John Cale

The Island Years

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This double CD combines all three of John Cale's mid-'70s Island albums (Fear, Slow Dazzle, and Helen of Troy) into one package, with the addition of some interesting bonus tracks: outtakes from Slow Dazzle and Helen of Troy, the B-side "Sylvia Said," "Leaving It up to You" (which only appeared on early copies of Helen of Troy before "Coral Moon" took its place), and "Mary Lou" (from the 1977 Guts compilation). This was undeniably one of Cale's most fertile periods. There is also no other body of work from the mid-'70s with such a confluence of listenable FM radio-ready tunes and sneaky, at times subversive experimentation, its eclecticism encompassing art rock, macabre recitations, and Beach Boy pastiches.

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