Thursday, 16 January 2020

John Cale & Terry Riley ‎– "Church Of Anthrax" (CBS ‎– S 64259) 1971


Bongwater did a song called "David Bowie Wants Ideas", and the place to find them was usually in the Avant Garde arena. John Cale wasn't slow in coming forward with misappropriating ideas from the avant classical mainstream and trying to bend them into shape for the record buying public. Amid his lengthy back catalogue of truly terrible mild rock albums, this one actually stands up as vaguely interesting.
It should have actually been a three track album of minimalism/rock crossover tunes, but obviously the Record company must have uttered the classic phrase....."Its great,but I'm not hearing a single?"
So a three minute hippy folk tune sung by a guest vocalist was inserted,and a short rocky instrumental B-side was added to bring the album to a limp close. Among the three minimalist inspired tracks,the 'single' sticks out like an enormous carbuncle on a bare arse.I dunno if it was ever actually released as a single, but,whoever bought the album on the strength of it,would not have been happy.
Bowie,Pop,Fripp and Eno, were endlessly prowling the musical underground to steal Ideas,but Cale beat them all to Terry Riley.....mainly because he knew him from his days in LaMonte Young's Theatre of Eternal Music.
In fact, despite the praise dished out for this album, it ain't that good,and relies heavily on the uncredited drumming of one David Rosenboom to hold it together;and i'm struggling to hear much minimalism on this either.Its neither Rock or minimal,or even a sucessful mix of the two,but its an interesting attempt to do something....er....different? These guys were under pressure to deliver remember? File under Prog.

Tracklist:

A1 Church Of Anthrax 9:00
A2 The Hall Of Mirrors In The Palace At Versailles 7:55
B1 The Soul Of Patrick Lee 2:47
B2 Ides Of March 11:03
B3 The Protege 2:47


5 comments:

rev.b said...

I always liked the idea of this record more than I did the result. WTF, I'll give it another try. Thanks?

Philip Sanderson said...

Thing with minimalism in all its permutations is you never know if it is an act of ultimate discipline, stripping things back to the essentials, removing all unnecessary fripperies to arrive at the essence of something in a wilful evaporation of self, or just a lack of imagination.

Jonny Zchivago said...

Indeed Philip, succinct as always.

Anonymous said...

Did you hear anything about band "Polyvix"? It was (I think) a post-punk band from Switzerland. They recorded one LP (s / t, 1982). Could you find it?

Anonymous said...

Actually one of my alltime faves. Top ten in any genre...