John Cale

Paris 1919

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Song Review by

The sixth and title track to John Cale's 1973 album, Paris 1919, is four minutes and five seconds on the studio disc and three minutes and 21 seconds on his 1992 live recording, Fragments of a Rainy Season. The distinctive driving piano is a wondrous backdrop for the lyrics combining the best of Cale's own eccentricity and former partner Lou Reed's introspection. This composition could have taken the Velvet Underground into great and uncharted territory if given the chance, with lines like "She'd open up the door and vaguely carry us away" combining perfectly with the "You're a ghost" chorus. Where Lou Reed sings about "all you Jim Jims" in "Heroin," Cale goes one better with "William William William" Rogers "put it in its place." How many artists can sing "Beaujolais" and "Champs Élysées" with quick "efficiency"? A charmingly melodramatic and indirect melodic episode from the underground giant.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Paris 1919 1973 Reprise 4:05
Seducing Down the Door: A Collection 1970-1990 1994 Rhino 0:00
Close Watch: An Introduction to John Cale 1999 Universal Distribution / Island 4:06
No Image RiscDisc