by John Cale
Released: Oct 1974
Label: HIP-O (PG)/Fontana
Cale's first record for Island, Fear, was released in 1974 and is marked by two of the Welsh multi-instrumentalist's best songs: the stilted, only-John-Cale-could-write-this "Fear Is a Man's Best Friend," and the eight-minute pre-punk jam "Gun." In the latter, Cale takes on the identity of a hard-boiled homicide detective, and Phil Manzanera contributes a guitar solo that belongs in his top three -- underwater feedback, shrill vamping and eventual total disintegration. Richard Thompson appears with Manzanera (both play slide guitar) with more freaky soloing on last cut "Momamma Scuba."
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