Album: John Cale, Conflict & Catalysis: Productions and Arrangements 1966-2006 (Big Beat)

With the Velvets, the Stooges, Patti Smith, Nico (the swoonable "Afraid") and the Modern Lovers as the first five tracks, this neat comp of Welsh wizard Cale's "productions and arrangements" can't fail.

After that, the raw materials get ever more shoddy (Mediaeval Baebes?) and Cale's interest-level approaches the horizontal. But there's fascinating obscurities – try "Scorch" by Goya Dress or "Italian Sea" by Chunky Novi and Ernie – scholarly liner notes, and viola a-go-go.