It's hard to imagine John Cale on MTV, but if he appeared on Unplugged, the result probably would sound like this. Alone, Cale accompanies himself on acoustic piano and guitar, playing a retrospective set of some of his best and most accessible music. The emphasis is on his more contemplative material, such as the early Paris 1919 album, his later Words for the Dying, which features the poetry of Dylan Thomas set to music, and other notable Cale ballads. He does throw in some rock & roll fervor and some of his noisy avant-garde effects on numbers like "Guts," but for the most part this is a John Cale who, while intense, is quiet and dignified.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann