A member of the Velvet Underground, one of the all-time great rock bands. Cale is a classically-trained violist from Wales who studied with composer (and ambient music pioneer) La Monte Young. He brought an appreciation of drones and noise to the Velvets aesthetic. In later years, his diverse solo output added the occasional burst of pop craftsmanship to his array of tools. He has also worked, on various occasions, with Brian Eno, with ambient composer Terry Riley, and even with Little Feat.

John Cale Discography (Albums):

John Cale's music is, for the most part, a lot more accessible than you might think. Although he was responsible for the thumping piano and screeching viola on The Velvet Underground And Nico, as well as most of the avante-garde noise on White Light/White Heat, much of his solo work has a mellow, even classical feel.

IMHO, the best album for a John Cale beginner to get is Close Watch - The Best Of John Cale, released in 1999 by Island Records, which features 16 well-picked tracks from the Cale library, combining some of his more romantic songs (I Keep A Close Watch, Child's Christmas In Wales) with some of his more disturbing moments (Fear Is A Man's Best Friend, Gun, and his cover of Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel), with a few classical moments thrown in for good measure (Paris 1919, Riverbank).

Apart from his career as a musician, John Cale has also produced some absolutely classic albums:

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