Listen to this track by one of the founders of drone rock and former member of the Velvet Underground John Cale. It’s “Paris 1919”, the title track from his acclaimed 1973 album of the same name, Paris 1919, featuring a plethora of literary references as well as a lush pop sound that wouldn’t be out of place in the catalogues of Paul McCartney or the Moody Blues.
It may well be the only record to include both Dylan Thomas, who is referenced in the lyrics, and Little Feat, whom Cale used as a backing group on the record.
The scope of John Cale’s musical interest, influence, and hands on involvement is one of the widest in rock history. As a musician, he’s graced the albums of artists ranging from Nick Drake to the Patti Smith Group. As a producer, he’s guided the sessions of acts from the Stooges to the Modern Lovers, to Alejandro Escovedo. As such, unexpected stylistic left-turns from Cale are to be oddly expected left-turns. And this song, and the album off of which it comes is one such turn, albeit one of his most accessible.