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Apr 162008

A-1 Steak Sauce!

When I like a John Cale album, I like it a lot, or at least I love a handful of songs on it. When I don’t like a John Cale album, I like nothing from it. When he’s ON, to my standards, he’s pretty great. When he’s OFF, as I hear it, he’s a total bore – at best. I can’t think of another artist whose albums have this extreme effect on me.

Gelatinous canned meat.

You may debate me on my tastes, but better yet, is there an artist who brings out such extreme reactions in you? Any reason why this might be?

I look forward to your comments.


  9 Responses to “Extremes”

  1. Elvis Costello.

  2. BigSteve

    God, Cale looks bad in the second video. Bloated and out of it. I liked the full band version of Heartbreak Hotel, but this is pretty sad. Funny that he looks tanned fit and on top of things, although 20 years or so older, in the first clip.

  3. Well, Cale’s bad albums are awful, with little if anything to recommend them, so it’s not like he goes in different artistic directions that mean little to you or anything. It’s just that the man has released quite a lot of shit in his career!

  4. Mr. Moderator

    I don’t know, Great One. What you say has a degree of truth, but for comparison, Costello, who Paul brings to the table as his personal example, has released many an album I can’t stand, but I could always find two songs worth spinning, not that those two songs on Mighty Like a Turd prevented me from dumping that entire album. When I don’t like a Cale album, such as Slow Dazzle, one of the least-satisfying albums by any artist that I ever brought home, I can’t find an enjoyable note on the thing. Other albums, from his post-bloated period in the mid-80s, just bore the snot out of me.

  5. Mr. Moderator

    And how about you, Great One, any artist who drives you to extremes?

  6. Well, Neil Young, obviously. The Neil Young I like I love unreservedly, but he has also released some of the most irritating albums of all time and many many more that simply make no impression on me whatsoever.

  7. BigSteve

    I don’t really think I have extremes like this. When I decide I like an artist, I pretty much take what they have to give and try to consider each new piece of work as a piece of the puzzle, whether I think it’s a great piece or not. There are a bunch of artists I’ve been following a long time, and they’re unlikely to bowl me over as they once did. But it takes a lot for me to want to just throw them over.

    A work colleague once sat me down and said that I was like this in my personal life and work life – that once I decided I liked someone, I cut them enormous amounts of slack, but if I didn’t respect someone, then I wasn’t going to give anything they did or said a chance. So maybe this is a personality defect.

    In other words I have friends that fit the Neil Young paradigm the great 48 describes. But they’re still my friends.

  8. saturnismine

    I feel this way about “yes”. and i really passionately love particular songs on each album, but maaan o man, the stuff i don’t like (for example the song “sweetness”), i really don’t like one iota.

  9. 2000 Man

    Bowie for sure. I love his 70’s stuff starting with The Man Who Sold the World, including the live albums. But his 60’s and 80’s stuff is awful. I can’t get enough of the other stuff, though.

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