Lou Reed has hogged the spotlight since the breakup of the legendary Velvet Underground, but his former bandmate John Cale has had a much more consistent solo career. Cale never scored a breakthrough hit like Reed's "Walk On the Wild Side," but this new two-CD collection of Cale's mid-'70s releases-including all of the Fear, Slow Dazzle, and Helen of Troy albums plus assorted unreleased rarities-is the perfect opportunity to reassess his influential merger of art-rock smarts, classical melodicism, theatrical drama, and punk-rock abandon. Cuts range from beautiful, lulling ballads such as "Buffalo Ballet" and "I Keep A Close Watch" to full-throttle sensory assaults like "Fear Is A Man's Best Friend" and an Elvis Presley cover that will make your blood run cold. J.D.
Excellent Double Disc Collection of his Three Studio Albums on Island ("Fear", "Slow Dazzle", "Helen of Troy") and the Spare Track "Mary Lou" from the "Guts" Compilation plus a Bevy of Bonus Tracks (B-sides and Previously Unreleased Gems) to Boot.