There's a pronounced Seventies tinge to current musical tropes, what with Primal Scream exiled on main street again, Muse reviving the ghost of Rush, and Serena-Maneesh delving into Krautrock. So it's apposite that this week also sees the reissue of two bona-fide early-Seventies classics. John Cale's sublime Paris 1919 was recorded in 1973 with members of Little Feat and The Crusaders, their discreet supporting parts augmented by Cale's sumptuous string arrangements on songs marked by a distinctly fin-de-siècle European tone. References to Shakespeare ("Macbeth"), Dylan Thomas ("A Child's Christmas in Wales") and "Graham Greene" sit alongside songs about the 1919 Versailles Conference ("Paris 1919") and haunting, melancholic pieces with titles like "The Endless Plain of Fortune", "Antarctica Starts Here" and the enigmatic "Hanky Panky Nohow". But Cale has cannily couched these abstruse interests in the most gorgeous settings of his career, enabling the intriguing subject-matter to sidle into one's affections on the back of charming pop melodies. This expanded version includes the usual quota of rehearsals and outtakes.
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