 1919
6. Guts
7. Fear (Is A Man's Best Friend)
8. Ship Of Fools
9. Leaving It Up To You
10. The Ballad Of Cable Hogue
11. Thoughtless Kind
12. On A Wedding Anniversay
13. Lie Still, Sleep Becalmed
14. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
15. Buffalo Ballet
16. Chinese Envoy
17. Style It Takes
18. Heartbreak Hotel
19. (I Keep A) Close Watch
20. Hallelujah

Editorial Reviews

This CD is an out of print collectible!It is the original 1992 Hannibal release. Catalog HNCD 1372. There is a hole punch through the UPC.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an excellent overview May 30, 2000
Format:Audio CD
John Cale, it seems, is often at his best in a live setting. When I saw him in 1995 with the Soldier String Quartet, Cale himself on piano and occasional guitar, and pedal steel player BJ Cole filling out the ensemble, it was one of those rare transcendent occasions where every audience member seemed to be experiencing the same hypnotic glow, held in sway like the tide under a powerful lunar magnetism. A (regrettably) long out-of-print live document, "John Cale Comes Alive," captures Cale's strength on the other end of the spectrum, bashing out brutal rockers with a hot, stripped-down backing band of guitar, bass and drums. In this regard, then, it should come as no surprise that "Fragments of a Rainy Season" (1992) is an excellent set. However, as it covers his work from "Paris 1919" (1973) to "Songs For Drella" (1990), it also illuminates certain songs in Cale's catalog and in effect smooths out a lot of the rough spots in an interesting but erratic career.
Accompanying himself only on piano (and guitar on four songs), Cale reduces each song to its essence. His playing ranges from lyrical ("Style it Takes") to chaotic ("Guts," "Fear"), but the overall mood is a reflective one that suits these songs well. Most of these compositions, in fact, have never been on more effective display. "Chinese Envoy" and "Thoughtless Kind," both from the dissonant "Music for a New Society" (1982), are clear and melancholy in this setting, as are "Buffalo Ballet" and "I Keep a Close Watch.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A strikingly mature performance November 23, 2001
Format:Audio CD
Given Cale's background in classical music and the sheer diversity of musical settings that he has performed in over the years, it is oddly ironic that perhaps his most effective recording is of a live concert during which he simply accompanies himself on piano or guitar.
Stripped of artifice, some of these performances surpass the more elaborately orchestrated originals, "Dying on the Vine" and "Hallelujah" in particular. (Not to knock the late Jeff Buckley, but his version of "Hallelujah" is to Cale's as boys are to men.) Despite his limited vocal range and the simplicity of the instrumental accompaniment, Cale manages to convey a kind of hardboiled maturity that virtuosos like Buckley can't touch. And he can still scream ("Leaving It Up to You.")
By this 1990 concert Cale had put behind him some of the problems that contributed to a career that another reviewer correctly described as "uneven," and behavior that might be charitably described as "erratic." He had more than twenty years of output to draw upon, so there is little "filler." Some of the songs are more effective than others (lyrically they range from musical settings of Dylan Thomas poems to free association doggerel). The breath of themes and emotions traversed in these compositions is such that it would be surprising if they evoked uniform responses across listeners. Different listeners will have different favorites. I have mine. Not background music, this disk rewards serious listening.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Best Live Albums Of All Time! July 13, 2000
Format:Audio CD
When you think of John Cale, you think of many different things. You think of his days with the Velvet Underground. The poetry of Paris 1919. The seminal Island Years. His Music For A New Society. His reunion with Lou Reed for Songs For Drella. Fragment's of a Rainy Season is a completely different side of Cale. This entire album is John Cale live with only a piano or guitar, both acoustic. The effect is some of Cale's best recordings ever. Every facet of Cale is on this album. The Island Years, Songs For Drella, Paris 1919, etc. Although all the songs here are great, and done beautifully, there are a few standout tracks. Dying on the Vine is done incredibly. The best version of the song ever. Darling I Need You is also a standout. Also, an incredibly beautiful version of Thoughtless Kind makes the album worth buying. All the other tracks are great, also. This album is more than essential for fans of Cale.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Rainy Seasons" Showcases Cale, the Minimalist June 30, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Fragments of A Rainy Season" has graced my CD player more than any other album in the twelve years since it's release. This is the after-hours incarnation of John Cale, not the menacing sabatouer personna that Cale created for himself in the Seventies. This live album focuses on all of Cale's strengths, his lyrical song craft, his tender and anguished voice, his instumental wizardry and his larger-than-life stage presence.
"Rainy Seasons" is ample evidence that Cale's post-Velvet career has outlasted those of his bandmates, even Lou Reed. Cale has always maintained his avant gardist sensibility while Lou Reed, for better or worse, has stuck with his original black leather, NYC street hustler image that marked his Velvet Underground years. Cale's back catalog is a wealth of undiscovered treasures. What is most striking about this live performance is the passion and immediacy Cale brings to all of his classics. It's a revelation that Cale's music is better suited to this accoustic format, because his strikingly original classically influenced piano is not drowned out in a wall of guitar noise. In performances with a band, Cale generally sticks with a guitar, which he doesn't play with nearly as much conviction as piano.Cale's expressive voice simply works better with a piano.
I own most of Cale's albums and the three career retrospectives of his work. I like "Rainy Seasons" better than all of them because this live recording proves that Cale's music stands on the strength of his songwritting and doesn't need a lot of orchestration or post-production "enchancement" to work. The additional tracks that have been piggy-backed onto the original 1992 release make this CD a real dollar value.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful album
I love the whole album.John Cale plays the piano beautifully..I love the simplicity of his arrangements of both words and music..He is a true artist to me... Read more
Published 17 months ago by bettysue62
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent live album...
I had a copy of the original pressing of this disc sixteen years ago, and when it went missing I wasn't too bothered. Read more
Published on January 2, 2012 by B. Bowman
3.0 out of 5 stars I want to like this, I really do.
John Cale is a classic. John Cale is important. He was in the Velvet Underground for g-ds sake! His solo work is usually very impressive, not to mention a great deal more... Read more
Published on September 23, 2010 by I. Inc
5.0 out of 5 stars John Cale's Brilliance - LIVE -
If you're looking for a piece of brilliance and maybe something a little more accessible than some of John's other works you won't be disappointed with this work. Read more
Published on August 7, 2006 by blank
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional.
in that fanciful scenario where you imagine yourself stranded upon a tropical island with say 5 or 10 albums to accompany you...this one makes a strong bid for inclusion. Read more
Published on July 7, 2006 by Ich Heisse Don!
5.0 out of 5 stars Intimate, earnest, beautiful
The weaker, or at least less famous, half of the Velvet Underground - bassist, pianist, singer, songwriter, composer, producer, sonic terrorist John Cale - made for perhaps his... Read more
Published on November 11, 2005 by Itamar Katz
5.0 out of 5 stars John Cale, raw and unplugged.
Fragements of a Rainy Season was John Cale's unplugged

album. He sings his "hits" with only an accoustic guitar and piano. Read more
Published on June 26, 2005 by Joseph P. Ulibas
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best ever
There really isnt alot one can say. You will listen. And listen. And listen.
Published on December 2, 2003 by Mike Toalston
5.0 out of 5 stars Cale at his best and barest
This is John Cale pure and simple. Unpredictable, elegant, manic, literate, articulate, witty, bittersweet, psychotic, passionate, stately, dark and romantic. I could go on and on. Read more
Published on July 4, 2003 by Philippe Landry
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Others have already described this masterpiece more eloquently than I can, but I have to chime in.... This album is stunning, on every listen. Read more
Published on December 27, 2002
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