John Cale - Conflict & Catalysis. Productions & Arrangements 1966-2006 Various Artists (Producer Series)


Punk Rock
Big Beat
Catalogue Id:

Film directors have always been lionised by their industry and by fans who made household names of Ford, Hitchcock and Spielberg. On the other hand, Phil Spector notwithstanding, record producers have by-and-large laboured in near-anonymity outside the music business and the most devoted of followers. To help remedy that situation, a few years back, we instigated our Producers series, spotlighting the studio outputs of Jack Nitzsche, Jerry Ragovoy, Bert Berns, Kim Fowley, Brian Wilson, Martin Hammet and other visionaries who lived to bring the sounds in their heads to the grooves of a record. Another master of the art is John Cale.

Cale’s career has many facets. Since leaving the Velvet Underground in 1968, he has released over two-dozen solo albums – their scope ranging from minimalism, through guitar-based rock to full-scale orchestral. A tireless live performer, he is currently readying a new album for release, having not long returned from a tour of Europe. As a multi-instrumentalist who thrives on collaboration, he has contributed to recordings by William Burroughs, Nick Drake, LCD Soundsystem, La Monte Young and very many others. He has also composed the scores for several ballets, an opera and many films. In the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of 2010 he was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire. On receiving his decoration from the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace that November, he commented, “Someone has decided that you have done something right, and it is your job to figure out what that is.”

Here on “Conflict & Catalysis” the focus is on Cale the producer. Spanning 40 years, the collection contains everything from the proto-punk of the Stooges and the Modern Lovers to Euro-pop princess Lio and no-wave enigma Cristina and comes with a stylish 28-page booklet which includes a 9000-word essay incorporating specially commissioned memoirs from several of the featured performers.

Noted for his unconventional and sometimes challenging working methods, Cale wrote in his autobiography that “as a producer, you’ve got to be a catalyst, an ally, a co-conspirator. Sometimes you need to introduce conflict. I always try to approach it from the point of view, what would a Zen master do in these circumstances? That is not to give the artist a direct answer to all his questions, but to suggest a solution by other means. I really love producing other artists. I love helping someone achieve his goals. You’ve got to stick to what you believe in. It might be lucrative for me to work with a particular personality, but if I don’t feel sympathetic to what he’s doing, I’m just letting myself down. You lose all your credibility if you do that.”

By Mick Patrick


Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview Venus In Furs - The Velvet Underground

  • 02 Preview I Wanna Be Your Dog (John Cale Mix) - The Stooges

  • 03 Preview Gloria: In Excelsis Deo / Gloria (Version) - Patti Smith

  • 04 Preview Afraid - Nico

  • 05 Preview Pablo Picasso - The Modern Lovers

  • 06 Preview Who Is That Saving Me - Harry Toledo & The Rockets

  • 07 Preview Re-Bop - Marie et Les Garçons

  • 08 Preview Disco Clone - Cristina

  • 09 Preview Italian Sea - Chunky, Novi & Ernie

  • 10 Preview No King - Ventilator

  • 11 Preview Sex Master - Squeeze

  • 12 Preview Take Your Place - Alejandro Escovedo

  • 13 Preview Kuff Dam - Happy Mondays

  • 14 Preview Runaway Child (Minors Beware) - The Necessaries

  • 15 Preview Omnes Gentes Plaudite (The Drinking Song) - Mediaeval Baebes

  • 16 Preview Needles For Teeth - The Jesus Lizard

  • 17 Preview Scorch - Goya Dress

  • 18 Preview Dallas - Lio

  • 19 Preview Tearing Apart - Siouxsie & The Banshees

  • 20 Preview Spinning Away - Eno / Cale

Delivery & Returns


We offer free P&P to UK addresses. For all other territories packaging is free and postage is charged on a weight basis.

We use Royal Mail First Class for UK deliveries and standard Air Mail for all other territories, very large orders will usually be sent via parcelforce. You may cancel your order at any time prior to your order being dispatched by emailing us at ensuring that you quote your name, address and order reference number or by telephoning +44 (0) 208 453 1311 between 9am and 5pm GMT/BST, Monday to Friday. Please note: As music downloads are dispatched immediately after purchase, there is no possibility of cancelling these orders.

In the event that any products supplied to you by us are damaged or defective, we agree to replace or repair the damaged or defective products or refund the amount you paid for such goods (including postage & packaging) providing you notify us (either via post at or e-mail: ) and return the goods within 28 days of purchase. Physical goods should be sent back to us in the same condition you received them to: “Returns” Ace Records, Such Close, Letchworth Garden City SG6 1JF, United Kingdom. Music downloads should be returned to us via the e-mail address above including a copy of your notification.

You have the right to cancel your order within seven days of purchase, or seven days of receipt of the goods (whichever is the longer). If you choose to cancel your order, full payment will be returned to you. Returned items should be sent to: “Returns” c/o Ace Records, Such Close, Letchworth Garden City SG6 1JF, United Kingdom. Music downloads should be returned to us via the email address: including a copy of your notice of cancellation and order number.

Customer reviews


Related products

Customers who bought this item also bought