452. streets of Laredo

John Cale being one of those artists who has never felt compelled to repeat himself. This version of the old cowboy song comes from 1981’s Honi Soit, which may not be anyone’s definition a pop item but it was his biggest seller. Which means there are likely still many copies of it floating around, which makes me feel very good somehow. Curious young minds stumbling onto Streets of Laredo gone discordantly into the ditch, dumping all the sunshine and melodrama, leaving only drama and the stink of death. I’d love to see this movie.” (Philip Random)

JohnCale-honisoit-crop

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873. dead or alive

John Cale, original underground Velvet, reminds us that when it comes to intelligent chunks of aural sculpture that also rock a pop groove, few can touch him. So why did he give the world so few of them? You may as well ask, why did Lou Reed have to be such an asshole, or Pablo Picasso for that matter?

(photo: Larry Williams)