John Cale

Seducing Down the Door: A Collection 1970-1990

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The range of John Cale's work can be shocking: it's hard to believe that the piano duets with minimalist composer Terry Riley on Church of Anthrax, the lush orchestral pop of Paris 1919, and the raucous, dissonant guitar rock of "Gun" and the rest of Fear are all the work of the same man, much less that they were all released within a four-year span. The well-chosen 38-track, two-and-a-half-hour double-CD/cassette anthology Seducing Down the Door does nothing to reconcile the apparent musical contradictions in Cale's classical-to-punk sensibility, but it does bring coherence and consolidation to a recording career that, spread across a multitude of labels and plagued by popular indifference, has been difficult to grasp as a whole.

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