John Cale
Fear Is A Man's Best Friend - John Cale

Solo albums

Academy in Peril

The Academy In Peril

About this album

Released in July 1972.
Reprise REP 44212.


  1. The Philosopher
  2. Brahms
  3. Legs Larry At The Television Centre
  4. The Academy In Peril
  5. Intro
  6. Days of Steam
  7. 3 Orchestral Pieces
    1. Faust
    2. The Balance
    3. Capt. Morgan's Lament
  8. King Harry
  9. John Milton
"I took three weeks in England to do The Academy In Peril, and it wasn't enough.
I spent a week at the Manor in England recording and after that I had the bare essentials of some pieces that I wrote down. I had to wait around for two weeks for the Royal Philharmonic, but I was pleased with the results. I had forgotten what it was like to work with musicians like that, who really need an authorative figure. I had to conduct the orchestra. The pieces were self-explanatory, but they needed someone to tell them where the beat was because there was no time signature on the music."

He wasn't too pleased about how the John Milton track came out:

"The results on John Milton are not entirely to my satisfaction because of the very low level of the cut. It's a long piano piece, the inspiration came to me after seeing a BBC tv Omnibus programme, I found Milton very interesting, what he did with language, his attitude to it-- very puritanical, very rigid.
The piece I have written is romantic, almost French impressionist. But the way it was recorded-- it was so soft. We were using this church in Cripplegate, London. But the orchestra hasn't go any presence.
It was really funny, you know, I used to be in an orchestra myself see, so I was a bit easy-going about the whole thing, like 'we'll try about that' but I know with classical symphony orchestras what they are really at home with is authoritarian figures. I think it would be a totally different story if I was conducting Brahms, but because I was doing my own stuff, which was written very strangely, it was a bit difficult for them. But they did very well, I think the way the approached it was like they would approached Cage or something like that."

John Cale: bass, guitar, keyboards, viola
Adam Miller: vocals
Del Newman: drums
Ron Wood: slide guitar on The Philosopher
Legs Larry Smith: narration on Legs Larry At Television Centre
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: 3 Orchestral Pieces


Other credits:
Producer: John Cale
Mixing engineer: Jean Bois
Cover photo: Andy Warhol
Photography: Ed Thrasher

Brahms, Intro and 3 Orchestral Pieces recorded at Shipton Manor, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom. Days Of Steam and King Harry recorded at St. Giles Church, Cripplegate, London, United Kingdom
Mixed at Air Recording Studios, London, United Kingdom

Cover concept by Andy Warhol. Cale traded it for the use of Days of Steam for the movie soundtrack of Heat.

Days of Steam / Legs Larry At The Television Centre


Days of Steam b/w Legs Larry At The Television Centre is released as single in the US (promo only) and New Zealand.

Temper outtake

Temper, an outtake from the recording sessions, was released on the promotional 2LP compilation Troublemakers (Warner PRO A 857, 1980). Also released on the Seducing Down The Door compilation.

Vinyl reissue

The album was reissued in 2014 on 180 Gram Vinyl on specialty label 4 Men With Beards. Remastering by engineer Gary Hobish (A. Hammer Masterging). The album comes in the die-cut custom gatefold jacket, designed by Andy Warhol.

© 1999- Hans Werksman