AOTY 2023

Paris 1919

John Cale - Paris 1919
Critic Score
Based on 3 reviews
1973 Ratings: #52 / 157
User Score
Based on 213 ratings
1973 Ratings: #87
Liked by 34 people
March 1, 1973 / Release Date
LP / Format
Reprise / Label
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I had a very different, wordier review, but circumstances demanded that it be rewritten and here we are

I'll speed through what was my original and slightly trolly introduction: I haven't listened to much by John Cale, i do like (but not love) VU&N, but the one piece of work of his that i adore is his playing on, and other additions to, the track Northern Sky by Nick Drake. That song is an absolute breath of fresh air and Cale's contributions to the song lend the track an air of mystery ... read more


It sounds like the cover, as if John is a European noble performing his trade in front of high society to provide distraction from the fear brought upon by WWI. The title track is simply gorgeous and majestic and would be one of my highest recommendations for a song you have to hear before you die.


Before 'Paris 1919' Cale's solo work had been intriguing but you could be forgiven for scratching your head at the lack of any sort of touch of genius you might have expected to find from a key song writer from The Velvet Underground - with this 1973 release he finally delivered on that potential.

The first four tracks make up a near perfect suite of gentle orchestral songs with by turns heartfelt and witty lyrics that betray the huge nostalgia Cale clearly felt for his childhood and the ... read more


John Cale's Paris 1919 stands out from other 1970s rock music with its artistic direction, beautiful instrumentals, interesting stylistic choices, and aesthetic. This feels like an album from a gentle, creative mind, and while it isn't perfect, Paris 1919's efforts shouldn't go unrewarded.

I'm not sure if the album's somewhat lo-fi sound is intentional or simply a limitation of Cale's resources at the time, but either way, it works perfectly. Other albums using his technique in regards to his ... read more



Fav track: the endless pain of fortune
Least fav track: Childs Christmas in wales


This is my favorite post velvet underground project by any member of the group. I also happen to think it’s just one of the best records ever made and it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. John Cales arranging styles and writing make this a baroque pop masterpiece.

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Added on: March 29, 2013